Metropolis Issue 853

July 30, 2010
Tarento Watch

Actress Kii Kitano (Bandage) has apparently been a naughty girl. The 19-year-old starlet apologized on her blog recently after Friday magazine reported that she had stayed overnight at a hotel with 21-year-old actor Kazuma Sano (Miracle Girls). “I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart for doing such a frivolous thing,” Kitano wrote. “I apologize ...

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Scorpio

Do scorpions really sting their prey until it’s dead? Do they just totally, thoroughly hang in there until their intended victim finally wears out and goes limp? Well, good. Be the pit bull you were born to be. Sink your teeth into your cause and don’t let go until you regain every last bit of ...

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Gemini

Your spiritual side comes to the fore this week. With Neptune and Chiron both retrograde in this sector of your chart, you have a deep well of insights about life. Not one to beat about the bush, you have plenty of things to share, and one of them is your perspective about “what works.” Geminis ...

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Leo

As the Leo Sun travels through your Birthday Zone, your Sign derives benefit from Venus in your house of finance. If you’d like to move towards a bonus or accept a dividend, now is the time to do it. Don’t worry about those who whisper words of caution—you’ve only got this week to jump in. ...

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Global Village

Understanding culture through calligraphy

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Sagittarius

Each part of the body is ruled by an astrological Planet and Sign. What’s ruled by Jupiter and Sagittarius? The thighs! If you haven’t been letting yourself run free, like the part-person/part-horse you are, then you know what I’m talking about. You need to get where you’re headed. If you’ve been stopped by an injury, ...

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Libra

Librans seek serenity in all their dealings. They’d rather have a harmonious home environment than travel to find it (unlike their sister sign Gemini, who loves to fly). Having said that, Librans are about to come into a bit of stress. Saturn entering your Sign wants disciplined structure from you, and Uranus/Jupiter opposite wants you ...

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Virgo

You’re free! Don’t go too crazy, but Saturn has left your Sign… for good! All the heaviness and seriously sore spots are fading from your memory—almost. Saturn is in your area of finance. This doesn’t mean it’s a difficult time ahead, just make sure you have your foundation set. If it’s still soft in the ...

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Photo of the Day

Making a splash during last month’s heat wave. By Geenie Woo.

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Cars & Bikes

A night with Yokohama’s street racers

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Upfront Extra

Stress, alcohol and a duff economy have apparently led to a rash of rowdiness at train stations around the country. Private railway operators reported 869 attacks on conductors and station attendants nationwide during fiscal 2009, an increase of 117 from the previous year. In response, train companies are implementing a variety of measures to keep ...

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The Last Word

If a longtime expat starts offering you advice, walk the other way. Quickly

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Upfront Extra

Aug 2 Panties Day Started by underwear maker Isokai in 1984 to promote their latest range. A day on which girls are encouraged to show their undies to a lucky guy Aug 7 Banana Day Ba (8) plus nana (7) make banana—like you needed an excuse to eat one Aug 21 Blood Donation Day The ...

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Close Ups

Wired Cafe Fit is clever, we’ll admit. This new sports club and cafe blurs the lines between public and private space, and outdoor and indoor exercise. Tucked in between Shibuya Boxx and the overhanging curve of Yoyogi National Stadium, the facilities are just a few minutes from Yoyogi Park, and aimed squarely at the keep-fit ...

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Upfront Extra

Samurai-speak you’d most like to use in an email 1. かたじけない (katajikenai): arigatou, thank you 2. 面目ない (menbokunai): hazukashii, embarrassing 3. しばし待たれよ (shibashi matareyo): sukoshi mattekudasai, “please wait a moment” 4. ~でござる (~de gozaru): aru/iru, “is” 5. 参上 (sanjou): to visit a person of higher rank 6. 出陣 (shutsujin): to take the field, kick off ...

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Village Voices

Another popular annual event that’s fast approaching is the Tyler Foundation fundraising gala dinner and party. The theme for this year is “Rhinestone Cowboy,” so dust off your finest denim and diamonds and get ready for a rollicking good time. The event includes a gourmet dinner, live and silent auctions, games for adults and kids ...

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Upfront Extra

What: Southern rock lobster with caramelized sauce Who: Mark Best, chef-owner of Marque restaurant, Sydney Where: The Westin Tokyo When: August 1-7 See Dining Out, issue 853 for details

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Capricorn

Don’t look now, but Jupiter is retrograde in your solar twelfth house. This can indicate that your dreams are getting bigger. It’s not unlike putting a seed into fertile soil. In the dark of the subconscious, which is really full of nutrients and potential, your dreams grow until they are ready to burst through to ...

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Star Struck

Hollywood really is the land of dreams in Christopher Nolan’s thriller Inception

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In Other News

Singer Kumi Koda opened her own personalized “channel” on a streaming video service from July 7-12, attracting over 650,000 viewers… Aya Ueto, 24, is appearing with Yoshimoto comedians Chihara Junior, 36, Atsushi Tamura, 36, and Junichi Komoto, 35, in a new series of commercials for Oronamin C energy drink… Yuki Amami, 42, is starring in ...

