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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

A career kicks off
Japanese-American singer Beni Arashiro’s star is on the rise
By Chris Betros

Courtesy of NFL Japan

If you are at Tokyo Dome on Aug 6 for the NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Indianapolis Colts, you’ll see 19-year-old Beni Arashiro singing the national anthems of Japan and the United States before the game and taking part in a special performance at half-time. In just 14 months, Arashiro has gone from unknown student to recording artist (with five singles), TV ad campaign girl for Kose cosmetics and Glico confectionery as well as ambassador for the NFL in Tokyo.

“When I was a little girl, I never dreamed I would be a singer or even in showbiz,” says Arashiro who speaks fluent English. “Actually, I wanted to be in the FBI, or I thought I’d become a lawyer. But I always liked music. I have played the piano since I was six.” Born in Okinawa to an American father and Japanese mother, Arashiro moved back and forth between Japan and California. She completed her high school education in Kanagawa and is currently studying political science at Sophia University. Her debut into the Japanese showbiz world came two years ago when her mother encouraged her to enter the Bishojo Club (a nationwide contest whose winners go into the modeling and celebrity worlds). “Being a hafu, I didn’t think I’d do any good, but I thought it would be fun to give it a try,” she recalls. To her surprise and delight, she was chosen.

Arashiro, who everyone calls Beni-chan, says she has no problem with the term hafu. “I remember some people used to call me a ‘double,’ but I had no idea what they were talking about. I have both cultures in me and am proud of both. I guess I am more Americanized, though. My English language skills are stronger and I prefer English interviews because I can express myself better.” That’s one of the reasons the NFL asked her to be its ambassador in Tokyo. She recently went to the States to promote the Tokyo Bowl and did some interviews on TV. Performing in front of the Tokyo Dome crowd will be her biggest stage to date. “I love American football and really want to see the game but I know that up until half-time, I’m going to be so nervous,” she says.

For the near future, Arashiro plans to concentrate on her singing career. All five of her singles so far have been in Japanese. “I haven’t done a full CD of English songs yet. I am beginning to write my own lyrics. I’m better at doing that in English than Japanese. For now, I am still trying to find my own style.” She is also serious about finishing her studies. “When I am not at work, I study. I just finished exams last week. My schedule can get really hectic. Some days at the studio, as soon as I am done recording, I take out my laptop and do assignments.”

On the rare days when she doesn’t have to work, Arashiro likes soccer, hip-hop dancing, shopping, watching movies and, last but not least, she is a big Harry Potter fan. “Of course, I got the sixth book last week, but I’m still on the 4th one. I have to catch up this summer.”

NFL Tokyo 2005, Aug 6, Tokyo Dome. See sports listings for details.



Rie Kihara
It’s all in the beans

Chris Betros

Next time you’re at the Hilton hotel, drop by Rie Coffee in the basement shopping arcade for some gourmet coffee or a mango smoothie. You might even see Rie Kihara herself, if she’s not out and about selling coffee beans to various restaurants, cafés, offices, embassies and organizations.

How did you get into the coffee business?
About 12 years ago, an American friend introduced me to flavored coffee. I thought it was great and so did many of my Japanese friends.

When did you form your company, Rie Coffee?
Eight years ago, but I opened this outlet here at the Hilton four years ago. This is our only shop because I focus on selling coffee beans to restaurants, cafés, offices, the American Club, the ACCJ and so on.

What makes your coffee so good?
We use selected beans and carefully roast each one to bring out its unique flavor. Then we add our own specially developed flavors to give it a rich taste and aroma. We spend hours tasting and evaluating each sample.

What else are you selling?
We are an official importer of the gourmet chocolate Ghirardelli.

How do you market yourself?
I’m sometimes on the QVC 24-hour global shopping channel. We advertise in food magazines. I sponsor some events, such as church charity functions, seminars, etc.

Do you serve behind the counter?
Sometimes. I like to keep my hand in. I have a barista’s certificate.

Do you check out your competition?
Of course. I like to see what they are offering, but I don’t really compete with them.

How many cups of coffee do you drink each day?
At least five, starting with three huge mugs in the morning.

You can order coffee beans, coffee services, gift items and other products from Rie Kihara online at www.riecoffee.com CB

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