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776: Streep talk
775: World of difference
774: Shocks and Bonds
773: Viva La Revolución
772: Jacqui Bayne
768: Beyond the universe
767: Yasuhito Endo
766: Aroon Mahtani
765: Dr. Hidemi Akai
764: Badr Hari
763: Mizuki Kubodera
761: Patrick W. Galbraith
760: Jean-Pierre Felix
759: Philippe Grau
758: Emi Kashiwara & Elekiteru
757: Aura Virginia Chirculescu
756: Aaron Davis
755: Happy days
754: Bryan Au
753: Martin van der Linden
752: Qinggelete
751: Chuck Johnson
750: Mike Applegate (aka Magic Mike)
749: Yukie Kito
748: Steve Kaufmann
746: Samira Zarghami
745: Raising the Bar
744: Pierre-Gilles Delorme
743: David F. Hoenigman
742: Miwa Gardner
741: Kevin Cooney
740: Kyle Cleveland
739: JJ
738: Bruce Stronach
737: Yoichiro Dennis Ide
736: Mike Garrett
735: Hiroki Suehara
734: Rise and Shrine
733: Patrik Washburn
732: Michael Bumgardner
731: Patricia Bader-Johnston
730: Darin Maki
729: Hiroshi Fujimaki
728: Misha Janette
727: Jon Mitchell
725: Hokuto Konishi
724: Rita Lamah Hankach
723: Kisui Nakazawa
722: Angela Jeffs
721: Simon Wood
720: Yasuko Yokoyama
715: Jason Kelly
714: Dominica Serigano
713: Erik Gain
712: Genevieve Maylam
711: Masahiro Gono
710: Eikou Sumura
709: Eikou Sumura
708: Malcolm Thompson
707: Makiko Tsuji
706: Dominic Allen
705: Maria Heitanen
704: Beckie Cassidy
703: Jett Edwards
702: Yoshinobu Furuichi
701: Silvestre Jacobi
700: Jah-Light Sound System
699: Daniel Velazques
698: Lynne Charles
697: Eric Bragg
695: Susan Nichols
694: Anna Kunnecke
693: Kenneth Pechter
692: Kazu Wakui
691: Antonio Inoki
690: Hiroko Noguchi
689: Richard Bysouth
688: Eric Bjorndahl
687: Andrew Shuttleworth
686: Sayuri Suzuki
685: Yurie Hatanaka
684: Miogi Takii
683: Thierry Cohen
682: Ahmed M. Elmardi
681: Aya Kitagawa
680: Suzanne Ng and Yoriko Soma
679: Ricco DeBlank
677: Takenari Shibata
676: Kirk R. Patterson
675: Satoko Yahata
674: Flavia Nishimura
673: Ryo Shoji
672: Chip Eckton
671: Yuko Ito
670: Marja Kullberg
669: Laur Meyrieux
668: Slavomir Stanislaw Kowalewski
667: Ryan McGuire
664: Life force
663: Steve Marshall
662: Jeff Klein
661: Ahn Soon Han
660: Straight shooter
659: Marcello Pietrantonio
658: Glitterball 2006
657: Alison Roberts-Brown
656: Girl on the go
655: Rob Hoey
654: Kahori Ochi
653: Ed Wells
652: Haruka Orth
651: Laura Cook
650: Uleshka Asher
649: Full speed ahead
648: Katsumi Namekata
647: Top talent
646: No heels, no life
645: Joanna Roper
644: Lu Nagata
643: Kirill Konin
642: Gabriele Roberto
641: Carlos Gibbs
640: Blair Falahey
639: The Three Waiters
638: Simon Woodroffe
637: Tony Virili
636: Paul W. Creager
635: Randy Channell
634: Mari Takeuchi
633: Stephanie Schueller
632: Tara Tan Kitaoka
631: Katherine Mok
630: Bob Tobin and Hitoshi Ohashi
629: Tommy Kullberg
628: Toshio Nagashima
627: Eiko Kondo
626: Embrey Ramon Williams
625: Neil Day
624: Mong-Lan
623: Tor Hideki Kashio
622: Elizabeth Heilman Brooke
621: Louis Carlet
620: Theo Panagiotoulias
619: Lionel Gougne
618: Sarajean Rossitto
617: Christian Hassing
616: Kiho Takashima
614-615: David Wagner
613: Heather Stuart
612: Erica Angyal
611: Jack McLean
610: Fumine Yakumo
609: Yasutoshi Hirabayashi
608: Yoko Hijikata
607: Jim Frederick
605: Yuka Murakami
604: Chayne Ellis
603: Marco Antonio Nakata
602: Kicking Back
601: Stand by your man
600: Hero worship
599: The Candy man
598: Heart strings
597: Sweet and sour
596: Subtitle subtleties
595: The right moves
594: Mother’s day
593: The clone ranger
592: A career kicks off
591: Woman of substance
590: Final conflict
589: World Ready for ‘War’
588: Fun in the sun
587: New life for an old hero
586: Fun and games
585: Knockout punch
584: Patrick’s day
583: Marcia marches on
582: Brunch break
581: Kingdom come
580: Gentle as a beast
579: Prime time
578: Devil of a time
577: In first Gere
576: Bright spark
575: Rei of sunshine
574: A star is reborn
573: In search of geisha
572: Marshall law
571: In the Nic of time
570: Holding a grudge
569: Bourne again
568: Soap opera
567: Alexander and friends
566: Oceans apart
565: A night at the opera
564: Just joshing
563: McPain in the neck
561-562: Hanks for everything
560: Reading between the Klines
559: Risqué business
558: Sky highs
557: Korean boom
556: Queen Victoria
555: Glitter Ball
554: Peter Miller
553: Ralph Frehner
552: Dimension K
551: Tokyo Game Show
550: US Embassy
549: I, Robot Premiere
548: Mauve
547: Xterra Japan
546: Earth Celebration
545: Idée R-bar
544: Laforet Museum
543: Hara Museum
542: Fuji Rock Festival’04
541: Bunkamura Museum of Art