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Features

Award-winning actress Shinobu Terajima talks about cinema, sex scenes and why she hates doing commercials

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Close Ups

It’s never too early to start in yoga—or at least, that’s what Heather Kamala Wong-Xoquic thinks. The preschool teacher and traveling yogini—not to mention sister of celebrity instructor and Yogic Arts creator Duncan Wong—has pioneered a blend of yoga and martial arts that’s tailor-made for youngsters. :Ki|Do) Yogic Arts for Kids is taught through songs ...

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Aquarius

This is a week where your impeccable manners will save you from blow-ups. The stresses you encounter have a lot to do with the Moon connecting to both Uranus, your ruler, and Jupiter, over the weekend. You may feel things more acutely and deeply. It’s worth getting out by yourself to take a walk and ...

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Aries

Lovely goddess Venus in your house of work is putting you in line for recognition. You may receive a perk or a financial bonus, or you may be moving to a desk or office that has a streak of beauty in it. The Aries Moon Saturday and Sunday is a great way to let off ...

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The Small Print

This week's required reading

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Cancer

As a Cancerian, you are known for nurturing, and with your house of career in fiery Aries, you don’t like to be held back. Whatever you are doing this week, you are seeing change upon change. If you like to go with the flow, it’s not a big deal. But with deadlines, bills to be ...

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Pisces

Out of frustration comes clarity. The Moon passing into your financial sector over the weekend gives you strength to act upon your insights. Venus in your house of partnerships brings love to the surface. If you’re in a relationship, your loved one may bring more beauty into your life. If you are not, an event ...

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Village Voices

All right, you long-distance runners out there, it’s time to sign up for the wildly popular Tokyo Marathon. The one-month application period starts on August 1, and if you are among the lucky ones selected to participate, you can make your efforts even more worthwhile by running for charity. In past years, organizations like Children ...

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Taurus

Most of the activity in your chart is happening in your house of romance and your work sector. Your career could take on a serious or stabilizing note, as Mars is now at the same degree as Saturn. Venus is finishing up in your love arena, so if there’s something you want to get nailed ...

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Body & Soul

Metropolis explores one of Chiba’s new surfing hotspots

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Q & A

PR consultant and language boffin

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Upfront Extra

Taishi Higashida is on a roll—literally. The 25-year-old Kyoto University grad student is already a celebrity in brain-teaser circles, and last year even released his own Nintendo DS game. Now the inveterate puzzler is walking the length of Japan, handing out his creations to passersby with a cry of “Bira ga pazuru” (the flier is ...

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Mediabox

Charisma Man Regarding “Man of the Moment” (Feature, July 16): I’m sick of this lame cliché where people (Western women primarily) believe that just because a guy shows up here he can get hot chicks. The very fact that he’s here means he has a college degree. Do college graduates get hotter women than non-graduates? ...

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Autofile

Here’s just the thing to zip around town on. Yamaha Motor’s new eco-friendly electric EC-03 scooter is powered by lithium-ion batteries and can travel around 43 kilometers on a single charge. When you’re done, just jack it into a regular home socket and it’ll be juiced up and ready to go in six hours or ...

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Bites

As the only country in South America with both a Pacific and Caribbean coastline, Colombia enjoys a singular cultural identity. That heritage is reflected in its cuisine. Now, Tokyoites can taste all the goodness for themselves at the Hilton Tokyo’s Colombian Gastronomic Journey, running August 4-8. Among the dozens of authentic dishes on offer will ...

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Bites

Who could’ve guessed that Japan’s struggling rice growers would have their prayers answered by… bread? Sanyo recently unveiled the Gopan, which it’s touting as the world’s first all-in-one rice bread maker. With this compact bakery-in-a-box in your kitchen, there’s no need to worry about buying rice flour: it even does the milling for you. The ...

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Restaurant Reviews

A star patissier branches out at the New Otani

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Bites

The geniuses at Mos Burger (www.mos.co.jp) have come up with a seriously wafu summertime treat. The new Genmai Flake Shake (¥300, pictured) is made with bittersweet tea pudding, unpolished brown rice flakes, rice-flour dumplings and azuki beans from Hokkaido. All that, and only 256 calories too… Freshness Burger (www.freshnessburger.co.jp), meanwhile, combats the stifling heat with ...

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Bites

Ever gone to a fancy restaurant only to find portions more suitable for birds, and a bill that makes you want to cry? Well, wipe those tears away and tuck in at one of Tokyo’s new eateries specializing in huge, delicious meals for astonishingly cheap prices. Restaurants like Curry-Ya Toyo-P (1-17-3 Ueno, Taito-ku; 03-5688-1890) in ...

