Koji Yakusho News 9
(June 1, 2008 - March 25, 2009)
March 25, 2009
On April 7, All Nippon Airways (ANA) will present "Paco and the Magical Book" at Canton Film Center in
New York. Admission is free!
AsianMediaWiki has posted the image of "Gama no Abura" poster.
Info on Tatsuya Nakadai:
Tokyograph reported on March 17 that Shingo Katori is to star in the film, "Zatoichi The Last" directed by
"SMAP's Shingo Katori is the next actor in line to take on the role of the legendary blind swordsman
Zatoichi. He will star in Junji Sakamoto's "Zatoichi The Last," which Toho says will be the final Zatoichi
Reportedly, Tatsuya Nakadai (Koji Yakisho's acting teacher) and some of his Mumeijuku-studio actors,
such as Kenji Matsuzaki, Kentaro Shindo, Aki Sugawara, and Nana Nagao ,are also due to appear in this
film. (News source: A fan-site related to Mumeijuku)
Tatsuya Nakadai is currently appearing with Tomoko Naraoka in a stage play named, "Driving Miss Daisy"
in Tokyo, which will continue until March 22. After this play, Nakadai is scheduled to appear as Macbeth in
"Macbeth" by William Shakespeare with his Mumeijuku-studio actors at Noto Engekido in Ishikawa
prefecture from September 18 to November 15, 2009.
I wonder for how long Tatsuya Nakadai is due to join in the shooting of "Zatoichi the Last" and what sort
of role he will be playing.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa was interviewed by phone during his recent stay in LA. The second question by the
interviewer ( Steve Erickson) was "You've cast Koji Yakusho in many of your films. What attracts you to
his work? "
Here's his answer:
"Obviously, he's a very talented actor, which can't be underestimated. An important point is that he's
exactly the same age  as me. He's not only easy to work with as an actor, but he's very similar to me as a
person. He has similar values and sensitivities. We're from the same generation. That's a big reason why I
enjoy working with him on the set."
Info on Kiyoshi Kurosawa:
Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa is to give a lecture at the Japan Film Festival in LA on March 10 (Tues) under
the title of "Creating Films for an International Audience". The festival poster contains the images of Koji
Yakusho in "Retribution/Sakebi" and Teruyuki Kagawa in "Tokyo Sonata."
The official website for "Ekiro", the two-hour TV drama (Fuji TV ) starring Koji Yakusho has just opened.
Here is the info on this TV drama.
On my 'musings' page I wrote about the possibility of Koji Yakusho's appearing in Shusaku Endo's
"Silence" (Chinmoku) directed by Martin Scorsese, based on the Variety's article dated February 1.
Twitchfilm has posted the teaser trailer for "Gama no Abura" with some interesting comment.
Nippon Cinema has posted the teaser trailer for "Gama no Abura"
The teaser trailer for "Gama no Abura" is now available on the film's official site.
The press conference for "Gama no Abura" was held today at a hotel in Tokyo with the presence of Koji
Yakusho, Satomi Kobayashi, Eita, Kaoru Yachigusa, Toru Masuoka, Fumi Nikaido and Jun-ichi
The "Gama no Abura" official site has been updated and we can now read the introduction and the brief
synopsis. It was announced yesterday that the trailer for this movie would be shown from January 24 in
movie theaters nationwide in Japan.
December 27, 2008
On December 26, the official site of "Gelatin Silver, Love" was updated.
The official site of Y.K. Office, to which Koji Yakusho belongs, is now open. We can now see the photos and
some detailed info about the Y.K. Office actors, i.e. Hajime Inoue, Yuya Takagawa, Eisuke Suzuki, Fumio
Mochizuki and Ichiro Hashimoto.
Phantom Film site has announced that "Gama no Abura (Toad Oil) will be released nationwide in Japan in
Trailer for "Gelatin Silver, Love" is now ready. We can have some glimpses of Koji Yakusho. He looks so
Koji Yakusho has been nominated for the best actor award for his role in "Paco to Maho no Ehon" / "Paco
and the Magical Book" in regard to the 2008 Japan Academy Awards.
The US official site for "Tokyo Sonata" with the US version trailer is now ready.
Koji Yakusho is due to appear in a two-hour TV drama, named "Ekiro" based on Seicho Matsumoto's
short story next spring. Here is the info from TOKYOGRAPH.
"Fuji TV plans to air a two-hour drama titled "Ekiro," based on Seicho Matsumoto's short story of the
same name. The show boasts Koji Yakusho and Eri Fukatsu as its leads, Shigemichi Sugita ("Kita no Kuni
Kara") as director, and a screenplay written by the late Kuniko Mukoda roughly 30 years ago for a TV
In "Ekiro," a bank employee suddenly goes missing right after his retirement. Yakusho stars as the veteran
detective in charge of the investigation, who is on the verge of retirement himself. All he seems to uncover
are more mysteries, but one woman (Fukatsu) comes up during the investigation, and it seems that she may
hold the key to the man's disappearance.
Fuji TV has indicated that the drama will air next spring."
The DVD of "Paco and the Magical Book" '(Region 2) will be on sale from March 2009. Please check the
official site, too.
The second teaser for "Mt. Tsurugidake" can be seen on this site, too.
The second teaser trailer for Mt.Tsurugidake is now to be seen with some pictures of Koji Yakusho as
Morisaku Furuta. After opening the official site, try to click the third button from the right and you can see
the second teaser trailer.
