Metropolis Issue 816

November 13, 2009
Cars & Bikes

Head to Fuji Speedway for a pair of motorsport extravaganzas

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Pisces

As a sensitive Pisces, you may sometimes feel there is no place for quiet and peace. It may take some doing, but you will be surrounded by support and encouragement this week. Having to choose between enjoying someone’s company and finishing your work could be a minor conflict, but once your decision is made, Monday’s ...

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Aquarius

Mercury, the Messenger, arrives in your house of friendships on Sunday. This sector includes dreams and desires. You’re able to say and write what it is that best makes you tick. The New Moon on Monday opens a door to vistas previously available to just a few. With Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter now direct, you’re ...

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Capricorn

This is quite a week for you, with qualities and opportunities that could be brought only by angels (and astrology). The Sun, Ceres and Venus, all in your house of friendships, invite group activities to pan out favorably. On Sunday, Mercury enters your sector of “what’s beneath the surface.” You may be reminded of the ...

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Sagittarius

It’s easy to be optimistic when you’re feeling great, but with all the knocks you took when Pluto was in your Sign, you may need time just to heal. Pluto is now in Capricorn—meaning your finances and possessions are affected. You may not be sure whether to believe the calm is here to stay. Mercury ...

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Scorpio

This is quite a week for you, particularly so if you were born between November 6 and 17. The Moon transits your Sign as the weekend arrives, connecting with three planets and an asteroid in Scorpio. Then the New Moon in Scorpio creates a penetrating possibility for change and resolution, beginning Monday. You’re going to ...

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Libra

Wanting things to look good can be frustrating when someone comes along to point out the downside. This is doubly true if feelings don’t match the scenic view. As Mercury enters your house of communication on Sunday, you may feel optimistic, but you’ll also wonder where all the other enthusiasts are. The New Moon on ...

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Virgo

Noticing details is your forte; getting caught up in them may be as well. When you begin a project, there are choices to be made. Your ruling planet, Mercury, transits into your sector of homebase beginning Sunday. This often holds the quality of getting a chance to start again. Being grateful, you can rebuild what ...

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Leo

Although there’s more physical and fiscal strength coming your way, this week brings a clearing—choice—to what you can do in your career and in the community. By breathing a sigh of relief, tension and pressures dissolve as the Universe brings itself into balance. Having said that, the New Moon on Monday squares your Sign. Someone ...

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Cancer

Mars in your money house pulls out all the stops. It hovers there until the first week of next June. Of course, this enchanting length of time is no reason to slow down on opportunities to build your nest egg. When this transit is over, it will be much easier to speak your mind. Until ...

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Gemini

Mercury’s entry into your partnership sector on Sunday brings joy and enthusiasm to joint projects. You’re able to express your complex plans and schedules easily. Monday’s New Moon creates an emphasis on health and volunteer work. Something under the surface is revealed, forging a clear path to what once may have been an unsettling compromise. ...

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Taurus

Knocking down the gate is one way to reach your destination. Another is to find the most comfortable, beautiful place you can, and just wait. If you can wait with the Taurean patience you are known for, what you want might come to you. The New Moon in your house of partnership on Monday opens ...

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Aries

You can wait for things to change, or you can be the reason they do. Mercury, governing your current mindset, enters your solar ninth house on Sunday. This sector creates leadership, higher education and, ultimately, enlightenment. On Monday, the Moon follows suit, so you can express your opinions with feeling. What you value most is ...

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The Last Word

Tokyo’s existential doubt is its biggest strength—and weakness

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Upfront Extra

Who do you least want to run into when not wearing any makeup? Husband’s friends (22%) Colleagues (15.3%) Strangers (10.3%) Friends (8.3%) Boss (7.3%) Boyfriend (7%) Neighbors (5.3%) Fellow moms (4.3%) Husband (0%) Source: survey of 150 women in their 20s and 30s by Unilever Japan

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Upfront Extra

What: Amuse Museum When: Opened November 1 Where: 2-34-4 Asakusa, Taito-ku (adjacent to Senso-ji temple) How much: Adults ¥1,000, students & kids ¥500-¥800 Why: “Amuse Museum is a general art building where you can feel and experience the real Japanese culture through many functioning spaces such as ukiyo-e theater, live stages, as well as the ...

