Koji Yakusho News 11
(August 24, 2010 ~ March 26, 2011)
March 26 ,2011
Twitchfilm reports that "13 Assassins will be available on VOD in North America starting today, March 25th
and opens in select U.S. cities starting on April 29th."
Click
the US website for "13 Assassins".

March 17
On March 15 Koji Yakusho put
a message on his official blog for those people who have been suffering from
the recent huge earthquake on March 11th.
The following is pymmik's unofficial translation of his message:

"To those people who have been suffering from the huge Eastern Japan earthquake:

I would like to give you my cordial condolences and sympathy. I understand that your sorrow must be much
deeper and more painful than the TV screen shows.

Seeing those people responding in interviews and restraining themselves, despite such an enormous
catastrophe and sometimes smiling, I feel my heart greatly moved. Every time I see those people trying to
answer questions with smiles, giving consideration to other people under such a hardship, my heart is filled
with the thought of what I should do and what I can do for them.  I have been thinking about this since that
day.

I sincerely pray that all of you who are suffering manage to keep your health in good condition."

March 2
The DVD (Region 2) for "13 Assassins" will be on sale from May 27, 2011.

February 13
Here's the
Nippon Cinema news about Koji's new film, "Waga Haha".
The English title of this film seems to be "Chronicles of My Mother".

February 12, 2011
On February 11, it was announced that Koji Yakusho would star in Masato Harada's new film, "
Waga
Haha"(My Mother) written by Yasushi Inoue, a noted Japanese author.  Kirin Kiki  and Aoi Miyazaki will
co-star in this film, as Yakusho's mother and daughter respectively.

TokyoGraph has translated this Japanese news into English:

"On Saturday, the starring cast of the movie "Waga Haha" was partially unveiled. Koji Yakusho (55) will
take the lead role, with Aoi Miyazaki (25) and Kirin Kiki (68) also playing main characters. The three will
play a family dealing with the memory loss of the mother due to old age.

The project was first announced in January. Based on the autobiographical novel "Waga Haha no Ki" by
author Yasushi Inoue, it is being directed by Masato Harada ("Climber's High").

The story is set during the 1960s. Yakusho plays a novelist named Kosaku Igami who has been living apart
from his mother Yae (played by Kiki) since a young age. After his father dies, Kosaku has to deal with Yae's
living arrangements. Meanwhile, he desperately struggles to understand their bond as mother and son, lost
between his own distant childhood recollections and the aging Yae's gradually fading memory. He receives
support from his wife, his three daughters, and his younger sister as Yae's condition worsens.

Miyazaki has been cast as the youngest daughter, Kotoko. The other cast members have still not been
revealed at this time.

Harada began shooting the film this month and is expected to wrap up in March. Locations include Shizuoka
and Tokyo. The film is currently scheduled for a 2012 release."

February 3,
The image of Koji Yakusho on top of his o
fficial website has just been renewed. The new image of him is
quite impressive!

January 6, 2011
Koji Yakusho was nominated at the 34th Japanese Academy for "Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a
Leading Role" in Thirteen Assassins.

January 5, 2011
Here 's
the list of Japanese Weekend Box Office, January 1st to January 2nd. (Toronto JFilm Pow- Wow)  
"Saigo no Chushingura" (The Last Ronin) is ranked number 8:

1. Partners: The Movie II* (Toei)
2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Warner)
3. Space Battleship Yamato* (Toho)
4. Tron: Legacy (Disney)
5. Inazuma Eleven: The Movie* (Toho)
6. Kamen Rider X Kamen Rider OOO & W Feat. Skull Movie Taisen Core* (Toei)
7. Shrek Forever After (Paramount)
8. The Last Ronin* (Warner)
9. The Abacus and the Sword* (Asmik Ace/Shochiku)
10. Norwegian Wood (Toho)

* Japanese film

December 28
On December 15,  the official website for "Saigo no Chushingura" announced that the December- 18th
-showing of the film in Hollywood  had been postponed until some time in January, 2011. Reportedly there
was some problem regarding the US title, "The Last Ronin".

November 24
The official website for "Saigo no Chushingura" has announced today that this film  will be shown at Mann
Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood from December 18 to 31 this year. This means that "saigo no Chushingura"
will start being shown on the same day both in Japan and US.

November 20
I've just learned from the Yahoo Japan Message Board that Koji  is now in Kyoto, shooting a period film
directed by Takashi Miike. The title of the film is not known yet, but thinking of Takashi Miike's next period
drama, it must surely be the remake of Masaki Kobayashi's 1962 film,
"Seppuku / Harakiri", starring
Tatsuya Nakadai.

Quite reecently
TokyoGraph has reported that Miike will remake Kobayashi's "Seppuku" in 3 D, starring
Ebizo Ichikawa.

