|Koji Yakusho's Official Home Page: Messages 2
|-- Unofficial translation by Pymmik --
August 12, 2002
Hello again! Shooting of the new film has just finished in the midst of our hot summer. It is my
sixth film with Kiyoshi Kurosawa. I have had a new experience during the shooting of this film. I
look forward to seeing the finished version of this film. I shall tell you the details of this film when
the time comes; I had a good time filming with the staff and the cast.
The day before yesterday, I went hoping to see a film, "Life as a House" after checking the
starting time: it was supposed to be 10:15 a.m. I was so disappointed when I was told at the
movie theater, "The film will be shown in the evening from today onwards."
Since there was not an alternative film I wanted to see, I went, instead, to Yokohama to have
lunch at a Chinese restaurant in China Town. I have been to this restaurant two or three times
before. The lady at the restaurant remembered me and served me "an-nin-dofu"(Chinese sweet
milky jelly) for free after the meal. It was so delicious: not too sweet and cool! I'm grateful for the
serving of an-nin-dofu. I don't say this just because it was free, but I really mean it.
I left the restaurant, saying, "I'll come again." When I return there, the lady may think that I'm
expecting another free service of an-nin-dofu, I shouldn't wonder. It is really a difficult question.
Lady, please always keep in good health! O gosh! That does not mean that I'm expecting a free
an-nin-dofu.... Let's change the subject!
The summer in Tokyo seems to be getting hotter and hotter. The make-up staff must dry
actors' perspiration all the time while the filming is being done. Costume staff must take actors'
costume - dirty with sweat home to wash. Therefore both the make-up and costume staff send
me wind with their fans. It was as if they were grilling "samma"(Pacific saury) on a "shichirin"(a
small portable stove for cooking with charcoal). Despite their desperate efforts, the gauze after
wiping the perspiration of Koji Yakusho (who tends to have a great
amount of perspiration) can have some drops of water squeezed from it.
In the old days, I hear that actors used to avoid drinking water, in order not to sweat, but the heat
in present Japan is quite unusual. It is so hot that actors will feel sick without drinking water. I
appreciate the make-up and costume staff's great care.
Please take care in this extreme heat.
January 7, 2002
Happy New Year!
2002 is the year of the Soccer World Cup, and it is also the year of the Winter Olympic Games.
Let's look to these two events to blow away the recession!
My new film, "The Choice of Hercules", which finished its shooting towards the end of last year, will be shown in
May between these Winter Olympic Games and the Soccer World Cup.
I am afraid that the film might loose its impact due to these events but I do hope that you go to movie theaters to
see it by all means.
If the schedule and other matters go well, you will be able to see my four films this year.
During the New Year holidays, I paid a visit to a shrine to pray for the success of these films, but to think of the
number of the films, God might have thought, "Well, I cannot look after all of them!"
Three of the films are with new directors. I am looking forward to working with them.
I am thinking of performing, doing my best in each cut and each film.
Wishing you good health and happiness for this year 2002.
By now you must have returned to normal life, recovering from the festive mood during the new year holidays.
Yakusho started shooting his new film from yesterday, January 21.
This film is rather humourous and comical, despite the social problem features.
It is a pity that we cannot tell you the details of the film at this stage, but at the time of the rehearsals we felt that
this would be a wonderful film.
Please look forward to seeing this film.
The director is Gen Yamakawa, who directed "Takkyu Onsen"(Ping-pong Hot Spring).
The new film is due to be released in the autumn of this year, 2002.
January 22, 2002
It's a long time since I last wrote to you.
We now see pretty flowers in various places in town.
"The Choice of Hercules" will be completed soon and will be released in May. Please be sure to go and see it.
My latest movie, entitled "Tokyo Nuclear Power Station" ( a provisional title) has recently finished filming and is
now at the editing stage.
