The Small Print
Faces & Places
The Goods
Tech Know
Cars & Bikes
Arts & Entertainment
Japan Beat
The Agenda
Dining Out
Table Talk
Local Flavors
International Dining
Restaurant Review
Bar Review
The Last Word
Photo of the Week
About Us
Distribution Points




776: Streep talk
775: World of difference
774: Shocks and Bonds
773: Viva La Revolución
772: Jacqui Bayne
768: Beyond the universe
767: Yasuhito Endo
766: Aroon Mahtani
765: Dr. Hidemi Akai
764: Badr Hari
763: Mizuki Kubodera
761: Patrick W. Galbraith
760: Jean-Pierre Felix
759: Philippe Grau
758: Emi Kashiwara & Elekiteru
757: Aura Virginia Chirculescu
756: Aaron Davis
755: Happy days
754: Bryan Au
753: Martin van der Linden
752: Qinggelete
751: Chuck Johnson
750: Mike Applegate (aka Magic Mike)
749: Yukie Kito
748: Steve Kaufmann
746: Samira Zarghami
745: Raising the Bar
744: Pierre-Gilles Delorme
743: David F. Hoenigman
742: Miwa Gardner
741: Kevin Cooney
740: Kyle Cleveland
739: JJ
738: Bruce Stronach
737: Yoichiro Dennis Ide
736: Mike Garrett
735: Hiroki Suehara
734: Rise and Shrine
733: Patrik Washburn
732: Michael Bumgardner
731: Patricia Bader-Johnston
730: Darin Maki
729: Hiroshi Fujimaki
728: Misha Janette
727: Jon Mitchell
725: Hokuto Konishi
724: Rita Lamah Hankach
723: Kisui Nakazawa
722: Angela Jeffs
721: Simon Wood
720: Yasuko Yokoyama
715: Jason Kelly
714: Dominica Serigano
713: Erik Gain
712: Genevieve Maylam
711: Masahiro Gono
710: Eikou Sumura
709: Eikou Sumura
708: Malcolm Thompson
707: Makiko Tsuji
706: Dominic Allen
705: Maria Heitanen
704: Beckie Cassidy
703: Jett Edwards
702: Yoshinobu Furuichi
701: Silvestre Jacobi
700: Jah-Light Sound System
699: Daniel Velazques
698: Lynne Charles
697: Eric Bragg
695: Susan Nichols
694: Anna Kunnecke
693: Kenneth Pechter
692: Kazu Wakui
691: Antonio Inoki
690: Hiroko Noguchi
689: Richard Bysouth
688: Eric Bjorndahl
687: Andrew Shuttleworth
686: Sayuri Suzuki
685: Yurie Hatanaka
684: Miogi Takii
683: Thierry Cohen
682: Ahmed M. Elmardi
681: Aya Kitagawa
680: Suzanne Ng and Yoriko Soma
679: Ricco DeBlank
677: Takenari Shibata
676: Kirk R. Patterson
675: Satoko Yahata
674: Flavia Nishimura
673: Ryo Shoji
672: Chip Eckton
671: Yuko Ito
670: Marja Kullberg
669: Laur Meyrieux
668: Slavomir Stanislaw Kowalewski
667: Ryan McGuire
664: Life force
663: Steve Marshall
662: Jeff Klein
661: Ahn Soon Han
660: Straight shooter
659: Marcello Pietrantonio
658: Glitterball 2006
657: Alison Roberts-Brown
656: Girl on the go
655: Rob Hoey
654: Kahori Ochi
653: Ed Wells
652: Haruka Orth
651: Laura Cook
650: Uleshka Asher
649: Full speed ahead
648: Katsumi Namekata
647: Top talent
646: No heels, no life
645: Joanna Roper
644: Lu Nagata
643: Kirill Konin
642: Gabriele Roberto
641: Carlos Gibbs
640: Blair Falahey
639: The Three Waiters
638: Simon Woodroffe
637: Tony Virili
636: Paul W. Creager
635: Randy Channell
634: Mari Takeuchi
633: Stephanie Schueller
632: Tara Tan Kitaoka
631: Katherine Mok
630: Bob Tobin and Hitoshi Ohashi
629: Tommy Kullberg
628: Toshio Nagashima
627: Eiko Kondo
626: Embrey Ramon Williams
625: Neil Day
624: Mong-Lan
623: Tor Hideki Kashio
622: Elizabeth Heilman Brooke
621: Louis Carlet
620: Theo Panagiotoulias
619: Lionel Gougne
618: Sarajean Rossitto
617: Christian Hassing
616: Kiho Takashima
614-615: David Wagner
613: Heather Stuart
612: Erica Angyal
611: Jack McLean
610: Fumine Yakumo
609: Yasutoshi Hirabayashi
608: Yoko Hijikata
607: Jim Frederick
605: Yuka Murakami
604: Chayne Ellis
603: Marco Antonio Nakata
602: Kicking Back
601: Stand by your man
600: Hero worship
599: The Candy man
598: Heart strings
597: Sweet and sour
596: Subtitle subtleties
595: The right moves
594: Mother’s day
593: The clone ranger
592: A career kicks off
591: Woman of substance
590: Final conflict
589: World Ready for ‘War’
588: Fun in the sun
587: New life for an old hero
586: Fun and games
585: Knockout punch
584: Patrick’s day
583: Marcia marches on
582: Brunch break
581: Kingdom come
580: Gentle as a beast
579: Prime time
578: Devil of a time
577: In first Gere
576: Bright spark
575: Rei of sunshine
574: A star is reborn
573: In search of geisha
572: Marshall law
571: In the Nic of time
570: Holding a grudge
569: Bourne again
568: Soap opera
567: Alexander and friends
566: Oceans apart
565: A night at the opera
564: Just joshing
563: McPain in the neck
561-562: Hanks for everything
560: Reading between the Klines
559: Risqué business
558: Sky highs
557: Korean boom
556: Queen Victoria
555: Glitter Ball
554: Peter Miller
553: Ralph Frehner
552: Dimension K
551: Tokyo Game Show
550: US Embassy
549: I, Robot Premiere
548: Mauve
547: Xterra Japan
546: Earth Celebration
545: Idée R-bar
544: Laforet Museum
543: Hara Museum
542: Fuji Rock Festival’04
541: Bunkamura Museum of Art

