Koji Yakusho News 1
Gaia no Yoake (The Dawn of the Gaia)
Koji Yakusho fans are now looking forward to the coming of every Sunday evening:
On April 14 (Sun), a 60-minute serial TV documentary program, called "Gaia no Yoake
(The Dawn of the Gaia) started on TV Tokyo at 10:00 p.m. Yakusho appeared as a "navigator" in this
program. The role of navigator means that Yakusho suggests the theme of each episode, performing various
roles by appearing on the screen three times, in the first, middile and last scenes.
"Gaia no Yoake" is a documentary which features people who challenge their ordeals and using ingenuity try
to cut through the hard times in various fields of business such as banking ( episode 1 ) and baseball
Yakusho fans are now extremely happy to see the program every Sunday evening because they can enjoy
Yakusho's superb acting. He lookes very smart!
( June 2001 - April 2002 )
Koji's new fillm, "Warm Water Under A Red Bridge" by Shohei Imamura started being shown in
Japan from November 3. Luckily it has a good reputation. I have seen it three times so far. It is a fanny
heart-warming comedy. I heard lots of laughters from time to time. Yakusho's full nudity surprised
viewers! He looks quite charming, sexy and amiable.
Yakusho is now working with Masato Harada, who directed "Kamikaze Taxi", "Bounce koGals" and
"Spellbound". The film will be shown in May, 2002. Yakusho's role is a chief police officer. The film's
English title is "The Choice of Hercules".
There is no news about Koji Yakusho's new film yet but we are now able to see some latest photos of
Koji Yakusho in a magazine called the OBURA, which was issued on July 26. The photos were taken in
Biot and Antibes near Cannes when Koji visited the Cannes Film Festival in May. He wrote a
marvellous essay on his trip to these two towns in the magazine.
A Japanese person living in Paris posted a message onto my Yahoo!Japan message board on Masato
Harada and Kiyoshi Kurosawa, reporting that "Kairo" has started at eight movie theatres in Paris
since last week.
Koji Yakusho put his message on his official website on June 4 that he had just returned from the trip
to Santa-cruz, Portugal. He visited the place after his four-day stay in Cannes. He says that he had a
very good time there. It seems that he got interested in the place that a Japanese author called Kazuo
Dan had been living there for about one year and a half.
Speaking of the 54th Cannes Film Festival, Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Kairo/Pulse" was awarded the
FIPRECI at the Un Certain Regard competition.
Koji Yakusho appears as Captain at the first scene and the last in this film.
The good news about this film is that it will soon be shown overseas, such as in Korea, Hongkong,
America, Australia, France, Newzealand, South Africa, etc.
Japanese Koji Yakusho fans are now looking forward to the coming of autumn for two reasons:
1) Shohei Imamura's "Akai Hashi Noshitano Nuruimizu" (Warm Water Under the Red Bridge) was
recently announced to be shown from November, 2001.
2) Koji's TV serial drama, titled, "Bangaku No Issho"(Life of Bangaku) is to be shown from October
on Fuji TV. This is a samurai drama, which was shot just after "Dora-Heita" was finished in April,
1999. Two out of ten episodes were shot by Kon Ichikawa.
"Bangaku No Isshou" is well-known to old Japanese movie fans, since Sadao Yamanaka (Humanity
Paperballoons) directed the film with Denjiro Okouchi in 1933 as a silent film but it doesn't exist any
more. Only the scenario which Yamanaka wrote based on a novel under the same title by Kyoji Shirai
exists. Kon Ichikawa is now one of the rare persons who saw the movie by Yamanaka.
The latest issue of the movie fan magagine, "Kinema Jumpo" reports the 54th Cannes Film Festival: on
those pages I have found a photo of Koji Yakusho and his wife, Saeko Kawazu.
Koji Yakusho in Antibes, France
Bangaku no Issho ( Life of Bangaku)
Koji Yakusho's TV serial drama called, "Bangaku no Issho" (Life of Bangaku) with nine episodes
started on Fuji TV from March 5, 2002. However, it stopped after the second episodes for some
unknown reason. The third episode is going to be shown on April 30.
Kon Ichikawa, who directed "Dora-heita", directed the first and second episodes of "Bangaku no Issho".
This TV drama was filmed from November, 1999 to March, 2000 but, for various reasons the release was
postponed until March 5 this year.
Koji Yakusho's portrayal of Bangaku is again superb. The character of Bangaku is quite interesting. He
is honest, sincere, vigorous and strong. He passionately loves his valuable sword called, "Heki
Mitsuhira", which was given to him by his former kendo teacher. He is a lonely man and he rather
regards this sword as if it were his sole friend.
The drama develops as Bangaku meets various people while travelling. In each episode, he believes
people but he ends up being betrayed by them. In his fury he finally decides to use his beloved sword