Metropolis Magazine
Issue #805 - Friday, Aug 28th, 2009
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tarento watch

SATOMI HONDA

Cast members from the upcoming running movie Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru (“A Strong Wind is Blowing”) donned their uniforms for a recent promotional event in Tokyo. The flick follows ten college students with completely different personalities and backgrounds who go through rigorous physical training with the goal of securing a spot in the Hakone Ekiden, a famous annual university street relay. Among the actors is American Dante Carver, who is well-known for his role in the popular Softbank Mobile commercials. Keisuke Koide, who plays the leader of the team, is also currently appearing in the hit film Gokusen. Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru premieres October 31. Satomi Honda



Two villains from the Kamen Rider franchise—Jigoku Taishi (“Ambassador Hell”) and Shinigami Hakase (“Dr Death”)—appeared at a promotional event for their new movie, Kamen Rider Decade, to encourage people to vote in the August 30 election… Pop diva Ayumi Hamasaki, 30, has been chosen as the first-ever representative in Asia for top UK cosmetics brand Rimmel. Ayu’s debut ad will feature her big doey eyes slathered with the brand’s eye shadow… Tarento Miyu Uehara, 22, played the role of “Manager for a Day” at luxury ice cream brand Patiscream’s Printemps Ginza store, but admitted she prefers ¥100 watermelon popsicles. CB


scene around kyoto

Title: Soma no Furudairi

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Exhibit: “Yokai Paradise Nippon: Picture Scroll to Manga”

Venue: Kyoto International Manga Museum, until Aug 31

Info: www.kyotomm.jp

right turns

The nationalist groups (uyoku dantai) and their sound trucks will be out in force at Yasukuni Shrine on August 15. But what are they shouting about these days? Here are a few of their current causes.*

Russia must return the disputed Kuril Islands to Japan

The Nanjing Massacre was a fiction concocted by the Chinese

Sound trucks advertising leftist propaganda and American R&B should be banned from the streets of Tokyo

Japan must revitalize its agriculture to increase food self-sufficiency

Punch perms should be recognized as a stylish form of men’s fashion

Japanese citizens must abandon Western morality and revive the pre-war Yamato spirit

Japanese men need to stop being so damn faggy

Japan needs to clean out its financial system and give immoral money-grabbers the boot

The Tokyo war crimes trials were a farce

* and a few we made up


code

Sinap, a Tokyo-based communication design firm, is conducting a little experiment. For its annual promotion event, known as Sinap Summer Project, the company came up with the idea of building a giant three-dimensional QR code out of sand on a Shonan beach. Each side of the square symbol is, appropriately, about the length of a person lying on a beach towel. But the big question was, would the average cellphone actually be able to read it? To find the answer, Sinap posted images of the sculpture online, as well as a neat making-of video. Visitors can test out the code themselves and leave comments on whether their phones were able to process the image. After performing our own highly scientific test, we concluded that exactly 1 in 2 Metropolis staffers’ phones are able to read it.

http://summer.sinap.jp

biz watch

The August issue of Cyzo magazine asks a group of experts to take the pulse of various industries. Which companies are likely to succumb to their illnesses, and which are going to pull through?

Industry: Banking General state of health: Critical Malady: Paralyzed by toxic assets Surviving: Mitsui Sumitomo Financial Group Failing: Mizuho Financial Group, MUFG Financial Group Recommendations: Condition not life-threatening, but should be kept under careful observation

Industry: Broadcasting General state of health: Critical Malady: Deficient viewing figures & advertising revenue Surviving: Fuji TV, Nippon TV Failing: TBS, TV Tokyo, TV Asahi Recommendations: Make efforts to improve quality of content, and get some proper rest

Industry: IT General state of health: Stable Malady: Sudden changes in trends Improving: IBM, Oracle, Tonchidot Declining: Fujitsu, NEC Recommendations: Need to harness the strength and originality of venture companies

Source: Cyzo (www.cyzo.com)


aso’s greatest hits

When he came to office last September, Prime Minister Taro Aso was praised for his love of manga, which supporters said was evidence of his common touch. Ten months later, the embattled PM’s frequent mistakes reading kanji have fueled the opposite view: his brain has been dulled by comics. Here's a rundown of some notable gaffes.

Kanji Meaning Aso’s reading Note
前場
(zenba)
Morning (stock)
trading session
“maeba”
Maeba means
“front tooth”
有無
(umu)
With or without
“yuumu”
Elementary school kids have no problem reading this commonly used word
詳細
(shousai)
Details
“yousai”
The first character is never read “you”
低迷
(teimei)
Downturn
“teimai”
This kanji is taught in middle school
踏襲
(toushu)
To emulate or follow suit
“fushu”
Aso gave a direct reading of the two characters
頻繁
(hinpan)
Frequent (adj.)
“hanzatsu”
Somewhat ironically, hanzatsu means “complicated, confused, troublesome or vexatious”

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