Koji Yakusho News 10 (April 1, 2009 - July 31, 2010)
Created  on April 1, 2009   
Updated on July 31,
July 31 , 2010
Jusan-nin  no Shikaku /Thirteen Assassins" by Takashi Miike was selected in the competition section for the
67th Venice Film Festival. The film's official site has announced that it will be shown on September 3 (Fri) .  
Director Miike and Koji Yakusho will attend the showing.

July 25
The "Saigono Chushingura" official site was updated today. We can now see the summer format of the front
page.  For previous formats, please click

July 23
On August 17 the Japan premiere for "Thirteen Assassins" will be held at Tokyo International Forum. After the
showing of the film, Director Takashi Miike and some major cast members are due to give greetings from the
stage. (Source: Official site)

July 17
The new teaser trailer and the trailer for "13 Assassins" are now available on the official website. Click "Trailer"
first.  And then click the left hand Chinese character for the new teaser trailer and the one on the right for the
main trailer. You will hear "Desperado" by Eagles at the end of each trailer.

July 10
"Toad's Oil" will be shown during the 9th Annual Asian Film Festival of Dallas (July 23-29) on July 25.

July 3
Eiga.com and Cinemacafe.net have just put stills gallery for "Thirteen Assassins" on their websites  We can now
see images of ten scenes.

June 28
Koji Yakusho's two new TV-Yebis beer commercials are available now here and here.

June 19
Asahi com has put  on the web the images of some of the main cast  of "Saigo no Chushingura" who were present
at the Tokyo press conference held on June 17.

June 17
On June 17, a press conference for "Saigo no Chushingura" was held in Tokyo; and Koji Yakusho, Koichi Sato,
Nanami Sakuraba, Nizaemon Kataoka attended, together with Director Shigemitsu Sugita. Here's
the video clip .

June 12
Nippon Cinema has put the teaser trailer for "Thirteen assasins on their site.

June 11
A teaser trailer for "Thirteen Assassins" is now available on the official site.

June 2
A video clip for "Thirteen  Assassins" (Nippon Cinema) is now available.

The official website for "Thirteen Assassins" has just been updated.

May 30
The official website for "The 13 Assassins" has just opened.

April 23
The release date of "The 13 Assassins" has been decided as September 25, 2010. (Source: Toho official website of
"The 13 Assassins")

April 22
The official website of "The Last Chushingura" has been renewed and we can now see the teaser trailer and the
list of the cast members.  Koji Yakusho's role name is SENO-O MAGOZAEMON, not SEO MAGOZAEMON.

April 13
Since April 10, Koji's Yebis Beer TV commercial has been on air now and then. In this commercial, on a rainy
day, holding a yellow Japanese traditional umbrella, Koji walks along a cobbled street in Gion in Kyoto . He
pauses while walking and holding his hands in the rain he praises varied delicate Japanese expressions of rain:"
SHIGURE", "YUDACHI" and "KONUKA-AME".  In  the next scene, holding a glass of Yebis Beer, he gazes
from the verandah of the  second floor of an inn at  two Maikos walking down  the cobbled street . He hears the
Maikos saying that they are glad that it has stopped raining.  We then see Koji starting to drink the glass of beer,
murmuring  "Umai!" (It's good!).

April 9
The DVD BOX of "Zoku Sanbiki ga Kiru" will be on sale from June 11, 2010.

April 5
It was announced today that Koji would appear in a commercial for a new Yebis Beer product. Here are some
photos at the time of the press conference. The TV commercial will be broadcast from April 10.
This photo site is also good.  Koji looks happy while pouring Yebis beer into his glass!: he was instructed how to
pour beer into a glass by Yebis beer staff.

March 30
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Cure on DVD will be available in Australia from April 7, 2010. Good news for Kiyoshi
Kurosawa, Koji Yakusho and J-Horror film fans in Australia.
Topix com

March 18
Here is the newspaper article in detail concerning Koji's becoming the advertising character for Finnair.

March 13
On March 8, Koji Yakusho attended a press conference for Finnair held inTokyo; he had just been appointed by
Finnair to become an advertising character under the  name of 'Mr. Europe' to commemorate the commencement
of a  Finn Air daily flight between Tokyo and Helsinki, which will begin from March 28. Click
here to see what
'Mr. Europe' looks like. The flight time will be approximately nine and a half hours, which is currently the
shortest time for the Japan-Europe route.

March 6,
he DVD of Koji Yakusho's 2000 TV drama, "Aikotoba wa Yuki" written by Koki Mitani will be out on sale
from April 21, 2010.

February 25, 2010
If you want to see the latest photos of Koji Yakusho, please click here and here. The first photo is that of
Magozaemon Seo in
"The Last Chushingura" (2010), directed by Shigemichi Sugita and the second one is that of
Koji being interviewed about this movie.