To change the subject, in the visinity of my house, an extraordinary number of toads were found recently. Some
of them were run over by cars while they were crossing the street. Following some of these traffic accidents,
three pairs of toads were found dead. To find them dead, while I was walking my dog, as is often the case, my
imagination became active. I couldn't help imagining that they were male and female. After confessing their
love, they had agreed to move to the forest across the street, when they were killed by the traffic accident.
Judging from the scene of the accidents, those three dead couples of toads were moving hand in hand. Oh it's
spring! It's the season of love! So I thought.
A few years ago, a huge toad used to live in the garden of my house. As our "stupid" dog tended to play around
with it, we took it out of our house quite often. But it came back each time. This year a toad started settling
down in our garden. I don't think it was the same toad but this toad, too, returned to our place every time we
took it outside. One day I saw our dog doing something strange in the garage and I found the toad there. As I
hear that a toad issues particular poison when it is bullied by dogs, we were not able to keep it at our house. So
I went to the near-by river to discard it putting it in a basket.
It must have been after ten at night. I dropped it down to the river, saying, "Bye!". I naturallly expected the typical
sound when we dropped something into the river, but what I heard was crashed sound. I looked down at the
dark river and found that there was 50 cm concrete ledge to the river. I couldn't find the toad; it was too dark.
Saying "Ouch! So sorry!" I fled home. Our dog looked questioningly at me. "What did you do with it? Did you
kill it? Or did you eat it yourself?" I was very depressed to think that I caused the ugly but amiable toad to crash
to its death.
The next morning I revisited the place but I could not find the dead toad. I felt so relieved, until I found some
ducks swimming away with cool looks. "You did it, didn't you?" If so, I'm so sorry, dear toad.
I still pray that toad has survived somehow or other.
Please take care!
March 11, 2002
Cherry blossoms in Tokyo started blooming much earlier than usual this year and we had a sense that spring
had come. But we soon started feeling that chiliness had returned with lots of rainfall, as the chiliness at this
time of year is called "Hana-bi-e" "cherry blossom chiliness".
However, with the coming of April, spring has surely reached us. It is comfortably warm now.
Last weekend, "The Choice of Hercules" was completed and we managed to see it the other day.
It is indeed a superb film which successfully conveys a live feeling. We were very moved to see those policemen
desperately trying to rescue the hostage.
Last weekend, Yakusho also finished his first work as a navigator for the new TV program, called
"Gaia no Yoake"(The Dawn of Gaia") which is due to start on April 14th at 20:00 on TV Tokyo.
We, even as staff, look forward to this program, wondering what sort of program it will become.
Please watch it.
How are you getting along during these hottest days of the year?
Our home page has not been renewed for more than one month so you must have been wondering what
has become of us. We are sorry for this.
Yakusho has been working on his new film since the beginning of July, but owing to the producing
company and its advertising department's restrictions, we regret that we cannot announce the name of
the director and the film title yet.
Yakusho finished filming in the vicinity of Tokyo today, and from tomorrow onwards filming will be held
outside Tokyo. Despite the heat he will enjoy the filming and will work hard for the sake of the 'birth' of an
We are sorry that we have always kept you waiting for new information. We will be willing to inform you
of the details of this new film when time comes. please wait for a while until then.
We hope that you will enjoy the hot summer to your heart's content.
May 13, 2002
"Totsunyu-seyo Asama-sanso Jiken/The Choice of Hercules" started nationwide since May 11. Yakusho
made a speech on the stage of the jam-packed Marunouchi Toei movie theater in Ginza, Tokyo on the
first day. We hear that a large number of people were not able to enter the theater; reportedly there were
some people who started waiting for the first show in a line from one o'clock in the morning, looking
forward to seeing this film. We are really grateful for those people.
This film depicted the real incident which happened 30 years ago. Director Masato Harada created a
superb film based on this incident, mainly viewed from the police side. There were various opinions
concerning filming the incident as those who were involved in this incident were still alive, and besides,
there were various viewpoints and opinions towards the incident itself. We felt that the completed film had
been inspired with new life when it was shown before such a great many spectators.
It will be our great pleasere if lots and lots of people see the film. Please do come to see it.