The names of all the other cast members have not been announced yet, but Naoto Takenaka (Shall we
dansu?) has just written in his blog that he is now working with Koji Yakusho on filming a Takashi Miike
period drama (Jidaigeki).  The blog shows a photo of Koji and Naoto, both in samurai costume!

What will be their roles, I wonder?

November 13
To commemorate the December 18, 2010 release of "Saigo no Chushingura (The Last Chushingura / The
Last Ronin),
Nihon-eiga Senmon Channel (cable television) will be showing fifteen Koji Yakusho Movies,
including "
Shall we dansu?" and "Unagi", for two months from November 23, 2010.  The other movies to be
shown are "
Shitsurakuen (Lost Paradise)", "Kizuna", "Kamikaze Taxi", "Jubaku", "Totsunyu-seyo Asama
Sanso Jiken", "Tadon to Chikuwa", "Cure", "Doppelganger", "Eureka", "Lakeside Murder Case",
"
Lorelei",  "Argentine Hag" and "Gama-no Abura / Toad's Oil".

During this November, and during the following two months, some film directors of past Koji Yakusho
movies will be interviewed on the same Nihon-eiga Senmon Channel. The directors are Masayuki Suo (Shall
we dansu?) Masato Harada (Kamikaze Taxi, Jubaku, and Totsunyu-seyo Asama Sanso Jiken), Kiyoshi
Kurosawa (Cure and Dippelganger), Kichitaro Negishi (Kizuna) and Shigemichi Sugita (Saigo no
Chushingura).

October 19
"Thirteen Assassins" won the Grand Audience Award for
the 43rd Sitges Film Festival,  while also winning
for best art direction (Yuji Hayashida);TokyoGraph

Takashi Miike's "13 Assassins" remake earned the Grand Audience Award, while also winning for best art
direction (Yuji Hayashida). Sion Sono's "Cold Fish" won the Casa Asia award.

October 16
The US official website for "Thirteen Assassins" has just been set up.

October 15
Japan-zone Entertainment News:"A Samurai Tail in Hollywood"

The director and stars of "Saigo no Chushingura" were in Los Angeles yesterday for the movie's 'Hollywood'
premiere. It is the first major Japanese-language project taken on by Warner Brothers, and so it became the
first ever Japanese movie to be screened in the Steven J. Ross Theater at the company's headquarters.
Director Sugita Shigemichi (67) and stars Yakusho Koji (54) and Sakuraba Nanami (17) received a standing
ovation from the audience of 500 industry professionals, including a rare public appearance by WB
Chairman and CEO Barry M. Meyer. The movie is scheduled to open in Japan on December 18.

Titled "The Last Ronin" for its U.S. release, the movie is the latest in a long history of adaptations of one of
Japan's most famous historical events. A remake starring Keanu Reeves (46) is also said to be in the works.
It tells of the 47 Ako Roshi (masterless samurais of Akou) and is the quintessential tale of the "bushido" or
samurai code. The story is often used to relate the Japanese world-view as it relates to honor and loyalty. The
47 samurai are left leaderless when their master is forced to commit "seppuku" (ritual suicide) for raising his
sword against an imperial court official. The ronin plot their revenge though they know it will inevitably lead
to their own deaths.

October13
Here's the report of Japanese Weekend Box Office, October 9th to October 10th. "Thirteen Assassins"
ranked 4th in order.

1. Knight and Day (Fox)
2. Umizaru 3: The Last Message* (Toho)
3. Ohoku* (Shochiku/Asmik Ace)
4.
13 Assassins* (Toho)
5. From Me To You* (Toho)
6. Resident Evil: Afterlife (SPE)
7. Akunin (Villain)* (Toho)
8. Mobile Suit Gundam 00* (Shochiku)
9. The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole (Warner)
10. Elevator To The Gallows* (Shochiku)

* Japanese film

October 4
If you want to see some latest pics of Koji, click
here.
Here is another Koji inteview site with pics.

September 10
"
Thirteen Assassins" will be shown on October 23 and 24 during the 54th London Film Festival. (October 13
- 28).

"Thirteen Assassins" was shown on September 9 at the Venice International Film Festival.  Yakusho-san
(Koji Yakusho) looked so happy, while standing on the red carpet together with Director Takashi Miike and
actor Takayuki Yamada before the showing. Click
here for the photos.

August 26
The "13 Assassins" will be shown during the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival in the '
Masters' section.

August 25
The official website for "13 Assassins"  has
a report on the press conference and stage greeting session to
audience by main cast members and Director Takashi Miike, which was held at Tokyo Forum theater on
August 17.

August 24
Here's the Venice Film Festival
website for "13 Assssins".  The film will be shown at two theaters on
September 9.

August 23
"13 Assassins" will be shown on
September 9 at the 67th  Venice Film Festival.
Created on August  23, 2010
Updated on March 26, 2011