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Posted 6/28/08 , edited 8/10/08
Eita's new film, Gama no Abura, scheduled to air in first half of 2009

Fumi Nikaido, Eita, Koji Yakusho, Satomi Kobayashi, Jun'ichi Sawayashiki

Japanese actor Koji Yakusho, who starred in 1996 hit Shall We Dance?, is making his directorial debut with drama Gama No Abura (Toad Oil), in which he also stars.

Based on an original idea by Yakusho, the film tells the story of a father (Yakusho) whose son (Eita) is seriously injured in a car accident, his relationship with the son's unknowing girlfriend and the son's juvenile delinquent friend whom the family takes in.

The film also features dream-like flashbacks to Yakusho's childhood, with a character who sells the titular toad oil, once a popular ointment in Japan.

The cast, hand-picked by Yakusho, includes Eita (Giniro no Season) as the son, Satomi Kobayashi (Megane) as Yakusho's wife, the screen debuts of professional fighter Jun'ichi Sawayashiki and child model Fumi Nikaido. Principal photography began on May 18 with filming set to wrap on June 30.

Producer-distributor Phantom Film has slated for the film for a 2009 release and is aiming for a slot at next year's Cannes Film Festival. "There was a lot of interest from both the festival and buyers when we introduced the project in Cannes this year," stated producer Keisuke Konishi. Yakusho previously starred in 1997 Palme d'Or winner The Eel aka Unagi directed by Shohei Imamura, Tokyo Sonata (2008) directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa and is a well-known figure on the Croisette.

Yakusho is perhaps best known for his role in Shall We Dance?, which grossed almost $10m in the US as one of the most successful foreign-language releases ever. His credits also include high profile foreign titles Memoirs Of A Geisha, Babel and Silk. He's also been a long-time collaborator of director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, appearing in eight of his films.

- credits to jason gray blog, tokyograph, varietyasiaonline

「役所さんの監督作品だし、スケジュールがしんどくても、夜眠る時間がなくても、絶対にやりたい! と思った。演出もすごく具体的で分かりやすいので、現場へは0の状態で行って、色づけは監督に任せてます」と全幅の信頼を寄せた。

Eita is really excited about working with Yakusho since he actually said: ' This work is directed by Yakusho, even if loaded with work, no time to sleep, (I) must still be in this project! The director's instructions are very specific and easy to understand. I can be at the set in my natural state and entrust the director with applying his touches.'


Yakuso is naturally pleased by Eita's compliments and he replied happily: ' Eita has a lot of scenes where he has to lie on the bed sleeping and I told him it's alright to really sleep.'

Click here for original text on variety japan.

Gomen, I have been sitting on this news for a while as I'm a bit skeptical of how many 'live' scenes Eita has but he would benefit from the international exposure and the experienced cast. Of cos, it's not another run of the mill film.
Posted 6/28/08 , edited 6/30/08
EDIT: Ending Article 2: The narration of relationships which anyone could have experienced in Japanese, shed more light on Takeru's role and his 'famous' confession to Ruka in EP 6 of LF.

(Since it's full disclosure of the ending, these articles contain innumerable spoilers for those who haven't seen Last Friends.)

Click here to read the translated excerpts from Ending Article 1

Click here to read the translated excerpts from Ending Article 2

For viewers who have been puzzled/annoyed by the ending of LF in EP 11, click here to read this article in Japanese, Ending Article 1: The happy ending for the 3-sided relationship which has no actual conclusion (don't you just love this title? ) which has Taeko Asano explaining the meaning of the anti-climactic ending. She is most regretful about the significant scenes between Takeru and Ruka at the outdoor camping site. In particular, she believes what has been conveyed by the actors and the director has misled viewers into thinking the relationship between Takeru and Ruka is purely fraternal and the subtleties of their relationship has been 'buried' somehow...

Note: Juri has expressed her interpretation of Ruka clearly on the official website for LF in Interview Part 2. However, her clarification of her identity doesn't seem to work out in EP11 as well as she has explained it. I wonder who's at fault now cos the scriptwriter is saying it's misinterpretation of the actors and directors whereas the actor has voiced out her interpretation quite clearly. Ok, I know it's the directors' fault, maybe they're playing 'pass the buck' or LF has morphed its genre from human drama to suspense.

