The Small Print
Faces & Places
The Goods
Tech Know
Cars & Bikes
Arts & Entertainment
Japan Beat
The Agenda
Dining Out
Table Talk
Local Flavors
International Dining
Restaurant Review
Bar Review
The Last Word
Photo of the Week
About Us
Distribution Points




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

star struck

Patrick’s day
Funnyman Patrick Harlan fits nicely into the wacky world of Japanese entertainment
Text and Photos by Chris Betros

You can call the Japanese entertainment industry a lot of things, and some foreigners even call it a gold mine. It’s also a lot of fun for Patrick Harlan, or “Pakkun,” as the 34-year-old comedian is affectionately known, particularly due to the very popular NHK Monday night program Eigo de Shabera Naito (You Should Speak English), which he co-hosts with Yumiko Shaku, Kazuya Matsumoto and navigator Jon Kabira.

Originally from Colorado, Harlan studied comparative religion at Harvard before coming to Japan in 1996 to start his entertainment career. Despite very little Japanese ability, he persevered and formed a manzai comic act with Makoto Yoshida. In addition, Harlan hosts a J-Wave radio show, does ring announcing for K-1, and is the author of a number of books. Last year he did a Schick commercial and was recently named Fukui brand ambassador.

To foreign viewers, many Japanese variety shows seem ridiculous. “You can be on shows where they drop a watermelon on you or try the nipple car battery gag. It doesn’t look like something your average Harvard grad would do,” admits Harlan. “But it’s just a different format. A lot of foreigners don’t get Japanese TV. They think it is low quality crap.”

Harlan is one of a growing band of foreigners on Japanese TV. “Some are detested by the foreign population here, but some are extremely talented,” he says. “Before I got into the Japanese entertainment industry, I was a little embarrassed by foreigners on TV. I thought they didn’t know anything. Early on, I also would never turn down a job, no matter how degrading, so I can see how foreign people might see our cheesy work. Now I’m fortunate I can work as an actual entertainer and not just be a token white guy. I do wish, though, that there were more meaningful parts for foreign actors. It’s basically the English teacher or military snot, just caricatures.”

Eigo de Shabera Naito has raised Harlan’s profile among many Japanese. More importantly, the program has given him a chance to hone his comedic and interviewing skills. “I’m much more relaxed now and happy to be either the straight man or the funny guy,” he says. “At this point, the show has its own momentum. I get letters and emails from viewers saying how much it encourages them that I have managed to learn Japanese and that they’ll try the same way to learn English.”

So why don’t Japanese speak English better? “It’s a world of difference if you can just get over the inferiority complex and view each mistake as a treasure,” says Harlan. “Too many Japanese people have been told thousands of times that their English sucks. It’s been hammered into them. ‘Six years of English classes and you can’t order a hamburger in a McDonald’s in Hawaii?!’ The problem is they learn katakana English, which doesn’t help them learn proper pronunciation.”

Doing nearly 50 shows a year gives Harlan very little time off. “Every day is different. First thing in the morning, I check out what’s going on in the world via the Internet and watch the TV variety shows. They digest everything for you.” When he gets a chance, he plays volleyball or ping pong at a gym, enjoys jazz and is also into astronomy. “Yeah, I love looking at the stars.”



Lisle Wilkerson
Tokyo’s gossip goddess has some celebrity connections

Tall, blonde Lisle Wilkerson is hard to miss as she speeds around Aoyama on her mountain bike. But with jobs in music and radio under her belt and new projects in PR and on the net, she’s been a familiar face around the city for years.

How did you find yourself in Tokyo?
I grew up here so I had no choice. I was bamboozled.

Which job do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy all of them tremendously. I realize that I am really fortunate in that way. I recently started my own company, LW Entertainment, and I’m helping promote shows for Fox TV, which is perfect for me because I watch Fox all the time when I’m home. Honestly!

Who’s the nicest celebrity you’ve met?
Beyonce. She was such a sweet and warm person—a consummate professional.

What’s the web project?
A celebrity gossip and day-in-the-life column for a popular Japanese entertainment website called Cinema Café (www.cinemacafe.net/gossip).

And the radio spot?
It’s called “Channel Tokio” on J-wave. I introduce hot, juicy gossip in Japanese!

Are you fluent in Japanese?
Yes, I learned while growing up here. I still struggle with reading and writing, but I’m getting better.

Do you have any tips for learning the language?
Make friends with Japanese people. Find a passion related to the country and learn through that.

What do you do when you have time off?
Ha! I just started a company, so time off is unheard of.

What do you love most about Tokyo?
It is my home. Also the fact that I can go everywhere I need to by mountain bike. That’s very liberating.

Where is your favorite holiday spot?
Lake Nojiri in Nagano prefecture. There’s a “gaijin village” there where I have been going for summer vacation since I was 5 years old. That place is still my heart.

Hear Lisle in Japanese on “Channel Tokio” on J-Wave, Sundays 1:30-1:45pm. AV

Would you like to comment on this article? Send a letter to the editor at letters@metropolis.co.jp.