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Bar Reviews

Tea, cocktails, cigars—indulge your passion in Nihombashi

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Bites

Australia’s hottest chef arrives in Japan for a weeklong stint at The Westin Tokyo hotel (www.westin-tokyo.co.jp). Mark Best was hailed as Chef of the Year by the Sydney Morning Herald, and his Marque eatery was named Breakthrough Restaurant of 2010 by the prestigious San Pellegrino World’s Top 100 Restaurants. Not bad for a man who ...

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Agenda

J-pop star Ai Kawashima needs your help. The 24-year-old solo artist is looking for English-speaking chorus members to sing backup at her August 20 show in the Tokyo International Forum. “Don’t worry if you have no confidence in your singing ability,” she says. “We’ll take anyone regardless of age, gender or nationality.” Participants will be ...

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Books

Before pocketing France’s prestigious Prix Décembre literary award a few months ago, Belgian novelist Jean-Philippe Toussaint had already documented his international fame in fiction. In Self-Portrait Abroad, which has just been released in English, a protagonist named Jean-Philippe jet-sets around the world, speaking about his own novels at a circuit of international literature symposia. Each ...

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CDs & DVDs

La Cumparsita

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Agenda

The late French ballet great Maurice Béjart had an intimate connection to Japan—his good friend Tadatsugu Sasaki is the director of the Tokyo Ballet. Now, three years after Béjart’s death, his Lausanne-based company arrives for a tribute consisting of ensemble pieces from its just-completed European tour: Bolero, Danses Grecques and Don Giovanni. Muscular Paris Opera ...

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Agenda

The complex polyphonies of Balinese gamelan music are renowned in Japan—thanks, in large part, to repeated tours by virtuoso orchestra Suar Agung. One of Bali’s most potent gamelan ensembles, the group has been touring Japan for years, even participating in a concert to highlight the environmental problems facing Mt. Fuji. Formed in 1982, Suar Agung ...

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CDs & DVDs

Flash

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Agenda

If the new arena show Walking with Dinosaurs isn’t your thing, just hop on an elevator to the top of Roppongi Hills and check out this “dinosaur museum in the skies.” 23 species of the “terrible lizards” are recreated on a stage 250 meters above Tokyo. Many hail from Argentina’s Ischigualasto Provincial Park, including the ...

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Stage

The Oxford University Drama Society offers a new take on Shakespeare’s controversial comedy

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Music

It’s a yoga session in three strums, says the ukulele evangelist

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Clubbing

The veteran DJ returns with an encyclopedic ode to dance music

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CDs & DVDs

Darwin Deez

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Agenda

Cuban powerhouse Los Van Van warm up for next weekend’s Isla de Salsa festival in Fukuoka with a set at bayside Studio Coast. Founded by bassist Juan Formell but now under the baton of his son, drummer Samuel, Los Van Van have been one of Cuba’s top attractions for 40 years. The group was the ...

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CDs & DVDs

Serotonin

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Artifacts

No one who visited the Lucie Rie exhibition at the National Art Center Tokyo recently could have failed to notice the prominent part played in the ceramic artist’s career by Hans Coper (1920-81). Like Rie, Coper was a Jew from Central Europe who escaped the Nazi takeover and the ovens of Auschwitz and found himself ...

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Agenda

Paris-based photographer Yuki Onodera’s works involve so much pre- and post-production as to raise the question of whether they are even photographs. The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography unlocks some of the secrets behind her work in a major new exhibition, “Onodera Yuki: Into the Labyrinth of Photography.” The self-trained artist’s staged, superimposed images first ...

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Cinematic Underground

World cinema fans won’t want to miss The Chinese Film Retrospective 2010 at K’s Cinema in Shinjuku on August 27 (3-35-13 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku; www.ks-cinema.com). Highlights include Beijing Bicycle (2001; pictured), about a poor boy from the countryside working as a messenger in Beijing until his bike is stolen, which won the Grand Jury Prize at ...

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Movie Reviews

In this wonderfully absurd distaff Bourne flick, a decorated CIA operative (Angelina Jolie) is fingered by a Russian defector as a deep undercover agent, planted as a child during the Soviet era in order to carry out a nefarious plan to bring down the United States by causing it to nuke Mecca or something. Out ...

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Eiga

Awaremi Mumashika calls to mind recent comedies by Satoshi Miki (Instant Numa) and Kankuro Kudo (No More Cry), in which oddball characters come together in wacky, convoluted situations that play out in a humorous, often anarchic manner. So it is in this farce by director Kentaro Matsuda, which was made last year but is just ...

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Movie Reviews

Surprisingly, and a little sadly, this awful flick about a flesh-eating, projectile-vomiting, demonically possessed teen queen was scripted by Oscar-winning Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody. But I don’t think even Ellen Page could have saved this amateurish shot at comedy/horror. The Body of the title belongs to Megan Fox (both Transformers), who attempts to add (literal) ...

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Movie News

Fourteen years after scoring a box office hit with Shall We Dance?, director Masayuki Suo is at it again with his new project, called Dancing Chaplin. The movie, based on a ballet inspired by the silent-film star, will be choreographed by 86-year-old dance legend Roland Petit. Suo says his aim is to capture the feel ...

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