Metropolis Issue 861

September 24, 2010
Leo

There may be twists and turns when it comes to a relationship or its aftereffects this week. Expect surprises. Making final decisions may not be the goal—just getting through it will be enough. Communication and speaking from the heart are especially effective. Saturn and the Sun create a foundation you can rely on. Pluto in ...

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Upfront Extra

Audiences got their first glimpse of Tran Anh Hung’s hotly anticipated adaptation of Norwegian Wood at the Venice Film Festival this month. But could the Oscar-nominated director capture the spirit of Haruki Murakami’s hit 1987 novel? Here’s what the critics had to say… “…a beautifully mounted, dramatically inert study of some attractive young Japanese men ...

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Star Struck

Activist Ric O’Barry has come a long way from his days as Flipper’s trainer

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The Small Print

This week's required reading

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Mediabox

Beat ’Em Up Regarding “Power Play” (Feature, September 10): I hope that DREAM succeeds in expanding. In the US, we have the UFC, which caters to bloodsport morons and has some of the most boring fights around. DREAM and Pride were awesome organizations, and I’d love to see DREAM expand into the US (perhaps through ...

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Capricorn

There is a quality to Capricorn that wants to get the job done well, and then see a reward for their efforts. You are known for being steady and trustworthy, so it’s galling when Pluto rearranges your schedule and you have to wait for your next opportunity. Although things are moving slowly now, they’ll soon ...

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Taurus

Hunkering down during the Taurus Moon Saturday and Sunday may be just what you need. If you’ve been busy, making time for a little indulgence takes the edge off all that responsibility. If you’ve not been so busy, a spa, meditation or a movie and dinner reminds you what you’re here for. Pluto is in ...

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Virgo

This week, you’re better off following your heart instead of looking at the details and lacing them into possibilities. Wondering where it all leads could create a labyrinth in a place where there doesn’t need to be one. Your ruler Mercury, which governs thoughts and ideas, is in Virgo. This is a wonderful time to ...

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Features

After a life of crime, drug addiction and violence, former yakuza Tatsuya Shindo turns to Christ… and wants to bring his former gang members with him

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The Goods

There was a time when being hooked on the instant gratification of Polaroid photographs meant going broke on film. Enter Fujifilm’s range of Instax cameras, which allow users to indulge in instant images without driving themselves to destitution—the company’s instant film costs a trifling ¥750 per pack, as opposed to the ¥1,980 charged by Polaroid. ...

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Aquarius

It’s far easier to think a process through than to get everyone to agree to it. You can see the final achievement with your mind’s eye, but what steps need to happen to get there? Breathe easy—the story has already begun. It’s just a matter of being gentle to yourself about the things you can’t ...

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Q & A

Pie Guy

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Aries

You can create your future by choosing your priorities. This may sound obvious, but with the upcoming transit of Uranus into Aries, the better your foundation is now, the more successful you’ll be. Once things really get going, there will be twists and turns amid much happy excitement. There’s an Aries Moon on Friday which ...

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Scorpio

Is there someone near you who’s not playing by the rules? This could be a distraction, as Jupiter and Uranus, both retrograde, tend to bring changes, especially when it comes to romance. You could stand firm, but it will probably be more helpful to go with the flow. That way, you have energy left for ...

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Upfront Extra

Wayne Henderson of The Jazz Crusaders performing at Tokyo Jazz 2010 on September 5. For a complete report, see http://meturl.com/live.

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Gemini

Geminis aren’t known for being super serious. You love people, keeping busy with those whom you enjoy. At the same time, a Gemini can be an astute investor. Right now, with the Sun approaching Saturn in your house of speculation, you may pull back from anything risky. By following your heart, you actually increase your ...

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Libra

Balancing family, work and love is a journey for everyone. All the more so for you, because you feel the needs of others so acutely. Whatever mental maneuvers you’ve made around your current situation, you may still choose to follow your intuition over logic. The Sun in early Libra brings about birthday celebrations for those ...

