Metropolis Issue 856

August 20, 2010
In Other News

Pop singer Noriko Sakai, 39, who was convicted of stimulant drug use and possession last year, has divorced Yuichi Takaso, 42, who was also convicted on the same charges… J-pop superstars Smap will perform in Shanghai in October, making their first overseas appearance as a group… Exotic dancer Minako Komukai, 25, performed a bondage show ...

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Cancer

It’s easy to get distracted by all the new things going on in your life. There are changes running in every direction this week as the past gets unearthed. While joint accounts, shared expenses and inheritances may still be a mystery, follow your instincts at all times. The planet governing communication is retrograde. What you ...

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Photo of the Day

The never-ending bustle of Shinjuku. By Adrian Kumarasingham.

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Upfront Extra

As mainland Japan braces itself for typhoon season, we cast our eye back on the most notorious storms in the country’s history… Name: “Vera” (a.k.a. “Isewan”) Date: September 26, 1959 Worst hit: Nagoya area Casualties: Over 5,000 dead or missing, 39,000 injured Name: “Kathleen” Date: September 14-16, 1947 Worst hit: Kanto Casualties: Approx 1,900 dead ...

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Tarento Watch

Oops, spoke too soon. After announcing in January that she was hoping to tie the knot with her veterinarian boyfriend, actress Yumiko Shaku (The Divorce Syndrome), 32, is single again. Sources close to the couple said that the pair decided to split because they were too busy and barely had time to see each other. ...

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The Small Print

This week's required reading

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Leo

As the Sun leaves your Sign, Leos get a bonus or a boost. This places your ruling planet in the area of money. Having it may not bring happiness, but it’s a good substitute. Planning your weekend, career or future on what you do or do not have shows you where you are right now, ...

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Aries

If you’re prepared and ready to go… then go! Mercury is retrograde, so it’s possible you’ll experience delays (a.k.a. windows of reassessment). You’re on a positive track. Your ideas are sound, your instincts are in high gear, and you are destined for success. If you’re not prepared, do the math, get the maps, and dream ...

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Upfront Extra

When standard diplomacy fails, there’s always manga. The US military is attempting to win over the Japanese public with a slice of comic-book propaganda entitled Our Alliance—A Lasting Partnership (available at www.usfj.mil/manga). In the premiere edition, a bunny-eared tyke named Usa-kun squishes a cockroach to teach his Japanese friend Arai Anzu about the benefits of ...

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Virgo

No need to hold your breath, or maybe you think the sky is falling? It’s simply a matter of your ruling planet neatly backing out of where it placed itself recently. With Mercury retrograde, you get to rethink all those wonderful plans that would have thrown your life into disarray. No one would dispute that ...

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Star Struck

Cookies and charity keep Wally Amos a busy man

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Taurus

While you may be raring to make an investment, astrological motivation says “Wait.” With Mercury retrograde, there are all kinds of little details that someone forgot to include. Go with your gut reactions, and don’t let anyone sway you once your mind is made up (as if that needs to be said to a Taurus). ...

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Gemini

Giving yourself a chance to take a second look provides a smoother ride this week. With your ruling planet Mercury currently retrograde, delays are the norm (so bring a crossword puzzle or a Kindle, and your phone). Romance in the air? Without question! Saturn, Vesta, Venus and Mars in your house of love affairs beckon. ...

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Scorpio

Generally, Scorpios are behind-the-scenes players. You’re the astrological version of a stealth fighter. No one knows what you are planning until it’s happening. This week, another part of your makeup may be crying out a completely different tune: “Notice me—for I have power unimagined!” Pluto, your ruling planet, will back you up here. You have ...

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Body & Soul

Designer Serge Mouangue is reinventing the kimono

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Libra

Your talent in the balancing act department shows this week. You can hardly blame Mercury for being retrograde in your solar twelfth house. Before this planet resumes its course into Libra, it’s giving you time to consider the long-range effects of your plans. Do you really want to place yourself in the situation you long ...

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Capricorn

Things are not as impossible as they may seem. Your nerves may be rattled by not getting where you want to be (or with whom you might want to be). This is all part of Pluto’s plan. In order to reach personal and professional goals, all the extraneous possibilities have to be shaken out. Saturday, ...

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The Last Word

Or, the curious case of the missing centenarians

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Sagittarius

See yourself in the future as you would like your life to be. Then see yourself in that future now. The two will meld into reality before you know it. Don’t worry about past disappointments or losses. What you have now will grow into beauty before your eyes. Get ready for a trip. Take a ...

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Pisces

You have a special skill to manifest what you desire. Your ability to daydream is what gives you so much power. Sometimes people think Pisces isn’t “concrete,” as there is so much feeling associated with this Water Sign. However, the opposite is true. Pisces is all the stronger for emotion, which provides motivation. All the ...

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Upfront Extra

Even when the economy’s in the doldrums, there are some places that consumers just won’t go. When online magazine Business Media conducted a survey of ¥100 shop habits, the respondents reeled off a familiar list of frequently purchased items, with stationery (53.1 percent), kitchenware (43.1 percent) and candy (32 percent) scoring highest. But what about ...

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Features

Japanese porn stars fight HIV infection with a 24-hour telethon

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Aquarius

What everyone thinks this week may not necessarily be the truth. What is true is that Pluto connects to the transit of the Moon on Friday and Saturday, and deep feelings could be unearthed. A question: if you only had so much time to live, would you be doing something different right now? And how ...

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Upfront Extra

Things guys do that make you suspect a hidden agenda He gets really touchy-feely all of a sudden He pretends not to notice that it’s almost last train When walking me home, he asks if he can use my bathroom He says, “Next time, will you cook for me?” He wants to be alone with ...

