January 9, 2004 - April 1, 2005
January 9, 2004
On January 8, 2004, "Kinema Jumpo" magazine announced the 2003 top- ten Japanese films.
Koji Yakusho's "Doppelganger" by Kiyoshi Kurosawa was ranked the 9th.
In 2004, the following four new Koji Yakusho films are due to be shown :
Yudan Taiteki (The Hunter and the Hunted) by Izuru Narushima
(The release date: January 17)
Tokyo Genpatsu (Tokyo: Level One) by Gen Yamakawa
(Due to be released from March 13 in Tokyo)
Lakeside Murder Case by Shinji Aoyama
(Due to be released in autumn, 2004 )
Warai no Daigaku or College of Laughter written by Koki Mitani
(Due to be released in autumn, 2004)
February 11, 2004
Good news for both Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Koji Yakusho fans!:
The DVD of "Doppelganger" is due to be on sale from April 23, 2004.
"Tokyo Genpatu" will start being shown sometime in March!
In March, Koji Yakusho reportedly start filming a film called "Lorelei". This film is based on
a best-selling novel by Harutoshi Fukui, entitled "Shusen-no-Lorelei" or war-ending Lorelei
This film is due to released in Japan sometime in 2005. Yakusho's role is that of a wartime
"Tokyo Genpatsu/Tokyo:Level One" will be released from March 13(Sat) at two movie
theaters in Tokyo: Shinjuku Musashino-kan, Shinjuku and Shibuya Cinema Society, Shibuya
(late show only).
March 20, 2004
Koji Yakusho's new TV drama, entitled, "Toride Naki-mono" (The one who has lost his
fort) will be on air from 21:00-23:00 on TV Asahi on April 2.
His role is that of Fumio Nagasaka, a TV newsreader. You will be able to see a photo of
Yakusho in this drama on Yakusho's official website.
Koji Yakusho's website has recently been updated and the news is that he may possibly visit New
York City in October to attend the premiere of the Miramax remake version of "Shall We
Dance?", starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez.
The office staff say that Yakusho wants to go to the premiere, but that because of his tight
schedule, it may be difficult for him to do so. The reason is that he is due to be in the middle of
the filming for a new film around that time.
According to the Koji Yakusho official website for September 10th, Yakusho has officially
accepted an offer to appear in the Hollywood movie, 窶弋he Memoirs of a Geisha窶� Yakusho
had actually been asked to appear in this movie by the director, Rob Marshall, at an earlier
stage, but because of the delay in developing the scenario, Yakusho and his staff had been
considering whether or not he should accept the offer, having regard to his current work
The shooting will be from October to the middle of January next year, so Yakusho's schedule
will be very tight and he will have to make several round trips between Los Angeles and Tokyo.
He left Japan for Los Angeles on September 4, and after a rehearsal will return to Japan; but
Yakusho will be back in Los Angeles again in October.
Yakusho's role was not announced on the website, but it is understood that he will appear as
Koji Yakusho was nominated as a Best Actor for the 2004 Awards of the Japanese Academy,
for his starring in "Warai no Daigaku/University of Laughs". The Award Ceremony is due to
be held on February 18, 2005.
January 12, 2005
On January 12, Koji Yakusho's official website for January 12 says that Koji returned to
Tokyo from Los Angeles on December 24 and left for San Francisco for the shooting of
Memoirs of a Geisha on January 2. While he was in Tokyo, he reportedly spent quite hectic
days working on for various TV programs, such as Tokyo Biyori (as narrator) and Gaia no
Yoake�(as commentator) as well as a special program on Ichiro Suzuki (as narrator).
He is due to return from San Francisco to Tokyo on January 22 on the starting day of
Lakeside Murder Case and is expected to greet the audience from the stage of a movie
theater in Hibiya, Tokyo.
February 26, 2005
The DVD of the second half of Koji Yakusho's 1984-85 TV drama (NHK)
"Miyamoto Musashi" is now on sale from February 25.
February 28, 2005
All Koji Yakusho fans are now eagerly looking forward to March 5, since from this day on, Koji
Yakusho's latest film, Lorelei: The Witch of the Pacific Ocean will be released nationwide in
Japan. At Nichigeki 2�Theater in Ginza, Tokyo, Koji is due to greet the audience from the stage
twice in the morning of the opening day, both after the first showing and before the second
showing, in company with some major co-stars such as Satoshi Tsumabuki, Toshishiro Yanagiba,
Ken Ishiguro, Shinichi Tsutsumi and Yu kashii, and the director Shinji Higuchi. Incidentally, the
author of the novel on which this film is based, Harutoshi Fukui is also going to join them.
Koji seems to have devoted himself very hard to various campaign activities for this film, soon
after he came back to Tokyo from Hollywood in the middle of January. Reportedly, for instance,
he had 10 magazine and TV interviews from noon till 20:00 at a hotel in Tokyo during one day in
January, and on another day, he also had lots of interviews from 14:00 to 21:30. On some other
days, he visited some theaters where the premieres of this film were held, not only in Tokyo but
also at some big cities such as Fukuoka, Sapporo, Osaka, and Nagoya.
March 8, 2005
On March 5, Koji made a speech to the audience at the Tokyo premiere of Lorelei saying, Now
that it is nearly 60 years since the end of the Pacific war, I feel that, in this film, there are
messages from those who died, during the wartime, for the sake of the nation and their families.
I sincerely hope that as many people as possible will come to see this film."
March 17, 2005
The film, "Lorelei" has already become a great hit in Japan. The front cover of the March
issue of "Kinema Junpo" (No.1425) features Koji Yakusho and Satoshi Tsumabuki.
March 19, 2005
March 17 brought the good news that Koji's latest film 窶廰orelei窶�has brought in over
one billion yen since its release in Japan on March 5. Reportedly 798,299 people have seen
the film so far, and to celebrate this surprising and happy result, Koji Yakusho, together with
director Shinji Higuch, Satoshi Tsumabuki, and Yu Kashii, greeted the audience from the
stage on the same date at Toho Cinemas Fuchu, a movie theater which opened on that very
March 21, 2005
The Daily Yomiuri for March 21 has a reprinted review of Rob Marshall's "Memoirs of a
Geisha" from the Los Angeleles Times World Report section, entitled "Geisha in Age of
Diversity"written by Bruce Wallace. Michelle Yeoh Fan Site has posted the same article
(first published on March 6, 2005).
April 1, 2005
The American version of "Shall We Dance?" starring Richard Gere will be released
nationwide in Japan from April 23 (Sat.). The Tokyo premiere of this film was held at a big
hotel in Tokyo on March 31. Richard Gere, who visited Japan to promote his film made a
press conference on March 30. Director Masayuki Suo and his wife, Tamiyo Kusakari (who
performed the role of Mai in the original version) attended the premiere.
When asked about Koji Yakusho, Mr. Gere mentioned, "Mr. Yakusho-san is perfect!."
Official website (Japanese only)