February 9, 2010
The Audience Award for the International Film Festival Rotterdam was announced.  "Toad's Oil" was ranked
69th out of 100 films, gaining 3,843 scores.

January 21
"Toad's Oil / Gama no Abura" will be shown for ' Bright Future' during the coming International Film Festival
Rotterdam. It is due to be shown four times during the session (Jan.30, February 3, 5, and 6).

January 15
Koji Yakusho's office has just announced that "Saigo no Chushingura / The Last Chushingura" will be released
nationwide in Japan in December 2010. The main movie theater is Marunouchi Piccadilly in Ginza, Tokyo.

January 9
On January 8, Koji Yakusho's office reported that the shooting of "Saigo no Chishingura" was wrapped up on
January 7.  Reportedly the film iteself will be completed in spring this year. The good news is that the release of
the film may be in late December this year not in the second week in January 2011.

January 1, 2010
New Year's Day, 2010 is Koji Yakusho's 54th birthday.
Let's wish him 'Many Happy Returns of the Day'!

December 19
The DVD BOX of "Sanbiki ga Kiru" (Three for the Kill ) starring Hideki Takahashi, Koji Yakusho and Koasa
Shumputei will be on sale from March 12, 2010.
Price is 28665 yen.

December 15
"Saigo no Chushingura" current filming was shown to the press on December 14. Here is
a photo of Koji
Yakusho as Seo Magozaemon.

November 25
The casting for the role of the heroine, Kane in "Saigono Chushingura  was announced yesterday. It's been played
by Nanami Sakuraba.

November 18
Koji's new "DAIWA HOUSE" commercial has just started. He can pronounce "Daiwa House" correctly here; in
the two previous
commercials, the setting was that he was not able to pronounce "house"  correctly, i.e. he tended
to pronounce "house" as "hou
chu". His big problem in this new commercial is that he was asked to put on a
funny costume named "DAIWA MAN"" by the commercial film director.

November 4
Nippon Cinema gives info on Koji Yakusho's new film:
Although 窶廚hushingura窶掖he name given to fictionalized accounts of the story of the revenge of the Forty-
seven Ronin?has been a staple of Japanese TV dramas over the past two decades, it's been 15 years since the last
big screen adaptation by Kon Ichikawa. That's about to change, however, because it's been announced that
Shigemichi Sugita will be directing a new Chushingura film starring Koji Yakusho and Koichi Sato called Saigo
no Chushingura for Warner Bros.

The story is very well-known in Japan, and has been referred to as the country's national legend for its portrayal
of samurai honor, self-sacrifice, and strict adherence to the bushido code. In the early 1700s, a group of samurai
became ronin (masterless samurai) after their lord was forced to commit seppuku for assaulting a court official
named Kira Yoshinaka even though he was goaded into it. The ronin planned their revenge for over a year and
eventually murdered Kira knowing they'd all be forced to commit seppuku themselves.

In 1748, Takeda Izumo II, Miyoshi Shoraku and Namiki Senryu adapted the events to a puppet play called 窶廳
anandehon Chushingura", but had to change the time period to a few hundred years earlier and alter the names
of the characters to avoid shogunate censorship. This version is the basis of most modern adaptations.

Based on a 1994 novel by Shoichiro Ikemiya which was previously adapted to an NHK drama in 2004, the new
film stars Yakusho and Sato as two survivors of the raid. Yakusho's character, Senoo Magozaemon, is an 窶忖
nworthy samurai窶�who flees the night before and goes into hiding, establishing himself as a pariah. Meanwhile
Sato's character, Terasaka Kichiemon, is a loyal retainer who's secretly ordered to escape the raid by the leader of
the Forty-seven Ronin, Oishi Kuranosuke, in order to relay the facts of the incident for the sake of posterity.

Other cast members include Narumi Yasuda as a woman living in Magozaemon's neighborhood, Koji Yamamoto,
and Masato Ibu.

Filming of 窶彜aigo no Chushingura窶�will begin in Kyoto on November 8, with a release planned for 2011.

October 20
If you would like to see some photos of Koji at the "Astoro Boy" Los Angeles Premiere, here they are!

September 23
"Gama no Abura / Toad's Oil" DVD will be on sale on November 26, 2009.

"Gama no Abura" will be shown at the 14th Pusan International Film Festival at
A Window on Asian Cinema on
October10th and 13th. Koji Yakusho's office announces that Koji is due to greet the audience then.

September 14
"Toad's Oil" will also be shown at Vancouver International Film Festival at the Dragons & Tigers Section
(October 1-15) and
the UK Premiere Japan (October 9-11).

July 24
"Gama no Abura / Toad's Oil" will be shown at the 34th Toronto International Film Festival (september 10 - 19)
the "Discovery section".