the scene

An annual reception to welcome new staff and their spouses

Clockwise from top left: Lt. Col. Marc Smith, Capt. Mark Welch and Cmdr. Rob Dahlin; FBI Bureau Chief Larry Futa, Aletha Gomez and Special Asst. to the Ambassador Janet Vulevich; Suzanne & Mark Davenport and Chad & Nicole Richman; Staff Sgt. Terry Grace and Sgt. Marshall Gentry of Yokota’s Final Approach jazz trio


star struck

Rising star
Only 19, Aya Ueto is in hot demand as an actress and celebrity spokeswoman
By Chris Betros

Every year, a new starlet emerges to be proclaimed by Japanese magazines and TV “wide shows” as the new “commercial queen.” At the moment, that title firmly belongs to Aya Ueto, who turned 19 on September 14. That was a big week for the squeaky-clean star, who not only was feted at a media bash attended by nearly a thousand adoring fans, but launched a photo book titled natural, and attended promotional events from Shinjuku to Saitama.

Ueto, however, is nonchalant about her fame. “I don’t think I’ve changed much,” she said at her party. Born in Tokyo, Ueto sgot her start in 1997, when she won the judges’ special award in the All-Japan National Beauty contest for girls. In Japan, such an award guarantees the winner countless product endorsements and guest appearances on TV variety shows such as Matthew’s Best Hit TV (the guy who was in Lost in Translation).

In 1999, she and some friends formed a pop band called
Z-1. She continued with her music career until 2001, when TV and advertising work started to prove more lucrative. This year, Ueto is advertising products for ten companies, including a vitamin drink alongside Yong Joon Bae, star of the hit Korean drama Winter Sonata. According to advertising agencies, Ueto’s contract price is ¥45 million this year, with the biggest deals coming from Otsuka, Kao, Nisshin and Fuji Photo Film.

In July, Ueto was also given the dubious title of “Natto Queen,” and most recently fronted a campaign for National Road Safety Week. “That’s something I have always been conscious of since I saw a horrific accident two years ago,” she said. Currently, Ueto’s beaming face can be seen hawking Lotte chocolates on a 7-meter x 2-meter screen near Shinjuku Station and promoting the Cocoon shopping mall in Saitama. “I used to go there often when I was little, and now to see my face on those big billboards is really something,” gushed the 162cm-tall star.

While ads keep her busy, Ueto is concentrating her efforts on her acting. Last year, she took on the difficult role of a high school student struggling with a sexual identity disorder in the TV drama Kinpachi Sensei. She followed that up with her big-screen debut as the title character in Azumi, a violent feudal-era drama that screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Ueto played a woman raised from birth with nine other orphans to become assassins, and has already completed the sequel, Azumi II.

Now that she has turned 19, Ueto said she can’t wait to become an adult (20 in Japan). “I kind of look at this year as the last year of my teens,” she said at her birthday party. “Of course, I think I’ll still be the same me inside next year.”

Credit: Oscar Promotion




Nobara Hayakawa

From the OL-Diary Project series, by Nobara Hayakawa

A self-described student of The Royal Institute of Friendships and permanent lecturer at The Institute of Mistakes and Indecision, Colombian-born Nobara Hayakawa has a flair for inventiveness. The 31-year-old artist (http://nobara-net.com) first came to Tokyo in 2000 as a Monbusho scholar and has since earned her master’s in visual communication from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Besides her day job as an office lady, Hayakawa is busy preparing for a joint show with her mother from October 10-16 at Akasaka’s Gallery Saka.

How would you describe your art?
Not very serious, not quite finished, mmm... not art. It’s more like a struggle between my desire to do things and the awareness of the futility of what I do.

How did you end up as an artist?
I studied graphic design, thinking it’d be an ideal way to balance creation and survival. But somehow it seems easier to me, both mentally and emotionally, to separate completely those two aspects. So I work on my projects, and survive as an OL.

Why did you come to Japan?
I’d say I was curious about my roots. But the truth is I like seeing places. Any reason is good enough!

What’s it like being an office lady?
I was a housewife once and now I work in an office. I guess I’m fulfilling my childhood dream of being an actress by exploring many ways of life. Any unknown situation is a great source of inspiration and there’s always something to learn from it.

How does Tokyo compare to Bogota?
In Bogota I always know where the north is. And the bread is always crusty.

What’s your dream show?
I’d have to sleep on this one.

Tell us about your upcoming show.
I’m having a little show with my mother, in a small gallery in Akasaka. We’ve called it “Continuity.” She paints about seeds and rebirth. I’m working on my roots.

Tell us about your mother.

Her name is Nobu Takehisa. She is Japanese but a long time ago fell in love with Colombia, where she still works and lives. Hers is an entire family of artists (her grandfather was Takehisa Yumeji, who was a popular painter during the Taisho period). In that sense I think I’m a pioneer. I might be the first OL in the family! TML