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The Goods

Super cute with a sinister twist—that’s the specialty of artist Yoshitomo Nara, whose alternately charming and creepy creations expose violent undercurrents in Japan’s kidult pop culture. Take Soran-chan, for instance: though a little lighter than Nara’s usual fare, she still manages to balance the bitter with the sweet. Simply lift up her blue hair to ...

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Upfront Extra

Kazuo Jibiki says: “Located in the heart of Tokyo, Biotope Enokizaka is a new ‘third-space concept’ that combines the resources of a state-of-the-art business center with the relaxing, communal environment of a coffeehouse. It offers mobile workers a comfortable, professional environment complete with designer chairs, a variety of workspaces and meeting facilities, computers with secure ...

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The Goods

Okay, office supplies aren’t usually known for having mouth-watering properties. Yet these sushi-themed memo pads—brought to you by the creative minds at Tokyo’s Mr. Design Inc.—are realistic enough to whet the appetites of kawaii stationery freaks and foodies alike. Each pack offers four delicious options: tamago, maguro, salmon and toro. Line them up on your ...

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Cancer

Fiery Mars and loving Venus get very close to each other before their exact conjunction next week. Translated: this is a time for love to get hot and heavy. However, if you’re not invested in that way, it’s also a fantastic time to move up the ladder on a creative project, get an excellent deal ...

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Pisces

Bobbing up and down in the sea of equanimity and compassion is something you do well. However, this has a tendency to affect your timeline when you wait too long to take action. Are you a study in contradiction this week as you try to do everything on your own? Perhaps the dreams that became ...

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Tarento Watch

The three winners of the 7th annual Beauty Week Awards were announced earlier this month in Tokyo. Actress Shiori Kutsuna, 17, won in the 10-19 age group; actress Shihori Kanja, 24, took the honors in the 20s group; and TV personality Maomi Yuki, 30, represented women in their 30s. The ceremony is held each year ...

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In Other News

Scandal magnet Erika Sawajiri, 24, took the top place in a recent survey of the celebrities who had received the most air time on TV so far this year, with over ten hours of coverage… Popular actress Keiko Kitagawa (Buzzer Beat), 24, who stars in a TV commercial for Asahi’s new Kutsurogi Shikomi happoshu, says, ...

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Upfront Extra

What do you do when you’ve got a crush on a coworker?* Women Flash my smile (29.7%): The direct approach is too difficult; a smile is about all I can manage Ask for help when I don’t understand something (26.3%): Guys like to feel like you’re depending on them Say “Hi” every morning (25%): It’s ...

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Sagittarius

The choices you make this week will either delay or embrace the inevitable. There may be something you’ve been waiting for which just will not show up. Letting go for awhile and viewing new scenery may be exactly what is needed to encourage progress in all areas of your life. Pluto is promising to change ...

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Photo of the Day

A view of Mt. Fuji from Yokohama’s foreign cemetery By Joe Oilei Naulu.

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The Last Word

Compared to the dysfunctional American system, Japanese healthcare delivers the goods

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Upfront Extra

The beef tataki roll (¥1,600) is one of the many new dishes on the revamped menu at Rainbow Roll Sushi restaurant in Azabu Juban. See Restaurant Review for more info.

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Bites

Popular coffee shop Beck’s (www.jefb.co.jp/becks) greets the autumn season with a sweet new drink. The Maple Milk Coffee (¥350) comes with caramelized pecans, whipped cream and a maple-flavored biscuit—which, come to think of it, makes it more like a dessert than a cup of joe. If you’re looking for something a bit healthier, try the ...

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Bites

Autumn is here, and hotel chefs are celebrating the season with exquisite new sweets. At the Hotel Century Southern Tower (www.southerntower.co.jp), the South Court Lounge & Bar serves up a mont blanc made with French chestnuts and mascarpone cheese (pictured; ¥1,350). Available from October, the dish is limited to 20 servings per day… At the ...

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Bites

The newest entry in the crowded Shimbashi izakaya scene is Umanami-ya (2-9-17 Shimbashi, Minato-ku; http://r.gnavi.co.jp/e620714), which specializes in horsemeat from Aomori. Also highlighting the menu are dishes made with the renowned breed of chicken known as Shamrock. Raw fare includes a horseflesh sampler (¥1,800), yukhoe-style horse heart (¥700), sliced chicken breast carpaccio (¥880) and “sushi-style” ...

