Metropolis Magazine
Issue #805 - Friday, Aug 28th, 2009
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Actress Aya Ueto, 23, says she’d like to have a bunch of children one day. “Ideally I’d like five, but I only want to go through the pain once, so they’ll have to be quintuplets”… Singer Hitomi Shimatani, 28, will “marry” one lucky man chosen via lottery in late April. The winner will take part in a mock wedding ceremony, at which rings will be exchanged and photos taken of the couple in a tuxedo and wedding dress. No kissing the bride, though… Hello Kitty maker Sanrio Corp will release a new version of the popular character dressed up like rock band X Japan, complete with makeup and costumes. CB

TARO FUJIMOTO/JAPAN TODAY

tarento watch

“Gravure” model and TV personality Sayaka Isoyama, 25, announced that she’s trying to lose fat in her thighs, upper arms, hips and belly using the Core Rhythms dieting method. “I think there is a fine line between chubby and fat,” said Isoyama, who calls herself “a representative of the chubby.” Core Rhythms is an aerobic workout that utilizes Latin dance moves. During the press conference, comedian Rie Kuwabata, who lost weight through a Core Rhythms diet last year, measured Isoyama’s girth. “She really needs to lose weight,” Kuwabata said. Isoyama’s progress will be monitored at http://kubireru.jp. CB


fascination with…

…retro

We’ve all heard of the keitai novel, but how about a postal novel? The new service from publishers Futabasha (www.futabasha.co.jp) is for those who enjoy “the pleasures of waiting” in today’s world of instant gratification. The first work to be serialized and snail-mailed is Naoki Award-nominated author Kotaro Isaka’s Bye-Bye, Blackbird, a reworking of Osamu Dazai’s final, unfinished novelette, Good-Bye. The story will be mailed out in six parts over several months… Retro gamers will want to check out Game Hakubutsukan, just opened near Itabashi-Honcho station (www.dgm.hmc6.net). The museum/arcade houses ¥10 machines like Piccadilly Circus, the Shinkansen Game and Mario Roulette… For an old-timey drinking spot, stop by Akasaka Koji, a soon-to-be-unveiled retro “hidden alley” where Tokyoites can drink, sing and mingle in the night air. See Word of Mouth (p. 37) for more info.

Photo: Eric

scene around town

Title: Teenage Fan Club #11
Artist: Teppei Kaneuji
Exhibit: “Melting City/Empty Forest”
Venue: Yokohama Museum of Art, through May 27
Info: www.yaf.or.jp/yma; http://teppeikaneuji.com



disclaimer

Photo by Kohji Shiiki
*Metropolis is not, in fact, devoted to skinny lattes


handout

At the time of writing, PM Taro Aso’s controversial ¥2 trillion cash benefit scheme (teigaku kyufukin) has already begun to roll out across the country—though bets are off as to when exactly it’ll start in Tokyo. Locally registered foreign residents are also eligible for the one-off ¥12,000 handout (which rises to ¥20,000 for those aged under 18 or over 65, as of February 1). Like vultures circling above a fresh carcass, numerous companies have been quick to concoct special kyufukin deals, designed to relieve consumers of their government-mandated pocket money in one fell swoop. Here are just a few…

Overnight stay at an onsen resort, JTB
(http://dom.jtb.co.jp/yado/theme/kyufu)

All-inclusive golfing package, Resol golf resorts (www.resol.jp)

4 person yakiniku course, Marukatsu in Koenji (3F, 3-67-1 Koenji-Minami, 03-3338-5777)

Meal for two at Chinese restaurant Royal Ryuho, Rihga Royal Hotel (www.rihga-tokyo.co.jp)

Brand goods fukubukuro (¥10,000), Seibu department stores (www2.seibu.co.jp)

sun stroke

Courtesy of Asahi Kasei

PET bottles never looked so good! Earlier this month, chemical company Asahi Kasei unveiled its Sunplay line of swimsuits, which are made of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (the stuff used for plastic bottles, to you and me). The company says the fabric has a gentler environmental footprint than normal swimwear, while also being quick to dry and having “a high level of elasticity.” But here’s the info you really care about: the model on the left is Ayumi Kura, a 20-year-old Aichi native whose hobbies include snowboarding and cooking. Eighteen-year-old Shi Weng Lu, from Heilongjiang in northeastern China, enjoys athletics and music. www.asahi-kasei.co.jp


ketchi corner

“10 minutes. Just cut.” That’s the pledge of QB House, a discount barbershop chain whose haircuts are the sartorial equivalent of a Yoshinoya beef bowl. The stylists are certainly with the program: you can calculate almost to the second how long you’ll have to queue by counting the customers, dividing by the number of haircutters, and multiplying by ten minutes. As its motto suggests, QB House offers no-frills service, and some of the 396 locations around the country have notices warning foreigners that no English is spoken. But don’t let that stop you: just say “Kono mama de mijikaku” (Cut it like this, but shorter) and do a lot of pointing. www.qbhouse.co.jp

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