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Upfront Extra

Ah, omiyage. One of the best-loved Japanese customs, where travelers bring back tasty treats for family, landladies, coworkers and the like—treats they usually bought in a panicked rush just before boarding their shinkansen home. Now Nestle has solved these weary wanderers’ problems (while at the same time finding a use for its array of mind-bogglingly ...

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Autofile

Proof, as if any were needed, that there’s a niche for everything in this country: Hachimaru Hero (“80 Hero”) is a biannual magazine dedicated solely to the cars and bikes of the ’80s. The latest issue, emblazoned with a Toyota Soarer 3000GT and the headline “Cars Were Fun in the ’80s” (as if we needed ...

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Upfront Extra

The Japanese remake of Alexander Payne’s 2004 Oscar-winner Sideways scored an unexpected thumbs-up from our resident eiga expert Rob Schwartz last month. Could it be that, after years of having their best work imitated by Hollywood, Japan’s directors are going to start responding in kind? If so, here are a few classics that we’d love ...

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Upfront Extra

The producers of Quentin Tarantino’s creatively spelled WWII adventure flick Inglourious Basterds are so confident that Japanese audiences will love the movie, they’re offering to refund the price of a ticket for anyone who doesn’t. Well, for a little while, anyway. For the first four days of the film’s run (November 20-23), Toho Cinemas will ...

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Autofile

Here’s just the thing for getting out of traffic jams: Nissan’s Land Glider–or the Lean Machine, as it’s affectionately known. This electric two-seat concept car could pass for a motorcycle, both in its compactness and the way it handles. Individual electric motors positioned above the axles allow the cocoon-like vehicle to tilt up to 17 ...

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Features

Sip sake, stuff your face with senbei, appear on TV, take a spin in a new Toyota—the options are nearly endless when it comes to enjoying free stuff in Tokyo

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Q & A

Writer & poet

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Upfront Extra

(In a corporate newsletter dated October 21, Japan Airlines struck back at the filmmakers of Shizumanu Taiyo, a thinly veiled fictional account of the crash of JAL Flight 123 in 1985.) We Face This Together: Do Not be Misled by Gossip and Criticism The harsh financial conditions surrounding our company are attracting the attention of ...

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Close Ups

Hands up if you’re tired of the treadmill and fed up with the same old gym routine. Has your quest to look good got you feeling down? Maybe you should consider joining Jeff Libengood, aka “The Fitness Doctor,” at his Healthy Body Boot Camps in Arisugawa Park. “We never do the same workout twice… ever,” ...

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Tarento Watch

TV host Mino Monta, 65, could not hide his delight when he found himself in between two sexy ladies as part of the promotion for Nomitomo, the new “turmeric energy drink” from Lotte. Monta sings and dances with models Natsuko Nagaike, 24, and Miro Ebato, 23, in a TV commercial for the ¥200 drink, before ...

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Star Struck

Former Miss Universe Japan Kurara Chibana expands her horizons

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Body & Soul

Breathing is the engine of this Russian martial art

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In Other News

The silly season for awards continues. Winners of the best dressed eyes (those who look cool in glasses) are tarento Suzanne, 23, actor Koji Ishizaka, 68, Fast Retailing President Tadashi Yanai, 60, actor Toshiaki Karasawa, 46 (who won in the sunglasses category) and actress Mao Inoue, 22… Best Formalist awards went to actress Ryoko Hirosue, ...

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The Small Print

IF IT FEELS GOOD… It was reported that a bunch of guys in Harajuku, known as the “skirt tribes,” have taken to wearing women’s clothing. I always thought those guys were called Scots. Actress Noriko Sakai said at her drug trial that she was ready for a lifestyle change, vowing to dump her loser hubby ...

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Close Ups

With the H1N1 pandemic now in full swing in Japan, swine flu vaccinations also started at the end of last month, initially targeting health care workers. But what about us foreigners? The Tokyo Metropolitan Health Department and the Suginami Ward Public Health Center have provided the following information: As a rule, registered foreign residents can ...

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International Dining

Loosen your belt and get ready for Tokyo’s top Thanksgiving dinners

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Bar Reviews

A beginner’s guide to the venerable Shinjuku drinking district

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Restaurant Reviews

A Middle Eastern eatery that’s maturing gracefully in Nakano

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Dining Diary

Big, goopy burritos at a fair price in a great neighborhood—what’s not to love? Newly opened Frijoles in Azabu-Juban ticks all the boxes, and it also offers unexpected touches like housemade tortilla chips and four types of salsa. The food selection is limited, but in a good way: four varieties each of burritos (¥800-¥1,000), tacos ...

