[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Dec 2003
Issue 043

KS Classifieds out NOW!

The Last samurai

“The whole world can learn from bushido,” said Tom Cruise at a press conference in Tokyo promoting The Last Samurai, one of the year’s most anticipated movies, which opens on December 6.

Standing alongside veteran co-stars Ken Watanabe, Hiroyuki Sanada and Koyuki, Cruise paid homage to the values of traditional Japanese culture and reiterated his admiration for the warrior spirit that inspired him to play the role of Captain Nathan Algren, an American soldier who is taken hostage by the last surviving clan of samurai during the Meiji Restoration, and who discovers in his captors an extraordinary code of loyalty and honor.

Apple store Ginza

Apple’s first overseas retail store held its grand opening on November 30 in Tokyo’s Ginza district, bringing one of America’s leading high-tech shopping concepts to Japan. Strategically located across the street from the Matsuya Ginza department store, Apple Store Ginza rises four levels above ground and is filled with legendary products from a full range of Apple’s latest computers to the entire iPod family and the iSight web camera, not to mention a host of digital cameras and camcorders designed to operate with the Mac. The store also holds over 400 educational events every month, and a series of appearances by high profile candidates, the first one being architect and media creator Maricio Herrera-Palma, are scheduled throughout December.

Open: 10am-9pm, Daily
3-5-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Nearest stn: Ginza exit # A13)

Japan news

Clinton gets soft
Former US President Bill Clinton recently met for the second time with the parents of a Japanese exchange student gunned down in
a trick-or-treat accident in Louisiana in 1992. The incident, which took place during his presidency, led Clinton to advocate tighter gun control measures during his administration.

Ex-lepers steam at being turned away at onsen
A Kumamoto hot-spring resort turned away a group of people formerly infected with leprosy, citing concerns that the disease would spread to other guests despite the local government maintaining there was no such risk.

East of Iraq
Ailing former finance minister Masajuro Shiokawa, commonly known as Shio-ji, suggested that Iraq is constantly on the mind of recently re-elected Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and that the future of the LDP rests on the handling the rebuilding of the Middle Eastern state. Matters weren’t helped when a group of armed assailants fired rounds into the Japanese Embassy early on November 18, although there were no reported casualties.

Free Willy
An American environmental activist and a Dutch photographer were arrested by local authorities in Wakayama Prefecture on suspicion of cutting whale nets that stranded live whales in the bay near the traditional whaling village of Taiji.

Lacking balls
Zico, head coach of Japan’s national soccer squad, didn’t gain any points to his credit late last month when his lackluster team scraped a draw against Cameroon, creating few chances and displaying an aimless, tactless game the Brazilian is known to field.

Body Double
A hospital mix-up added to the misery of a family when the wrong corpse was delivered to their home. It occurred at a Tokyo hospital when two elderly patients of the same surname passed away at the same time, causing filing errors at the morgue.

Godzilla Returns
New York Yankees outfielder Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui, who became the first Japanese player ever to hit a home run in a World Series, returned to Japan on Friday after completing his first season in the major leagues. Matsui, 29, who arrived at Narita airport to come home for the first time since Feb 3, was the only member of the Bronx club to take part in all 163 games this past season.

Tokyo on Alert
The al-Qaida international terrorist network warned Japan that it will attack Tokyo as soon as Japanese troops are deployed in Iraq, Radio France said. In a statement sent by email to London-based weekly Arabic magazine al-Majallah, an al-Qaida spokesman said al-Qaida will infiltrate deep into Tokyo and attack the Japanese capital as soon as Self-Defense Forces troops set foot on Iraq, according to the report.

The message acknowledged al-Qaida's involvement in November's deadly attacks on British targets in Istanbul and said Japan can be easily destroyed and the Japanese will come to face the reality, the radio report said.

Kumamoto Hotel Criminally Charged
Justice Ministry's Kumamoto District Legal Affairs Bureau has filed a criminal complaint with police against a hotel in Kurokawa hot spring resort, Kumamoto Prefecture, alleging that it violated the Hotel Business Law in connection with the hotel's refusal to provide lodging to former patients of Hansen's disease.