Posted 7/3/08
Click here to read the translated version for Eita's commentary on Juri in the July 2008 issue of magazine. Looks like they have a habit of giving gifts to each other and Eita 'proudly' announce that he likes Juri's gifts to him in this commentary. He disclosed that they met for the first time while shooting the Calbee CM. How come they looked so natural together?! Is this what they called...good acting?

Posted 7/10/08 , edited 7/10/08
I always wonder how come Eita has no awards or even nominations for his credible acting skills. I am gratified that he has been nominated as Best Actor in a Leading Role for Ahiru Kamo (2007) in the 22nd Takashi Film Festival held during March 29 to April 13, 2008, an indie film circuit.

If Asano Tadanobu has won 3 times for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the Takaski Film Festival「 高崎映画祭 」and credit these wins in his official website's award, this award must have merit in Japan~.

Click here for the official website for 22nd Takashi Film Festival.
Posted 7/17/08 , edited 7/17/08
Eita has garnered enough votes to emerge 4th place as the best supporting actor for his role in Last Friends, based on the results for Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Spring 2008). The awards are based on the votes of magazine readers, who are primarily females in their twenties.

Note: Unfortunately, votes for Eita are split into 2 shows, as his role in Atsu-Hime is also contending for the best supporting actor. If those votes for Atsu-Hime are counted in, the outcome would be much different.

Posted 7/17/08 , edited 7/17/08
Eita would be attending the 12th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival 2008 on July 19th to promote Ahiru Kamo (2007). Eh, the foreign title for the film would be 'The Foreign Duck, the Native Duck and God in a Coin Locker'.

Click here to read PiFan 2008 news on Ahiru Kamo in Korean.
Posted 7/20/08 , edited 7/21/08
Eita in Korea: News, photos and videos~

Here're some pictures of Eita taken by fans in Korea during the 12th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival 2008. Of cos there are stakeouts by fans at the airport too. Eita was seen eating a bar of ice-cream~

Photos of Eita's appearance in Korea

More photos of Eita's appearance in Korea

Videos of Eita in Korea

The headline of the above piece of news is roughly translated as <Bishonen Eita's confession of 'being hikikomori for a period of time' >. Source of news is affiliated with Yonhap News Agency which is the official news channel promoting Korea's image and distributing information under a 2003 law passed by the South Korean parliament.

Translated excerpts:-

It reveals a startling fact of Eita as he admitted he used to be a 'hikikomori' when he was in his teens. This was part of his reply when the audience who has viewed Ahiru Kamo posed a question to him whether he had experienced loneliness before. He felt repressed and depressed as he was worried about his future, thus kept himself at home. (Translator's note: Hikikomori ("acute social withdrawal") is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive individuals who have chosen to withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement due to various personal and social factors in their lives.)

에이타는 이날 부천시민회관 대강당에서 자신이 출연한 '집오리와 들오리의 코인로커'의 종영후 이어진 관객들을 만난 자리에서 '외로움을 느낀 적 없느냐'는 한 관객의 질문에 "10대 시절 배우와 모델을 놓고 장래를 고민하다가 우울증에 빠져 히키꼬모리처럼 생활한 적 있었다"고 밝혔다.

그는 "고민하고 있는 현재의 상황은 시간이 지나면 언젠가 바뀔 것이며 밝은 미래가 올 것이라는 믿음으로 어려운 시기를 극복했었다"고 덧붙였다.

Eita's roles in Memories of Matsuko and as Mine Ryutaru in Nodame Cantabile were broadcasted over cable in Korea and these raised his popularity in Korea. Being warmly received at the airport made Eita feel like he's Michael Jackson?! and he's happy to interact with his Korean fans via his film.

에이타는 작년 한국에서 개봉한 '혐오스런 마츠코의 일생'에 출연하기도 했지만 한국 팬에게는 특히 케이블TV 등에서 방영된 드라마 '노다메 칸타빌레'의 바이올린 연주자 '미네 류타로'역으로 유명하다.

에이타는 "공항에까지 한국 팬들이 몰려와 내가 마이클 잭슨이라도 된 것처럼 기분이 좋았다"며 "영화를 통해 한국과 교류하게 돼 기쁘다"고 소감을 밝혔다.

Finally, he was asked what considerations he would have when choosing roles. He would take up any role as long as the script is interesting and not whether the role is significant or not.

에이타는 출연작품을 고르는 기준을 묻는 질문에 "대본이 재미있는 영화라면 극 중 내 비중을 고려하지 않고 꼭 출연하려고 한다"고 답하며 "영화 속에서 내 연기를 보면 항상 반성할 것들만 눈에 띄지만 그래도 '집오리와 들오리의 코인로커'는 좋은 영화니 많은 사람들이 관람했으면 좋겠다"고 덧붙였다.