On October 16
Koji Yakusho attended the grand ceremony for the 2008 CoFesta (Japan International Contents Festival)
held in Tokyo. Here is the site.
This morning I was so surprised to learn the news that actor Ken Ogata has passed away! He was 71. Here is
his orbituary by Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow. Koji Yakusho has once worked with Ken Ogata in the 1981
NHK TV drama called "Taxi Samba" written by Taichi Yamada. Twenty-five-year- old Koji appeared in
the episode 2 with Reiko Ohara.
Koji Yakusho's new TV commercial about Daiwa House has just started.
On September 20 (Sat) Koji Yakusho appeared in Shingo Katori' sTV interview program, "SmaStation"
(TV Asahi). Here is the details about what Koji talked about. It's in Japanese but you can see some
It's very sad to hear that Director Jun Ichikawa passed away suddenly at the age of 59 on September 19.
Koji Yakusho starred in his 1999 movie, "Tadon to Chikuwa" with Hiroyuki Sanada. Here's his orbituary
written by Mr. Mark Schilling.
Paco to Maho no Ehon" was released today nationwide in Japan. At a theater in Ginza, Tokyo, Director
Tetsuya Nakashima and the ten cast menbers ( Jun Kunimura, Gekidan Hitori, Sadao Abe, Satoshi
Tsumabuki, Koji Yakusho, Ayaka Wilson, Anna Tsuchiya, Ryo Kase, Eiko Koike, and Takaya Yamauchi)
did the greeting session on the stage after the first showing. Here is the report with a photo of the Director
and the whole cast. Eleven of them are holding a colorful card, meaning
"PA-CO-TO-MA-HO-NO-E-HON-DAI-HI-TO!! (Paco to Maho no Ehon Big Hit"") respectively.
"Zo no Senaka / Walking My Life" will be shown at the Hawaii International Film Festival on August 23
and 24. You can watch the trailer with English subtitles here.
I have just found a video clip for an interview with Koji Yakusho with French subtitles here. This video clip
was on the "Walking My Life" site on DVDRAMA website (French).
I have hust set up a page on Koji Yakusho's son, Ichiro Hashimoto.
Here is Koji Yakusho's new TV commercial for AOKI.
Here are Koji Yakusho's two new Chuo Mitsui Trust Bank TV commercials.
The title of the upper part is "Shisan katsuyou" (Making good use of one's asset) and that of the lower part
is "Yuigon" (Father's will).
This year, too, Koji Yakusho was chosen "the main image character" for the 2008 Japan Contents Festival
(CoFesta). This time, however, he has got a beautiful young partner, the fashion model and actress Anne,
daughter of Ken Watanabe (with whom Koji worked in Kizuna and in Memoirs of a Geisha). At the press
conference which was recently held in Tokyo, Koji mentioned that he would like to send an e-mail to
"Ken-chan" (now in the U.S ) to report the new development. Here is a video clip taken at the time of the
If you click the official website for "Paco and the Magical (Picture) Book, you can now see the third teaser
trailer and the full-length trailer for this film. Click the small square with white Chinese characters just
above "9 + 13 (sat) Roadshow". For the trailer you can also visit this site.
The official website for "Gama no Abura" has just opened!
The trailer for "Tokyo Sonata" is now available on the film's official website!
Koji Yakusho's official website was updated today to tell that "Gama no Abura" was wrapped up early in
the morning on July 1. You will see the two photos of Koji here . He looks so happy.
The official website of "Paco and the Magical (Picture) Book was updated and we can now see the second
A press conference for Koji Yakusho's new film, "Gama no Abura (Toad's oil) " in which he has a starring
role and which he himself directs for the first time, was held at a hospital in Chiba prefecture on June 18.
Shooting of the film started on May 18 and is due to wrap up toward the end of June. The other cast
members are Satomi Kobayashi, Eita, K-1 fighter, Jun-ichi Sawayashiki and Toru Masuoka. The film is due
to be released in the first half of 2009.
Here's Koji Yakusho's office announcement on this film.
Tatsuya Nakadai at Film Forum in New York City (June 20 - August 7, 08)
" FILM FORUM AND JAPAN FOUNDATION are proud to welcome Tatsuya Nakadai to the U.S. for the
opening week of the retrospective and related events (see below). Mr. Nakadai will be accompanied by his close
friend Teruyo Nogami, right hand of director Akira Kurosawa for almost 50 years and a legend in her own
Marvelous news for Tatsuya Nakadai (Koji Yakusho's acting teacher) and Japanese movie fans in New York
Koji's new TV commercial (Chuou Mitsui Trust Bank) is here.
June 1, 2008
On his blog dated on May 29, Koji Yakusho wrote some updated news about himself:
He has been busy daily from early in the morning, shooting a new film. He cannot say publicly what this
film is at the moment, but he will inform his fans about it when the appropriate time comes.
He was so pleased at the news that "Tokyo Sonata" gained the Jury Prize for The Un Certain Regard at
Cannes. On getting the news, he wrote that he had sent a congratulation e-mail to Director Kurosawa. His
sincere wish is that this happy news will encourage Mrs. Kurosawa, who has been ill in hospital.
Unfortunately, due to his work commitments, Koji cannot attend the Japan premiere for "Tokyo Sonata"
to be held on June 4 at Ebisu in Tokyo. He suggests that those who will see this film on that occasion
should not reveal his role in it!
Created on June 2, 2008
Updated on March 25, 2009