||Fuji TV weatherwoman Aiko Kaito, 24, has been named the “PR character” for an association of automobile insurance companies, but admits she’s not good at making decisions while driving and that she sometimes needs help from her parents when turning at a corner… Singer Koji Tamaki, 50, and actress Mariko Ishihara, 45, got hitched earlier this month, several weeks after resuming a relationship that had ended 23 years ago. Ishihara revealed in her 2006 autobiography that she suffered from domestic violence at the hands of Tamaki during their previous relationship—while Tamaki was married to another woman… Model Ai Tominaga, 26, has denied a report in tabloid magazine Flash that she secretly got a divorce after her husband became angry about the bunny girl costume she wore at a party and requested her to apologize by kneeling and bowing until her forehead touched the floor. CB
American socialite Paris Hilton, 28, was back in Japan this month for her second visit in four weeks. Hilton was here to attend “Girls Graduation Night”—an event hosted and run by modeling students from Keio, Waseda and other universities. The big bash, held at No Name event space in Daimon, attracted more than 200 girls. A few lucky ones got to pose with the heiress. Hilton’s main purpose for visiting Japan was to promote Honey Bunch, a new clothing line created by luxury bag and accessory maker Samantha Thavasa, for whom she has been a “campaign girl” for a couple of years now. CB
Anti-smoking laws in Western countries may focus on the health effects of tobacco, but Japan’s regulators seem equally concerned with its potential for public nuisance. The result is a policy that, like Brad Pitt’s Benjamin Button, appears to be developing in reverse. While nicotine fiends in London, Paris and New York now have to go outside to indulge their filthy habit, in Tokyo the opposite is true. Light up in a restaurant, bar or café? Go ahead, buddy. Have a cheeky puff in the streets of Shinjuku or Shibuya? That’s a finable offence. From April 1, life will be getting even tougher for the tobacco crowd, as JR summarily bans smoking on station platforms in Greater Tokyo, thus guaranteeing the antipathy of at least 50 percent of the city’s harassed salarymen. Look on the bright side, though: there’ll always be Doutor.
One of Tokyo's most auspicious recent debuts wasn’t made by a boy band or tarento. Rikishi shiru (“sumo wrestler stickers”) have been appearing all over Omotesando, Roppongi, Harajuku and Ginza, though nobody seems to know what they’re supposed to mean or who’s been sticking them up. One theory says that the odd and slightly creepy faces—many of the illustrations vary slightly in shape and form—are the work of a shadowy local graffiti artist named QP (a.k.a., La Querencia Peligrosa). Look for them on a light pole, mailbox or phone booth near you.
scene around town
|What: Tuna tartare with cucumber curry sauce
Who: Alex Gares, executive chef of Lasarte, Hotel Condes de Barcelona
Where: “The Art of New Spanish Cuisine” at the Four Seasons Hotel, Marunouchi
When: Fri, Mar 27 - Wed, Apr 8
For more info, see Word of Mouth.
|Photo courtesy of the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi
pseudo-eigo - Special World Baseball Classic edition!
The latest innovations
Meaning: RBI hit
Origin: “inside course” (?)
Meaning: inside pitch
Origin: four ball
Origin: dead ball
Meaning: hit by pitch
Origin: touch up
Meaning: to tag up
Meaning: night game
Origin: ground or goro goro, the sound of thunder
Meaning: ground out
Origin: cold game
Meaning: a mercy rule in which a team leading by a large margin is awarded a victory
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