I really like this article, it shows Eita's frankness, his usual sense of humour and his willingness to learn.
Posted 7/25/08 , edited 8/2/08
Eita has mastered skiing in a short period of time just for Giniro no Season (2008) as he does not have much prior experience. Read the full version in Japanese here: Gyao cinema news- <Giniro no Season> Eita's interview

Translated excerpts:-

そうなんですか!? 準備としてスキーのトレーニングはどのくらいされたんですか?


Really!? How much training was done as preparation for skiing?

Eita: About 1 year before shooting, there was such a training camp. At that time, my appearance was not confirmed yet. It might have been an audition (laughs). Still it was an enjoyable feeling. There was a practice for about 10 days before the week for shooting begun. Aoki-san and Tamayama-san first entered, both are really very great, I also must discard the uneasiness of falling while doing the skiing techniques. However, after a few days managed to overcome it, from there enjoyed the feeling of acquiring the techniques for mogul skiing. (Translator's note: mogul skiing is a type of freestyle skiing which skiers pass between different bumps and may involves aerials and acrobatic tricks. Eita's role is a mogul skier who participated in professional competitions.)



It's a role as an athlete representing Japan in freestyle skiing, the skiing techniques are done by you during the shoots for the (skiing) route?

Eita: Yes, but didn't do any aerial jumps.

Posted 7/26/08
Here's another fun triva concerning EitaxJuri :- they have experienced the joys of outdoor camping (sleeping in tents) in STMB (2005), way before LF (2008)~ Find out more in these translated excerpts for STMB interview in spoon August 2005 Note: you need to watch at least LF to get the references .

Posted 8/8/08 , edited 11/15/08
Eita's new film, Yomei Ikkagetsu no Hanayome (The Bride with One Month Left to Live), scheduled to air in May of 2009

Akasu Taro, Nagashima Chie

The movie is based on the true story of the love between Chie Nagashima (Eikura Nana), a woman who died at the age of 24 while fighting breast cancer, and her boyfriend/husband Taro Akasu (Eita). Nagashima's life was the subject of a documentary aired by TBS last July by the evening news program Evening Five for the golden time slot, refer to TBS official website for TV series.

The documentary achieved ratings of 16.6% and the story was later published as a book that sold more than 400,000 copies. Movie offers rolled in, and producer Takashi Hirano eventually earned the consent of Nagashima's family. Last year, Hirano produced "LIFE: Tengoku de Kimi ni Aetara," a similar biopic about windsurfer Natsuki Iijima, who died of liver cancer. Hiroki Ryuichi (It's Only Talk, 2005 and Vibrator, 2003) will be directing the film.

The documentary reflected on the struggles of fighting the illness while the film would delve deeper into the meeting and separation of the leads. The title of the film is derived from the 1 month period of the leads' lives as 'married couple' from their wedding on April 5 2007 to the death of the female lead on May 6 2007.

Filming starts this October in preparation for theatrical release next May, timed to coincide with Nagashima's death anniversary.

- credits to tokyograph, nikkansports, yahoo jp

Eikura Nana and Eita

Eikura Nana is currently helming the NHK Asadora semi-annual drama, Hitomi.


Since this is a non-fiction work, the bereaved family and friends are notified about the casting of these 2 actors and they are pleased with the duo's impressions.


Before the documentary is confirmed to be turned into a film, Eita is troubled for about 1 and half months over acting as an existing real character who has received public attention. 'After watching the series and reading the book, a lot of tears flowed out. Determined to present in the film what I think that the (female) character wanted to convey in the program.'

Click here for original text on yahoo jp.

Initially, I thought another tearjerker with Eita as the 'suffer together' guy. Then the director's name catches my attention. Hiroki Ryuichi's directing history is interesting?!

Update: Photos of the reel wedding at the church in Aoyama, Japan where the real couple held their wedding originally.

Posted 8/14/08 , edited 8/16/08
Eita's new film, Dear Doctor, scheduled to air in 2009

Eita will be acting as a trainee doctor alongside main lead Shofukutei Tsurubei (Naoko, 2008). This film will be directed by Miwa Nishikawa (Sway, 2006 and Hebi ichigo, 2003).