Criminally charged are Ai Ladies Kyuden Kurokawa Onsen Hotel, its head office, Aistar Company Ltd., and the general manager of the hotel. The Justice Ministry's local office, having received November 18 a report on the incident from Kumamoto Prefectural government.

International news

His Story
10 years after facing charges of child molestation, Michael Jackson is back in court defending similar allegations of lewd and disorderly conduct with a minor. Jackson’s Santa Barbara ranch was raided whilst the singer was in Vegas shooting a music video, and despite his proclaiming innocence, an arrest warrant was issued following a 14-hour search of the infamous property called Neverland.

South of the Border
It’s not just immigrants but onions that now have a hard time crossing the Rio Grande, after US authorities recently discovered a batch of Mexican green onions caused an outbreak of Hepatitis A in Pennsylvania.

The owner of a vodka store in Volgodonsk, Russia, was charged with manslaughter after the winner of a vodka-drinking contest he had arranged died of alcohol poisoning. The deceased man had downed 1.5 liters of 80-proof liquid in half an hour. Five other contestants ended up in intensive care units, while others returned the next day for more.

Booked out
Despite mixed reviews and shady figures, ambushed soldier-turned celebrity Jessica Lynch’s autobiography was ranked number one on the New York Times’ list of nonfiction best sellers. Lynch received $1 million in advance payments.

Beating around the Bush
US President George W. Bush’s recent visit to Britain was taken none too lightly by Londoners dissatisfied with influential US policies in Iraq—Dissenters dyed the fountains of Trafalgar Square in red, while a “chasing Bush” campaign proliferated among cell-phone users where by the president’s whereabouts were tracked, sending armies of protesters his way.

The Golden State
Newly-elected California Governor Arnie was sworn into office in a toned-down ceremony, in which he stressed that all the years of training and body-building have taught him one thing — people, and the State of California, are stronger than they think they are.

Phil Spector denies murder charge
Legendary record produ-cer Phil Spector has appeared before a California court, formally charged with murder.
B-movie actress Lana Clarkson was found at his mansion in February with a fatal gunshot wound to her face. Mr Spector pleaded not guilty to her murder during a brief hearing in Alhambra, near Los Angeles. He remains free on $1m bail. Mr Spector made his name in the 1960s, when his Wall of Sound technique transformed pop music and he produced acts like the Beatles and the Ronettes.

EU hi-tech crime agency created
The European Union is setting up an agency to co-ordinate work to combat the rising tide of cybercrime. The European Network and Information Security Agency will help educate the public about viruses, hacker attacks and other security problems. It will also act as a co-ordinator for Europe-wide investigations into virus outbreaks or electronic attacks. ENISA has a budget of 24.3m euros (£17m), will start work in 2004, based in Brussels.

News section compiled by Jason Mills


Up to date cinema listings guide so you always know what's on, where and when!


Festivals, performances, shows, gallery openings...your guide to what's coming up in the next few weeks.


Hard Knock Life
The Midori group peers thrugh the tarpaulins of Kyoto's homeless community.


Ski Suki?
The lowdown on some of the best ski resorts in Japan for folks who want to get a jump on the ski season.


Beauty by Coro
Time to dress up for the holiday season.


J Soccer Monthly Review
Soccerphile.com's Sanborn Brown on the latest action in Japanese soccer.


Top games on the horizon
The lowdown on what's hot and what's going to be in the gaming world.


Outback Grill
Sizzling steaks and blooming onions in Umeda.

Kitahorie's Covent Garden Social Club
A Canadian Cheers in the middle of Kitahorie.


Some of the news you won't see printed elsewhere, plus the best of the rest.

:: ART

Ikko Tanaka retrospective and Angkor Wat rubbings, plus other art listings for December.


Ya La Tengo, John Mayer, Clarence Gatemouth and many more incoming live acts...


ELLEN ALLIEN vs DJ MAYURI @ Club Two, Carl Cox @ Under Lounge and more...


Pixars' Finding Nemo, the much anticipated The Last Samurai and many more...


William Kremer A member of the Midori Group, and co-director of "Kyoto Poverty".