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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

star struck

Woman of substance
From BEWITCHED to THE DA VINCI CODE, actress Ryoko Yonekura leads a busy life
By Chris Betros and Chie Masuda

Nathan Shanahan

Ryoko Yonekura often gets fan letters from young
women who wish they could be strong like the characters she is famous for playing in TV dramas. “You have to be strong to work in the entertainment industry,” says the 29-year-old actress, “because there are always going to be paparazzi and people talking behind your back.” Besides her dramas and variety shows, Yonekura makes TV commercials (currently for Nissin Asian noodles) and numerous promotional appearances. She also spent a year from July 2003 as goodwill ambassador between Japan and South Korea.

Today, she is cheerful and confident for her first interview with English media. Born in Kanagawa, Yonekura studied ballet from the age of four and seemed destined for a dance career. However, in 1992 she won membership in the Bishojo Club, a troupe of starlets with celebrity potential. “I had to give up ballet because I had to go all over Japan for a campaign for Kirin beer.” In recent years, she has concentrated on TV rather than movies. “I have to be a little pickier about taking roles in movies rather than soap operas because movies are either hit or miss,” she says. Last year, she scored two successes with the Japanese version of the popular ’60s-’70s US comedy series Bewitched and Kurokawa no Tetcho (in which she played a Ginza hostess club owner). “For Bewitched, I watched the whole American series. I tried not to imitate Elizabeth Montgomery because we are different in race, culture and character, and there is no way I can be like her.”

One of Yonekura’s latest interests is The Da Vinci Code, which she hosted a special about for Fuji TV. She has a big picture of the Last Supper hanging in her bedroom, and as a true Da Vinci Code fan, she has been looking more closely at it to see if there is a woman hidden in the scene. Although she is not religious, Yonekura said: “I recently went to a church in New York, and was impressed that lots of people were so devoted in their prayers. Christ is dead now, so how do people know he is God?”

Beyond showbiz, Yonekura has become interested in Japan-Korea relations. “When I was a goodwill ambassador, I met the South Korean president. Although I cannot do anything about politics, maybe I can do something to make the relationship better at a grassroots level. When I talk to Korean people, I feel we are communicating, so I wonder why we can’t do the same thing at the governmental level.”

In the future, Yonekura hopes to do musicals and resume her dancing. “I feel alive when I dance,” she says. Typically, Yonekura begins her day quite early. If she is shooting a drama, she has to be at the studio as early as 5am some mornings. When she’s not filming, she goes to the gym, enjoys the theater, and plays with her puppy. She also likes cooking and loves sweets. “I love anko. But I’ve been trying not to eat any chocolate, and it’s been more than a month. If I get to heaven, the first thing I’m going to ask God is: ‘Do you serve good food here?’”



Up from Down Under and Ready to Bite

Crocmasters Dingo and Taipan are in Japan hoping to break into the pro wrestling circuit.

Where are you from?
Darwin, Australia, but we’ve spent a lot of time going walkabout in the bush, wandering around and wrestling crocodiles. So I think you could say we are from everywhere and nowhere.

When did you start wrestling?
We’ve been fighting and wrestling all our lives. When you grow up in the harsh Australian swamps you pretty much have to fight just to get food, so it’s something that is like second nature to us. A Japanese wrestler saw us in Darwin and said we would be great in Japan as pro wrestlers. We thought “Hell, why not, mate?” So here we are.

Have you been in Japan before?
This is our first time here, so we want to show that we can wrestle with the best of them in Japan. We don’t have a set date for when we’re leaving; we’ll be here as long as it takes to be seen by a major wrestling company or whoever wants to give us a chance.

Do you like it?
We love it, especially the raw fish. That’s what we live on back home. We would catch a live barramundi with our bare hands and just eat it. Yum, mate. We’re big on spirituality and aboriginal culture back home in Australia, and we’re also part of the Zulu Nation. We know Japan has a lot of history, so we would like to see the temples.

How do you prepare for a fight?
Just like when we wrestle crocs, we meditate before going into battle to become one with our spirit animals and the heavens.

Tell us about your names.
Dingo and Taipan were given to us at birth. They represent our spiritual animals. Everyone has a spiritual birth animal; you just have to seek it out.

What philosophy do you live by?

We eat hard, we drink hard, we train hard and we wrestle hard. Just try stopping us!

Tell us something surprising that people don’t know about you.
Dingo’s thighs are stronger than Bob Sapp’s. Hahaha, it’s true. Hooowwwl, it’s Croc and Rock time, mateys! www.crocmasters.com NU

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