As previously reported, Hideaki Takizawa (滝沢秀明) of Tackey & Tsubasa has started the stage production "Takizawa Kabuki / 滝沢歌舞伎", which is directed by himself for the very first time, at the Nissei Theatre (日生劇場) since April 4.
However, on the first day, right before the performance, he was accidentally get cut on his right eyebrow and forehead with a 12mm-long laceration in the fighting scene during dress rehearsal. "It is bleeding. I got too intense and didn't notice that." said Takizawa who nonetheless stayed on the stage until the end of the rehearsal and then went to the hospital. However, later he appeared on the press conference with a band-aid, said with a smile: "It's not hurt anymore and I am totally OK now." and he played the intense actions in the production as scheduled by saying: "As the director, it's not an option to change the performance content because of injuries. I want to show the thing I made myself thoroughly."
In this work, because the traditional art of Kabuki is applied as the topic, "It is assumed that this stage production can offer an image of Kabuki which adapts to overseas audience, for example, USA audience. I have thought about the overseas performance in advance. And I want to show the great side of Japan to the entire world!" Takizawa revealed his ambition as a director.
The performance is composed with two sections. In the first section, there will be a scene with 40 people playing Japanese drums, as well as wire flying and fighting scene with doors and ladders. In the second section, he will become the Taira no Masakado (平将門), a samurai of Heian era, and perform in fight scenes and 4D flying scene which is used in Japan for the first time.
Takizawa just celebrated his 200th performances since the "Takizawa Enbujo / 滝沢演舞城". As the Zachou (chairman) and the director, he commented: "It's not only me who have finished 200 performances, but also the fans that have supported me. I want to celebrate with all of you." The finale of "Takizawa Kabuki" will be performed on May 8, and it is the 250th performances of Takizawa. "One little mistake will be a serious accident, so let's do our best till the end!" cheered Takizawa.
It is announced that Yui Aragaki (新垣結衣)'s new song "WALK" would be used as the theme song of the anime movie "Hutch, the honeybee (昆虫物語みつばちハッチ～勇気のメロディ～, Konchuumonogatari mitsubachi Hutch yuuki no melody)" which will premiere on July 31.
It's the first time that Aragaki's song is used as the theme song of a movie, and she commented: "I am full of the refreshing feeling!" Also, regarding to the 40th anniversary of Hutch, she said that she felt responsible. As to the lyrics of "WALK": "No matter how distant we fall apart, move forward and don't be lost.", Aragaki also commented: "It's quite fit the feeling that Hutch is moving forward to realize the dream and to find mother. It's the same for us, too. We should set a target and walk forward."
J-pop star Otsuka Ai (27) has canceled all upcoming professional engagements while she undergoes testing for suspected acute abdominal condition, which is often caused by appendicitis. Management for the popular singer said she was admitted to hospital yesterday after suffering severe pains, and they have canceled several scheduled radio appearances over the rest of the week.
Last month, it was announced that KAT-TUN member Jin Akanishi (25) is set to spend several months in the United States to further his solo career, meaning that he will be unable to participate in KAT-TUN's upcoming Asia tour. Now, it is being reported that he is also absent from the group's next single, "Going!," being released on May 12.
The song was recorded in late March, around the time of Akanishi's U.S. concert announcement. Because Akanishi will be missing from the group's tour and from any promotional events for the single, it was decided that the other five members would record the song without him.
Despite Johnny's Jimusho's statements to the contrary, there is much speculation that Akanishi is leaving KAT-TUN, fueled even more by this news. Akanishi is expected to stay in the U.S. until October, when his visa will expire, but he currently has no work scheduled after that. Sources say that there is a possibility of him making a long-term move to the U.S., but nothing has been finalized yet. In any case, it appears that Akanishi may eventually become an absentee member of KAT-TUN, even if he is not officially removed.
Akanishi's trip to the U.S. includes just three concerts in Los Angeles so far, but he is considering doing a club tour as well, as he has already received some offers.
Two of Japan's top actors are on board to provide voice-overs for the local version of Korean blockbuster drama "IRIS", according to Japanese daily newspaper Sankei Sports over the weekend.
Sankei reported Saturday that noted Japanese actors Fujiwara Tatsuya and Kuroki Meisa will lend their voices for the shows' two main characters, originally played by top Korean stars Lee Byung-hun and Kim Tae-hee.