July 22
TOKYOGRAPH has reported that Aya Ueto and Koji Yakusho will be voicing Astro Boy and Dr.Tenma for the
US animation, "Astro Boy":

It was announced on Tuesday that Aya Ueto (23) will be the lead voice actress in the Japanese dub of the
computer-animated "Astro Boy" movie that opens later this year.

In addition to Ueto providing the voice for Astro Boy, it was revealed that Koji Yakusho (53) will be voicing Dr.
Tenma. In the English version, those two characters are played by Freddie Highmore and Nicolas Cage,

Produced by Imagi Animation Studios, "Astro Boy" opens on October 10 in Japan and on October 23 in the
United States.

Here is the Japanese official site. You will see a photo of Koji Yakusho there. Koji said that it was a picture of
'Atom' (Astro Boy) that he first drew in childhood.

July 20
Twitchfilm. net has put the four cast and on-set photos of "Thirteen Assassins". Koji Yakusho stands on the top

TOKYOGRAPH has also reported the shooting of "Thirteen Assassins:
Takashi Miike's remake of "Thirteen Assassins" ("Juusan-nin no Shikaku") that was announced in May now has
its main cast revealed. The titular group of thirteen killers will be led by actor Koji Yakusho (53).

The original 1963 film was directed by Eiichi Kudo and starred Chiezo Kataoka as the assassins' leader Shimada
Shinzaemon. Yakusho will take over the role of Shinzaemon. The rest of the assassins are being played by Hiroki
Matsukata, Yusuke Iseya, Takayuki Yamada, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Arata Furuta, Ikki Sawamura, Sousuke Takaoka,
Yuma Ishigaki, Masataka Kubota, Seiji Rokkaku, Kazuki Namioka, and Koen Kondo.

Filming started on July 5 in Yamagata and is scheduled to continue until as late as September. The movie is set to
open in theaters next year.

J-FILM-POW-WOW has also put the info on "Thirteen Assassins".

July 17
The IMDb's "Thirteen Assassins'" page has just put four cast names, Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Kaziki
Namioka, and Hiroki Matsukata.

June 8
Koji Yakusho may appear in the remake of 1963 "Jusannin no shikaku" (Thirteen  Assassins) directed by Takashi
Miike, which is due to be released in 2010. So far there has been no official announcement from his office yet but
it is rumoured that Koji is to portray the hero named, Shimada Shinzaemon.           .
The shooting of this film begins in July in Yamagata prefecture.  Koji has mentioned on a TV interview program
that he is going to join the shooting of a period drama in July.  Reportedly the shooting of Martin Scorsese's  
"Silence" won't begin until early next January, so it is quite likely that his next period drama is "Jusan-nin no
I have recently learned that Tatsuya Nakadai, Koji's acting teacher starred in a TV version of  Director Eiichi
Kudo's original film, "jusan-nin no Shikaku"  in 1990.

June 7
Here is The Japan Times film critic Mark Schilling's review of "Gama no Abura (Toad Oil)  in today's issue of the
Japan Times. He quotes some interesting remark by Koji Yakusho.

June 1, 2009
Koji Yakusho's new Suntory "The Straight" beer commercial is now on air in Japan.
You can also watch the making of the film.  This was shot in Australia.

May 25
Here is another website for the interview with Koji Yakusho and Eita.

May 24
Quite a few  weekly and monthly magazines featuring  interviews with Koji Yakusho concerning "Toad's Oil"
have been issued one after another since early May, 2009.  Here is
the website for the interview with Koji Yakusho
and Eita.

May 3
The Asahi Weekly English language newspaper put the interview with Koji Yakusho under the title of  'Actor
Yakusho sees life from the director's chair '.  Here is
the site for it.

May 2, 2009
On May 3,  "Zo no Senaka/Walking My Life" will be shown on TV Asahi for the Nichiyo Yoga Gekijo / Sunday
TV Movie Theater) program from 21:00 to 11:00. This will be the first TV release in Japan.

April 18
Koji  Yakusho's talk with Tamori in yesterday's "Waratte IItomo", Fuji TV's very popular daily variety show,
was quite interesting. Yakusho-san talked a lot about his new film "Gama no Abura" with such an enthusiasm
that everybody must have felt tempted to go and see this film when it comes out in June. Yakusho-san's remark
about his next film aroused my curiosity.  He said that he would join in shooting a historical period film this
coming August. What is it, I wonder?  My guess is that this might possibly be Martin Scorsese's " Silence" , since
it was
reported in February that "Silence" would start shooting  in New Zealand in August 2009.

April 1, 2009
Koji Yakusho's TV drama "Ekiro" (Fuji TV) will be on air from 21:00 to 23:10 on April 11 (Sat).

It has turned out that Yakusho will appear in a TV commercial for Suntory's new beer named, Straight". Here's
the video clip for it.  "Straight" is due to be on sale on April 7, 2009.
The Sanbiku ga Kiru DVD BOX
Koji Yakusho as Mr.Europe
          Asahi com