V6’s Junichi Okada and the cast of his new movie 天地明察 (Tenchimeisatsu) visited a movie theatre in Tokyo to celebrate its premiere on September 15, reports Sankei Sports.
Johnny’s talents Okada and Kanjani8’s Yu Yokoyama took part in an event in the Marunouchi Picadilly 1, Tokyo, on Saturday.
One of the movie’s actors and Japanese kabuki performer Somegoro Ichikawa was absent from the event due to an injury during one of his own stage shows. The actor had left a letter apologising for his absence, to which Okada said he hoped Ichikawa would get better soon.
“I hope he can recover as soon as possible, and we can see him dancing gracefully on stage again,” he said.
The star watching apparatus used in the movie was also on special display on Saturday.
V6 leader Masayuki Sakamoto will swap the microphone and fancy costumes for an apron and kitchen knife from April, it was announced on March 14, reports Sankei Sports.
It has been reported Fuji TV is starting a new show on April 2 called “ノンストップ！ (Nonstop!)” (Mon ~ Fri from 9:55am), which will feature a cooking session every Friday lead by Sakamoto.
The V6 leader has said his family owns a grocery shop and so he practically grew up surrounded by food and cooking.
“Enjoy watching how I can use a kitchen knife and frying pan!”
In the past Sakamoto has even said how cooking is more than a hobby for him.
“It’s a dream of mine to own a small restaurant, something like 30-metres-squared,” he said.
It has been reported the cooking session will also feature Sakamoto going out to buy the ingredients himself, giving people the chance to see where their food comes from and who makes it.
There was talk about his rumoured girlfriend and some talk about how Johnny’s talents learn their script lines at a press conference in Tokyo yesterday for Masayuki Sakamoto’s upcoming stage musical, reports The TV and Sponichi Annex.
The V6 leader is playing the lead character Billy in “MY ONE AND ONLY“, a romantic comedy set in 1927 America.
“The story is about scruffy pilot Billy who undergoes a huge transformation to become the perfect gentleman in order to get the woman he’s fallen in love with . It’s my first time playing a character like this so I’m excited. I got to do some tap dancing again. I think the best scene is when we do a tap dance sequence in puddles of water,” Sakamoto said.
It has been reported Sakamoto said he was excited to be able to work with actor Jay Kabira. Kabira, and another co-star Souma Suzuki, said it was them who were excited about working with Sakamoto.
“I’ve watched a number of Sakamoto-kun’s musicals, and when you watch him, you can see how serious he is about each show and character. As an actor, he’s a really amazing person I can depend on,” Kabira said.
“Sakamoto-san has a mountain of lines (in the show), but he learned them perfectly by the time we’d started rehearsals, it’s like magic,” Suzuki said.
“I learn my lines by writing them down. It’s a trick my senior (Noriyuki) Higashiyama-san taught me, and Higashiyama-san himself learned it off Mitsuko Mori-san,” Sakamoto said.
Another topic discussed during the press conference was about Sakamoto’s rumoured girlfriend, actress Otsuka Chihiro. In fact, this was the first time Sakamoto had appeared in front of the press since the rumour surfaced. As the press asked questions like, “is your relationship going well?” and, “will your girlfriend come to see the show?”, Sakamoto did not go into details, but also did not deny the rumour.
“Am I allowed to say, ‘yes’?”
MY ONE AND ONLY starts shows at Tokyo’s Aoyama Theatre from March 10, and will also hold shows in Osaka.
The two were co-stars in the stage show “Zorro The Musical”, which ran between January and March this year. It has been reported a month following the show’s end, around April, the two started going out, and that they have already reported their relationship to each other’s families.
On Sakamoto’s birthday in July, friends from the Zorro show had thrown the Johnny’s talent a birthday party. Otsuka did not print any names, but her blog entry about the day said she had, “just celebrated a very special friend’s birthday with everyone”.
It has also been reported 25-year-old Otsuka uploads photos of the homemade bread and pizza she makes on her blog, while Sakamoto had been dropping comments during his radio show about how he had bought a bread maker, or when he had made pizza at home.
Previously, Sakamoto had been dating Yuko Nakazawa after the two had met and played lovers during the 2001 stage show “Footloose”. While there had been rumours the two would get married, the two broke it off in 2010. Otsuka herself had previously dated singer Takanori Nishikawa, but the two had broken it off in 2009.
At the Yokohama Arena yesterday, video footage of their concert in the same venue from 2001 was played on screen during the group’s MC session. It has been reported the members started talking about what had and had not changed in the last decade.
“We’re better dancers now. And 10 years later, none of us have lost any hair,” Yoshihiko Inohara said.
“We’ve been eating so much but no one’s put on any weight. No one in V6 is porky,” Hiroshi Nagano said.
“No one [in Johnny's] is,” Junichi Okada said.
V6 celebrate 16 years together now, but group leader Masayuki Sakamoto said group success does not come easy.
“It’s important not to interfere with one another (laughs). We’re all different ages so there was a long wait before we could all go out drinking as a group. I think after we could, we got to know one another better.”
V6’s national tour went around eight venues, totaling 17 concerts and attracting more than 180,000 fans.
Arashi’s Ninomiya made a guest appearance during the group’s MC.
“The first time I was a back dancer was for a V6 concert,” he said, surprising the members before slipping in a little PR for his own group.
“Our new single comes out on November 2,” he said.
V6 leader Sakamoto also talked about Tomohisa Yamashita and Ryo Nishikido’s departure from NEWS, and wished them and the remaining four members the best of luck.
“I think they had a really hard time trying to decide what was best. All they can do now to make up for the trouble they’ve caused to their fans is to work harder than they ever have.
“As part of the Johnny’s family, I wish them all the best,” he said.
Sakamoto also commented about new Johnny’s group Sexy Zone’s upcoming debut.
“I’ll keep an eye on them like a father,” he said.
Yojiro Takita, who won an oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009 for “Departures”, is adapting popular period novel “天地明察 (Tenchimeisatsu)” for the big screen. Written by To Ubukata, the story follows Harumi Shibukawa (later known as Santetsu Yasui), a Go player and astronomer who lived in the Edo period (around the 17th century) and is famous for revising the Chinese lunisolar calendar for Japan.
It has been reported Okada has been cast as the lead role of Harumi, while actress Aoi Miyazaki will play Harumi’s wife, and Yokoyama will play Harumi’s rival.
“I want to put my heart into this role so that maybe I can give viewers courage and hope in playing a man who pushes forward and puts his life into working on this (lunisolar) calendar, how he takes things straight on, and who’s surrounded by people who have his back,” Okada said.
The movie’s director also said he expected big things from Okada.
“When I tried to picture my main character looking straight at the stars, I thought of Okada-san’s eyes and how they show a certain kindness, but also a strong will,” Takita said.
The movie will begin shooting on June 16 and is scheduled to be released in 2012.