The series, which premieres in Japan on April 21, garnered much publicity in Korea for its huge scale, global location shoots and a star-studded cast, led by Lee and including Jung Joon-ho, Kim Seung-woo, Kim So-yeon and Choi Seung-hyun, better known as T.O.P. from popular Korean idol group Big Bang.
Tatsuya, who will voice the male lead in the Japanese version of "IRIS", has starred in numerous television dramas and films, most notably the hit horror flick "Death Note" (2006).
Meisa, dubbing for Kim Tae-hee's role, is an actress, model and singer who has appeared in over a dozen TV series and movies including the Asian co-production film "Dance, Subaru!".
Rumor has it that comedian Masaru Hamaguchi (38) of the duo Yoiko is currently in a relationship with young actress Kana Kurashina (22). The two have reportedly been seen on multiple dates together around Tokyo.
Hamaguchi was previously reported to be in a relationship with idol Yuko Ogura (26), but they apparently broke up in 2008. At that time, it was said that Hamaguchi had a new girlfriend who was in her early 20s, and now it seems that the woman was Kurashina.
Sources say that Hamaguchi and Kurashina started dating around the summer of 2008. Because of Kurashina's busy schedule with her starring role in the NHK morning drama "Welkame," they were not able to see each other much last year, but they resumed their dating after the show finished filming this past February.
Neither side has commented yet on the rumor.
(Gossip) This spring Fuji TV is going to air the new dorama "Tsuki no Koibito" starring Kimura Takuya (37) Mondays at 9pm. At his side he is going to have three big actresses, Lin Chi-ling (35), Shinohara Ryoko (36) and Kitagawa Keiko (23). Lin is going to make her first appearance in a Japanese dorama and also helps Kimura to raise his popularity in Asia outside of Japan. Shinohara is making her big comeback to the dorama world and what would be better than a dorama with Kimura.
Now what about Kitagawa? There doesn't seem to be any particular reason for her to be in this dorama, especially not just as the third actress. The tabloid Shukan Bunshun, however, claims that her casting might be the aftermath of Sawajiri Erika's sudden discharge from her agency last year.
A media insider explained the situation: "Kitagawa has been in the talks for a starring role in a Fuji TV dorama this spring, but suddenly it was decided for her to appear in a supporting role next to Kimutaku. Her popularity is already high enough and she doesn't have to rely on someone like him to get good ratings, yet she has been casted as just the third actress in line for this dorama. She is said to be very dissatisfied with this decision."
Kimura and his staff usually are able to choose their favorite cast for his projects, but this time there might have been more bargaining going on than usual.
"It isn't just Kimutaku who does the casting, the relationship between his and other agencies have a big influence on the decisions as well. Johnny's are known for being very close with Stardust Promotions, that's why he already had actresses like Takeuchi Yuuko or Shibasaki Kou acting at his side. Kitagawa is from the same agency, but that's no reason to miss out a starring role for her just to get her in a Kimutaku dorama…," an industry official told the tabloid.
It might have all started with the casting for Kimura's "Space Battleship Yamato" last year. His side only made an unofficial offer, but it was obvious that they wanted Stardust's Sawajiri for the female lead. Unfortunately they decided to terminate her contract for all the trouble she has caused them and so he hurriedly had to choose Kuroki Meisa as her substitute.
"Everything would have worked out for Kimura Takuya with Sawajiri Erika at his side. The fact that her agency made a one-sided decision without caring about his project, they've allowed to become indebted to him. The two agencies might be close with each other, but it's an unwritten rule in the industry that you have to clear your debts. The result is that they had to pay it back by having their most popular young actress, Kitagawa Keiko perform in his new dorama no matter what big of a role," another industry official explained.
Do you think it is a waste for Kitagawa to be the third in line in a Kimutaku dorama or might she still gain something from his never-ceasing popularity?
Yukie Nakama (30) is taking on her first starring stage role since 2007, leading a play called "The Tempest." The play is being directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi, who was in charge of the "Trick" movies. Koji Yamamoto (33) and fellow "Trick" cast member Katsuhisa Namase (49) have also been cast.
"The Tempest" is based on a 2008 bestselling novel by writer Eiichi Ikegami. The story takes place in the late 19th century, during the reign of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Nakama plays a young woman who, for the sake of her country, poses as a eunuch to become an elite bureaucrat, while also dealing with problems as a woman. This is her first time having to play both a male and female character. Her supporting cast includes Yamamoto as her lover and Namase as her enemy.
Daisuke Habara is handling the script. Performances will start in February 2011.