Shofukutei plays a gentle, middle-aged doctor running the only clinic in a sparsely-populated area. The villagers all rely on him, but an encounter with a widow (Kaoru Yachigusa) leads to the discovery of a secret from his past.

As this is his first doctor role, Shofukutei is currently preparing for it by studying at a hospital. Filming will start in late July. The movie is scheduled for release in 2009, with a possible premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

credits to yomiuri, nikkansports, tokyograph

Two films premiering at Cannes?!
Posted 9/12/08
Eita's new CM - the family of Sazae-san 25 years later

Eita plays the role of Fuguta Tarao in this series of CM for Glico's chocolate, along with Tadanobu Asano (as his uncle Isono Katsuo), Miyazawa Rie (as his aunt, Isono Wakame), Oguri Shun (as his 2nd cousin, Namino Ikura).

Note: Sazae-san (サザエさん) is a Japanese comic strip created by Machiko Hasegawa. As one of Japan's longest running and oldest comic strips and animations, the series is known to nearly every Japanese person, young and old.

Refer to otona glico's website for CMs and more pictures.

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Posted 9/25/08
this is really cool! shingo katori is so LOL bwahahhaa.
Posted 12/3/08 , edited 12/23/08
Eita is the lead for the first time in a getsu9 drama, scheduled to air in Jan 2009

The drama's title is Voice ~Inochi Naki Mono no Koe~" and focuses on a group of 5 medical university students enrolled in a seminar on forensic pathology. Eita plays Kaji Daiki, one of the students, noted for his keen perception and strong intuition. Along with the other students, he works on uncovering the mysteries of the corpses they examine. The ensemble cast include Ishihara Satomi and Ikuta Toma.

(Kaji's character) This is a new kind of hero who is not considered to have a perfect character and has no strong individualism but solve the cases calmly.

Eita enthusiastically says ' In this present world of confusions, don't understand what the answers are. I thought (playing Kaji) he's a hero who sits on the fence between approval or disapproval (by people). To be able to act as a pure hero without desires would be great.'

Awarded the outstanding player prize for soccer during high school in Tokyo. '(The role) It's neither the forward nor the midfielder. Feel that it's wing defender, like Roberto Carlos (original Brazil representative player) that kind of hero.' Eita who has played all positions except as goalkeeper used the terminology of his favourite sports, soccer, to describe the challenge of this new hero's image.

- credits to yahoo jp, yomiuri, sanspo, tokyograph

Eita as Kaji Daiki (That smile... a smirk from an intellectual?! )

Eita plays Kaji Daiki, the lead who is relied on for his outstanding intuition and keen perception and selected from his medical class to enroll in forensic pathology. Ikuta Toma plays his good friend, Ishizue Ryosuke who is passionate and always keep a smiling face but has a hidden mysterious side to his role which is not easily revealed due to his rebellious thoughts against his father. Ishihara Satomi plays Kuboaki Kanako who is No. 1 in knowledge and passion, has natural characteristics of a elder daughter, can't tolerate indecisive people, she holds strong beliefs in justice and her perception but also conservatively relies on theory.

- translated excerpt from 'Prologue' on official website of Voice

Here's the translated interview with Eita on official website of Voice.

Voice 15s CM is up on youtube, just click on the picture below.

Voice 44s CM released, just click on the picture below.

GReeeen will be singing the theme song for this drama.

Note: getsu 9 - Mondays 9pm is the most prestigious time slot for tv dramas in Japan
Posted 12/22/08 , edited 12/22/08
Eita celebrated his 26th birthday at the set of Voice

Click here to read original text for Topic #2.

Topic #2

Eita-san's 26th birthday!

Eita-san who's acting as Kaji Daiki, a student enrolled in forensic pathology, in Voice ~Inochi Naki Mono no Koe~, has had his 26th birthday on 13th Dec. That day, Eita has been shooting scenes for the 2nd episode with Ikuta Toma who's acting as his classmate, Ishizue Ryosuke, since morning in a beef bowl restaurant in Yokohama. Once the scenes have ended, the celebrations for his birthday began.

Along with the loud clapping and cheering from Ikuta-san and the workers, Eita received a bouqent of flowers and an especially large-sized cake, laughed and commented 'Thank you very much! This is the first time I have received such a large cake. Birthday celebrations at a beef bowl restaurant, that's definitely the first time and probably also the last time.' When asked on his aspirations, he replied confidently: 'To complete 'Voice' with my best efforts. Everyone, please take care of me!!'

Eita-san, Congratulations for your birthday!
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