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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

Xterra Japan

The country's debut off-road triathlon championship at Oku-Nikko

Winner Hideo Fukui crosses the finish line Third-place finisher Courtney Cardenas, course designer Paul Chetwynd and women's champ Jamie Whitmore
Second-place finisher Yu Yumoto Xterra production manager Ted Kozlo, assistant Ami Sato, Japan coordinator Yoko Wakabayashi and Xterra Global Tour director general Dave Nicholas



star struck

Wizards' words

Translator Yuko Matsuoka brings Harry Potter to millions of Japanese

By Chris Betros

Words like Muggles, Shapeshifters, Dementors and Quidditch are not in the normal lexicon of most translators, but they are for Yuko Matsuoka, the translator of the Harry Potter books. A professional interpreter working in Geneva and Tokyo, Matsuoka is president of publishing company Say-zan-sha, which devotes itself entirely to Harry Potter books and audio-books.

The hero of JK Rowling's stories is big business here. The Japanese version of the fifth novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, went on sale September 1, which, as any fan will tell you, is the first day of term at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The first four books have sold more than 16 million copies in Japan so far. The first run of Order will be 2.9 million copies, says Matsuoka, who took over Say-zan-sha after her husband passed away in 1997.

"It usually takes me about a year after the English version comes out to do the Japanese translation. Bookstores and wholesalers always pressure me, but I won't compromise quality," says the graduate of International Christian University, who also has an MA from Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. "As a publisher, I used to be able to get an advance copy; now I have to wait until the launch to read the English version." She has met Rowling three times, before she became really famous. "I like her very much. She is very curious, strong-willed and has a sense of humor."

Matsuoka tries not to let the movies affect her translations. "A two-hour movie is too short to cover the whole story anyway. After five books, I already have a strong image of the characters in my mind," she says. Warner Bros. does, however, ask her to check the movies' subtitles and dubbed versions so the image created in the book is reflected in the movies.

Matsuoka never thought she'd become hooked on a boy wizard. "I was a very serious girl. I never dressed up as a witch or played those sorts of games. I read a lot. My parents used to tell me not to study too hard," she recalls. "But I read the first book and fell in love with it like so many others. We get many fan letters, including some from mothers telling us that their children are reading more, thanks to Harry Potter."

Besides being an interpreter, translator and company president, Matsuoka is involved in organizing an international convention in 2006 on ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, another legacy from her husband, who established the Japan ALS Association. "Time management is the biggest task for me," she says. "I can't do as much interpreting as I used to. Fortunately, my staff is very capable and can run the company here without me." When she's not translating, Matsuoka says she still likes to read. "To learn the beauty of the Japanese language, I must go back to the classics from time to time. For relaxation, I like contemporary authors."

Photo credit: Chris Betros




Taro Shirato

Taro Shirato was a collegiate cross-country skier who happened to enter a triathlon during offseason training. The Kyoto native was soon hooked. A competitor since 1987 and a pro since 1990, the director of Xterra Japan 2004 took part in several World Cup races until 1996, when he switched to the grueling 3.8km swim/180km bike ride/42km run Ironman category. Shirato, 37, who now lives in Tsukishima, retired as a pro in 1998, two years shy of the first Olympic triathlon, but still competes at events held around the world.


What did you want to be growing up?
A teacher. I wanted to teach social studies, but once I looked into it, I felt better suited to teach physical education, so that’s what I wanted to do.


Your meishi says “sports navigator.” What exactly do you do?
I continue to train, provide instruction to others, and inform people about the sport, through speaking and writing. Japanese people really don’t know how to have fun. That’s why I try to give them the opportunity to discover and try, by producing and directing races. Xterra Japan, which I enjoy immensely, is just one of those races.


What’s the most important mental aspect of competing in a triathlon?
This isn’t exclusive to the triathlon, but I think it’s motivation. Races take a long time, and so does the training. Without motivation, you can’t keep it up.


Do you watch your diet?
Of course, as a triathlete, you need to stay healthy. But if you stick to a rigid diet of non-fat foods, you’d become exhausted mentally. So I like to stay within the comfortable limits of eating what I enjoy. Not that I eat onion rings and fried chicken every day—I’ve grown to know which foods make my body feel good.


What’s your favorite food?
Gyudon. I know it’s very fatty and not so nutritious, but I like it, so eat it quite often. Naturally, my favorite restaurant is Yoshinoya. I’ve even bought their stock. I’ve been to the Tsukiji branch that serves real (beef) gyudon at higher prices, but I’d rather hold out for the real thing to come back. CN

Photo credit: Carlo Niederberger