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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

star struck

Prime time
Newscaster Yuko Ando brings 25 years of experience to the job
By Chris Betros

A&A Associates

For many TV viewers, Yuko Ando is almost like one of the family. From 5-7pm each weeknight she presents Fuji TV’s Super News, which she has been doing since 2000. An accomplished author and essayist, Ando is very different from most Japanese news presenters. For a start, she rose from the ranks of reporter and has been in the business for 25 years. Fluent in English, Ando also moved around from TV Asahi to TBS to Fuji TV.

Born in Chiba, Ando spent a year as a high school exchange student in Michigan. Her break into TV news came while she was still a student at Sophia University. “I was working part-time as an elevator girl in a department store. One day, a TV Asahi producer stepped in and asked me if I would like to audition for a job. I said no, but he kept coming in every day, so I finally said yes. My first assignment was to go on a 28-day Greyhound journey across North America.”

Ando has covered some dramatic stories in her career, among then the birth of solidarity in Poland, the coup d’etat in Russia, US presidential elections, 9-11, the war in Iraq, Japan-North Korea summits and many more. Among the numerous high-profile interviews with politicians and celebrities, she says Bill Clinton was one of the best because “he was a great listener.” She finds it easier interviewing in English. “It is much more direct and expressive,” she explains. “In Japanese, I can’t go straight to the core of the question.” The person Ando would most like to interview is North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. “I have one simple question for him: ‘What are you going to do with your country?’ ”

Ando’s day usually starts around 6am. The first editorial meeting at the station is at 1pm. Ando has a lot of input on the show’s content. When she is not working, she works out at the gym or cooks. Even on weekends or during holidays abroad, she is constantly on alert for news. “I have to be ready 24 hours a day, so it is hard to switch off. For example, I was abroad on vacation when Princess Diana died and had to come back.”

Ando has built up a loyal following among viewers over the years. She gets lots of e-mails, letters and phone calls. “Some write to me about their personal problems. Others want to know about my suits or lipstick brand and things like that. People stare at me in the supermarket. They look in my shopping basket to see what I am buying. As long as they are not rude, I don’t mind. Sometimes I think I am a panda.”

the scene

Womb Anniversary
Shibuya nightclub celebrates five years of partying

Clockwise from top left: Womb Executive Director Sabi Takahashi; DJ Aki; Promoter Shinichiro Iwanami and DJ Torsten Feld; DJ Takkyu Ishino; the cavernous dancehall was full to capacity
Photos by Mark Oxley www.higher-frequency.com




Shaking it up Middle Eastern style

Hiromi Kuroyama got her first glance at a belly dancer in Brazil when she was 16. Now she dances under the name Hüleya with the Samanyolu (www.samanyolu.jp) ensemble that performs at Tokyo Salon usually on the first Sunday of every month, and at Turkish restaurant Marmara on Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Sundays.

How did you get interested in belly dancing?
I grew up in São Paulo. There was a famous belly dance tea house near my home. My first impression was “wow!” It was sexy and beautiful.

Is that when you decided to become one?
No, I wanted to be an action movie star. I was a big fan of Jackie Chan. I started learning belly dancing in Tokyo after I met this beautiful exotic dancer named Mishaal. She is my master. I also went to the US, Cairo and São Paulo to learn dancing.

How are you different from Middle Eastern dancers?
Japanese dancers are thinner and smaller. We also create our own style, for instance, dancing to electronic music. Belly dancing for Middle Eastern people is not mysterious. It exists in their daily life, more like a Bon dance for the Japanese.

Are you full-time?
Yes, I dance with the Samanyolu ensemble under the direction of Mishaal. There are 10 dancers in the group, all Japanese except for Mishaal. Our first DVD is coming out soon.

Do you get some weird looks when you dance?
Sometimes, especially when women are around. They try not to look so interested. But belly dancing is a woman’s art of expressing femininity and not about being too sexy, so please relax and enjoy our show. CB

Would you like to comment on this article? Send a letter to the editor at letters@metropolis.co.jp.