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Sake

Stuck for inspiration at the liquor store? Metropolis gets some expert advice

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Restaurant Reviews

An old favorite gets a new twist in Azabu-Juban

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Bites

Newly opened Uzumaki in Karasuyama introduces Tokyo diners to the culinary culture of Shikoku (2F, 4-12-4 Minami-Karasu-yama, Setagaya-ku; http://r.gnavi.co.jp/g439821). More than just an izakaya, the venue hosts instructional events like udon-making classes and awa dance lessons, as well as selling local produce (think soy sauce and yuzu-flavored miso). The food and drink menus feature Shikoku’s ...

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Bites

Until you’ve tasted the artisanal creations of François Pralus, you’ve never really tasted chocolate. Pralus, who hails from Roanne, is one of only three French chocolatiers who still make their products by hand directly from cocoa beans. He’s now brought his delicious sweets to Japan with his first boutique, located in the depachika of the ...

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Agenda

The use of shadows has been a key element in art since ancient times, but a comprehensive examination of the theme is difficult because techniques vary widely from era to era. The National Museums of Art—a grouping of five of Japan’s most important art institutions—take up the challenge with a show that runs the gamut ...

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Agenda

A leading figure in the struggle against apartheid, pianist Abdullah Ibrahim arrives in Tokyo to perform at one of the city’s finer concert halls. The Cape Town native, known in his early days as “Dollar Brand” for his habit of buying jazz LPs off US sailors, was discovered by Duke Ellington in the ’60s. Ibrahim ...

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Japan Beat

Japan’s music scene opens its arms to a foreign startup

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Books

Two Japan-based authors give chalk'n'cheese takes on the country

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Clubbing

The Manchester DJ saves her Japan debut for a brand-new club

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Agenda

The annual Brazilian film fest returns for its sixth installment at Euro Space in Shibuya. The program includes Luiz Villaça’s The Story of Me (above), about a strange encounter between a French researcher and a poor, institutionalized boy, and The Famous and the Dead, an award-winning film by festival guest Esmir Filho that follows a ...

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Agenda

A trip to the Uffizi Gallery is a must for any visit to Florence, but now you can see some of the museum’s masterpieces right here in Tokyo. The self-portraits in question come from the Vasari Corridor, a special space above the Ponte Vecchio designed by Uffizi architect and painter Giorgio Vasari. Launched in 1664, ...

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Agenda

During a visit to Japan in 2001, French dance titan Emmanuelle Huynh had an intuition that the process of creating ikebana is akin to composing a choreographic space. This led him to create Shinbaï, le vol de l’âme (“Shinbai, the stolen soul”), an unusual collaboration with ikebana artist Seiho Okudaira, who works in the traditional ...

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Eiga

With Japan’s AV industry cranking out approximately 20,000 new titles a year, the topic of women getting roped into the porn racket is ripe for investigation. Namae no nai Onnatachi, based on the bestselling memoir of the same name by Atsuhiko Nakamura, depicts how one young woman got involved in the industry. It’s a film ...

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Movie News

Tetsuya Nakashima’s Confessions, starring popular actress Takako Matsu, has been nominated as Japan’s candidate for the best foreign-language film category at the 2011 Oscars. Based on a bestselling novel, the movie is about a junior high school teacher, played by Matsu, who plots revenge on two of her students after they kill her young daughter. ...

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Cinematic Underground

A retrospective of the eternal rebel of Japanese cinema, Nagisa Oshima, will screen September 30-October 8 at Shin-Bungeiza in Ikebukuro (3F, 1-43-5 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku; www.shin-bungeiza.com). Highlights include Cruel Story of Youth (1960), a movie about teenage rebellion in a style influenced by the French New Wave, and the highly controversial In the Realm of the ...

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Movie Reviews

A high-powered New York lawyer, haunted by a near-death experience as a child, as well as by the SIDS death of his toddler son and subsequent separation from his wife, is approached by a spooky man known only as Dr. Kay, who claims to have the psychic ability to spot those who are not long ...

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