Starlet Yuko Takayama, 16, has been chosen as the Tokyo Fire Department's 2009 poster girl, a role seen as a step up the ladder for aspiring actresses… Singer/actress/model Anna Tsuchiya, 25, rides an elephant and frolics on the beach in Thailand in the new ad for Shiseido’s Anessa sunblock range… Miki Fujimoto, 24, former leader of pop group Morning Musume and popularly known as “Mikitty,” is engaged and will tie the knot with comedian Tomoharu Shoji, 33, of comedy duo Shinagawa Shoji, in July. CB
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Once upon a time, there was a horror movie about a giant snake called Anaconda. Somehow, it spawned three sequels, and parts III and IV have just slithered their way onto DVD in Japan. “Gravure idol” Natsuko Tatsumi, 21, promoted the release at a recent Tokyo event with a 1.3-meter snake draped around her neck and shoulders. ‘‘The films were so scary that I couldn’t watch them through to the end by myself,’’ Tatsumi told the media who, for once, were glad to keep their distance. ‘‘But there’s a reptile boom in Japan these days, and I think I could have a snake for myself, if it was cute.” CB
Notions of kamiza (“seat of honor”) and shimoza (“lower seat”) govern boss-worker relationships in a variety of situations, including:
Elevators The kamiza is on the left and to the rear. The area around the buttons is for the shimoza. Tip: Make sure that your boss enters the elevator before you, take a small bow, and stand close to the door.
Meeting rooms The seat farthest from the entrance is the kamiza, while the one nearest the door is the shimoza. Shared sofas are shimoza, one-person couches/seats are kamiza.
Taxis The rear driver’s-side seat is the kamiza. Note: when four people get in a taxi, the person up front next to the driver is the lowest ranked
Shinkansen/airplanes The window seat is the kamiza, the aisle seat the shimoza. Note: some people prefer the aisle since it’s easy to get in and out, so ask your boss for his preference
Source: L25 women’s magazine (http://l25.jp)
Spring is in the air: a time of renewal, fresh opportunities and a fevered onslaught of new tips from Japan’s fashion mags. As we try to unravel the nebulous concept of seme-kawa (er… “go-getter cutie-pie”?) being pushed by 20-something fashion bible CanCam, here are some of the more intelligible nuggets of wisdom doing the rounds this month.
I can change myself with “bangs power”!
All I want are clothes that make my body look fit!
Our verdict for the spring-casual look: only “tough & sexy” will do!
Designer bags are the only way to go!
Move on to the “smart and sophisticated” look!
scene around town
What: “Terminator Exhibition: Battle or Coexistence? Robots and Our Future” Where: National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), Odaiba When: Through June 28
Who: Adults (¥1,200) and kids (¥500)
Why: “With the appearance of a biped robot attracting people’s attention, and with pet robots and cleaning robots becoming common today, it has become possible to imagine a future where humans and robots coexist. In the Terminator series, many robots that become dangerous to humans are being portrayed, as well as robots that coexist with people.”
in the bag
You know the deal with online translators: they seem like they’ll be a big help, but then you actually use them and see the crap results. Now a new aggregator from http://7go.biz offers a modicum of utility. By compiling the results of 8-10 separate online translators—including the engines used by Excite, Livedoor and Yahoo! Japan—this service gives you a range of wordings to choose from. Translations are available in E-J and J-E. Here’s one example.
Tokyo is a developing city (3 results)*
Tokyo is the city where it is developmental (3)
Tokyo is a developed city
Tokyo is the city where it has become prosperous
Tokyo is an evolving city
out & about
We all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of… picnics. So says the Tokyo Picnic Club (www.picnicclub.org), a group of architects, designers and artists who banded together in 2002 to promote this basic right of city dwellers. The association even formulated 15 rules, like “Every day is a picnic day,” “No labor should be imposed on participants” and “Food can be simple, but should never be too easy.” In celebration of spring, the group is inviting Tokyoites to bring food, drink and have a “new style” picnic at Gallery Rocket in Harajuku from April 10-21. Visitors will also be able to view images from the group’s 2008 Picnopolis event in Newcastle and Gateshead in Britain.
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See exhibition listings (Harajuku/Aoyama) for details.
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