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Upfront Extra

What: Midtown Water Works 2010 Where: Tokyo Midtown When: Nightly through August 29, 7:30 & 8:30pm How much: Free Why: The hanabi-inspired show “feature(s) spectacular streams of water with laser-light, mirror and smoke effects. Plus this year, a new splash area is open.” For more info, see http://meturl.com/waterworks

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Bites

Capcom CEO Kenzo Tsujimoto spent $100 million on his very own Napa Valley winery, enlisting the top-shelf talents of consulting winemaker Heidi Barrett and vineyard manager David Abreu to ensure the quality of the plonk. Kenzo Estate had its grand opening on July 1, and the general consensus seems to be that it’s really rather ...

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Bites

Non-alcoholic “beer taste drinks” were one of the big success stories of 2009, and consultants Fuji Keizai are predicting that the market will swell to ¥21 billion this year. Suntory and Asahi have just upped the stakes with their latest abominations—sorry, creations: All-Free (¥143) and W-Zero (¥138) both manage to cut not just alcohol but ...

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Bites

A century and a half after it was first created, Campari remains one of the most divisive drinks in the liquor cabinet. The bitter aperitif, prepared to a formula so secret that only three people know it, is celebrating its 150th anniversary in style this year. Get into the swing of things with one of ...

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Bites

Tokyo is far too short on outdoor drinking spaces, especially once the beer garden season has drawn to a close. So we can’t get enough of the seventh floor terrace at the Shin-Marunouchi Building, which draws a healthy mix of office workers, couples and out-of-towners to gaze out over the neighborhood’s latest construction projects. Order ...

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Bites

Suntory’s beer division had been in the red for 45 years when the company decided to release a brew that was more expensive than anything else in the conbini chiller cabinet. Even more surprising was that people actually bought it. So business journalist Osamu Katayama probably isn’t alone in asking, as he does in the ...

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Restaurant Reviews

Vegetables play a starring role at this Kagurazaka hideaway

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Dining Diary

Ginza’s atmosphere of recession-proof extravagance is perfectly suited to our destination tonight: Itamae Sushi. This well-known chain has several locations around town, but the new shop is all about the mariage of sushi and champagne. The menu features a range of bottles starting from ¥790 a glass all the way up to the venerable Krug ...

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Japan Beat

Four indie boys are out to prove that rock doesn’t have to be “pretty”

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Agenda

When Karl Hyde isn’t bringing down dancefloors as part of UK rave stalwarts Underworld, he’s busy churning out large-scale abstract paintings. The latest in a long line of cross-genre artists, Hyde has actually been active in visual arts for years as part of Underworld’s design collective, Tomato. “What’s Going on in Your Head When You’re ...

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Agenda

Function has always trumped form in Japanese architecture, but young talents are now creating spaces freed of purely practical demands. The new generation employs futuristic materials in a way that restores Japanese architecture’s traditional respect for nature. Intended to provoke debate about the future of Tokyo, this exhibition is the brainchild of emerging architect Sou ...

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Agenda

After decades of planning, the government is finally set to drive a stake through the heart of Shimokitazawa in the form of a major new roadway. “Shimokita Is Dead?” is a two-day last-ditch effort to preserve the bohemian area’s charming warren of alleys and shops, with a talk featuring academics, activists and writers scheduled for ...

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Sports

Local ballers struggle to stand tall

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Agenda

Four years after bringing its offbeat ethnic-dub fusion to the world, Oki Dub Ainu Band now returns with a follow-up album and tour. Bandleader Oki is not only a highly educated ambassador for the tonkori, the three-stringed instrument of northern Japan’s aborigines, but also an outspoken voice for their traditions. His latest, Sakhalin Rock, sees ...

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Agenda

Set in a Dominican neighborhood in New York, In The Heights is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway exploration of the trials and tribulations of working-class Latinos. The show won Best Musical at the 2008 Tony Awards and is slated for a movie adaptation next year, and the Japan production is its first foray overseas. In The Heights ...

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Live Reports

Chiba Marine Stadium and Makuhari Messe, Aug 7-8

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Movie Reviews

The plot barely exists, the dialogue’s dumb, the characters are shallow, the action’s pointless, and it lacks the smallest trace of intellectual stimulation. Hey—it’s Sex and the City for males! This mildly entertaining two hours of preposterone-fuelled, compacted trash is based, of course, on the cheeseball ’80s TV show starring George Peppard and Mr. T. ...

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Cinematic Underground

She hasn’t appeared in a film since 1973, but Brigitte Bardot’s blonde tresses and alluring pout are still inextricably linked with classic French cinema. From August 28 through September 28—the actress’ 74th birthday—Shinjuku theater Musashino-kan (3-27-10 Shinjuku; http://shinjuku.musashino-k.jp) pays tribute with screenings of five Bardot films from her heyday in the ’50s. Highlights include …And ...

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Movie Reviews

The original movie, a 2001 CG-lips-on-talking-animals flick, was so forgettable that I recently watched the entire thing on DVD, thinking it was this charmless sequel, and not a single frame rang a bell. This ain’t no Babe. I’m not even going to go into the plot, since there’s nothing here for adults save numerous 007 ...

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Eiga

Koji Wakamatsu’s films from the 1960s were plotless orgies of sex and violence (and sexual violence). They shocked, mystified and scandalized the entire country, never more so than when Affairs within Walls (1965) became one of the first Japanese films to be accepted at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival. In fact, Wakamatsu’s entire oeuvre reflects ...

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Movie News

Actress Miki Nakatani, 34, will once again play the role of an “unfortunate woman” in the upcoming movie Hankyu Densha, which deals with people whose lives intersect on the Hankyu Imazu railway in Hyogo. Nakatani’s character is a 30-something OL whose fiancé is stolen by a younger coworker. The actress played a similar role in ...

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