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CDs & DVDs

54321~Chorale

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Stage

The student segment of Festival/Tokyo may prove the event’s most intriguing

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CDs & DVDs

The Resistance

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Books

Late last month, the World Economic Forum released its annual Global Gender Gap Index, which ranks countries on how equitably they divide resources and opportunities between men and women. While Iceland topped the list, closely followed by the rest of Scandinavia, Japan placed a dismal 75th—an improvement on the previous year, but still no match ...

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CDs & DVDs

New Worlds

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Clubbing

The DJ/producer says the future of Japanese DnB looks bright

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CDs & DVDs

Mondo Roccia

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Music

Accordionist Daniel Colin is pleased and amused by the resurgence of interest in French musette

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Agenda

It will come as a shock to no one that the premier fetish event in Asia takes place in Tokyo. The Japan Fetish Ball, put on by Tokyo Kink Society, encompasses all aspects of fetish culture. What may come as something of a surprise is that JFB is not about sex—rather, the event focuses on ...

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Agenda

MOMAT presents the first major retrospective by a Tokyo museum of one of Japan’s more important postwar conceptual artists. The driving force throughout Tatsuo Kawaguchi’s career has been a desire to connect the visible with the invisible, which he accomplishes by refashioning found objects into works that serve as vessels for meditations on the unknown. ...

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Agenda

Japan’s largest and most historic art exhibition returns to the house that was all but purpose-built for it. The National Art Center, Tokyo is one of the largest museums in the world without a permanent collection, and the existence of the sprawling annual Nitten show is one reason for that. Founded by the government in ...

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Agenda

’70s jazz fusion icons Return to Forever started out as the trio of pianist Chick Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White. After three decades, the three have reconvened, ditching their electronic gear and returning to the acoustic instruments on which they all first proved their mastery. The worldwide 50-date tour offers the unusual ...

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Agenda

Members of the Bangkok Theatre Network (BTN) arrive in Tokyo to offer a taste of both traditional and contemporary Thai theater. The engagement is the result of a decade of efforts by the BTN and artistic director Hideki Noda of the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, and will re-envision two of Noda’s works in a Thai ...

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Movie Reviews

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” said Bill Shakespeare. Meaning perhaps, in an updated sense, that we are all stars in our own movies. If Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut, a dense series of reflections on art and death, were a novel, it would be called “unfilmable.” Intellectuals (a ...

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Eiga

During the past 25 years, writer-director Yoshimitsu Morita has been one of the stalwarts of Japanese cinema. In 1983, he burst out of his “pink” (soft-core porn) past and into the mainstream with the deliciously ironic and satirical The Family Game. Since then, he’s made everything from melodramas and comedies to horror flicks. Morita’s 2006 ...

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Movie News

Actress Masami Nagasawa got a surprise at the recent premiere of her new film Go Find a Psychic when 200 fans turned up at Roppongi Hills dressed as… spoons. Directed by Katsuyuki Motohiro (Udon), Go Find a Psychic stars Nagasawa as an assistant TV director who encounters seven people with paranormal powers, including the ability ...

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Movie News

The latest movie in line for a Hollywood remake is True Grit, the 1969 western that earned John Wayne an Oscar for best actor. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ethan and Joel Coen will be making the film and are in discussions with actors Matt Damon and Josh Brolin, though it’s hard to imagine either ...

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Movie Reviews

Bah! Humbug! Oddly, all the big-deal, groundbreaking animation technologies utilized in Disney’s whiz-bang version of Charles Dickens’ classic yuletide tale of greed and redemption end up leaching all the emotion out of it. My enthusiasm began to wane with the first buggy chase scene. I’m pretty sure Dickens didn’t include any of these. And then ...

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Movie Reviews

Four people (Nick Cannon, Timothy Hutton, Clea DuVall, Shea Whigham) answer an ad for subjects in a psychological study, and find themselves locked in a white room—kind of like Cube without the gadgets—where unpleasant things begin to happen. Conducting the study is the always creepy Peter Stormare, and we experience the proceedings through the eyes ...

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