the scene


LaForet museum opening party for “Kitty EX”

Clockwise from top left: bar owner Reiko, fashion designer Jeremy Scott, stylist Kei; party guests Tim and Chihiro; art director Nagi Noda flanked by Laforet employees Mi and Si; Helmut Lang merchandiser Keita Takada


star struck

In love and war

Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s latest epic takes martial arts to a new level

By Marie Iida

Andy Lau, Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Zhang Yimou
Credit: Marie Iida

Zhang Yimou, who won zealous acclaim for his emotionally evocative work as The Road Home and Raise the Red Lantern, first surprised fans when he tried his hand at an action movie in 2003 with the hit Hero. The Chinese director has done it again, taking the standard wuxia, or martial arts movie, to a new, artistic level with House of Flying Daggers, starring Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Ziyi and Andy Lau.

Set in the year 859, in the waning days of the Tang Dynasty, the film centers on three lovers caught up in the tides of history. Two deputies of the dynasty Leo (Lau) and Jin (Kaneshiro) are given a mandate to capture a leader of the rebel army known as the House of Flying Daggers. They cross paths with a beautiful blind dancer named Mei (Ziyi) who is suspected of being the daughter of the army’s old leader.

“I had the most difficult time,” Kaneshiro said of the shoot during a promotional stop in Tokyo. “I had to spend a whole month just learning the difference between the weapons. I thought I would be simply taught step-by-step the action sequences, but I had to learn the basic disciplines first. Then, we would go on location and actually create each technique and shoot with the weather and time in check.”

At its heart, House of Flying Daggers is a love story. The fight scenes are not intended to showcase action but emotion. “Because I was already familiar with the basics of the action sequences, I was able to devote most of my time to my acting,” Lau explained. Ziyi spent two months with a blind girl in preparation for her part. “I did everything with her so that I could make the way she led her life a part of my lifestyle as well,” she said. “I studied the way she touched a person’s face to learn how to emulate it.”

The film’s debut at the 2004 Cannes Festival received a standing ovation that lasted for more than 20 minutes. In China, it has outperformed US movies and Yimou has high hopes for Japan. He is confident that the universal message of love will be delivered into the hearts of international audiences. “Andy Lau once asked me if his character is a good or an evil one,” he said. “But in the end it doesn’t matter if the character is evil or good. What’s expressed is the humanity of the character. The point of the film is that the characters are all human beings simply in love.”




Jane Yonamine

Her husband may be the first Asian-American to play in the NFL and the first foreigner to play baseball in Japan after WWII (joining the Yomiuri Giants in 1951), but Jane Yonamine is a legend in her own right. The Hawaii-born nisei founded the Wally Yonamine Pearl Company (janespearl.com) in Roppongi in 1964 and has since adorned celebrities from Brooke Shields to Hillary Clinton, as well as thousands of Tokyo residents and tourists. The 74-year-old mother of three and grandmother of seven now splits her time between Tokyo, Hawaii and Los Angeles. Who was your first celebrity client? It was Major League ballplayers back in ’65, ’66 who first started coming in—all of Wally’s friends, like Cal Ripken, Carl Yaztremski. Then we had the golfers like Lee Trevino. Ballplayers play golf, golfers play with movie stars...it all goes in one big circle. What’s the best part of your job? You get to see [the celebrities] on television and you see your pearls out there. That’s half the fun. That and working with the customers. Pearls are the one piece of jewelry that’s ageless. People buy them to cherish. What’s the most unusual request you’ve had from a client? We had one man who wanted 53 10mm Japanese cultured pearls that matched exactly. I collected up to 19 and then had to give him his money back. Like I say, you can’t tell the oysters what to do. What’s the one piece of jewelry should every woman own? If you have one single strand of white pearls, you can go anywhere with it. That and a pair of studs and that’s all you need. What makes you happy? I think anyone at my age should have a job, or keep a regimen. I take a month off and I’m sick half the time. So when people tell me I should retire, I ask them, “Why?”

Credit: Tama Miyake Lung