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The stories you didn’t see during Arashi’s 24Hr TV special

18:12 JST August 31, 2012 3 comments

Weekly magazine Josei Seven has reported two stories about Arashi members Satoshi Ohno and Sho Sakurai which TV audiences never got to see.

 

Ohno’s story

It has been reported Satoshi Ohno’s visit to 11-year-old Saki Wada meant more to her than what was shown on TV.

 

The karate girl living in Kamaishi made a promise to her mother she would make it past the first round at karate nationals, but sadly Saki had lost her mother and home to last year’s devastating tsunami.  When the 24Hr TV team wanted to do a piece about her, Saki said she was told a comedian would come visit her.

“They told me Sugi-chan was coming.  So I was shocked when Ohno-kun turned up.

“We played badminton in front of the house.  He’s so good that I lost though.  Then we planted radish seeds and did some wood chopping.  Ohno-kun was having trouble with chopping wood.”

 

But it has been reported something else made Saki even happier.

“The best part was hearing him cheer me on, telling me, ‘you can do it, you can get past the first round!’,” she said.

 

Saki’s coach said Ohno had also made sure he did not miss Saki’s training sessions.

“Ohno-san came around to the dojo we use to practice at around 9pm.  He was meant to come around 7pm, but everyone in the neighbourhood had heard a celebrity was coming so I guess they kept him from coming in,” he said.

 

There is no doubt Ohno’s cheers gave Saki a lot of motivation, even more since Ohno is Saki’s favourite Arashi member.

“He stayed for dinner and ate curry with me at my house!  He said it tasted really good.”

 

Sakurai’s story

It has been reported Sho Sakurai did as much practice as he could to prepare for his special soccer match.

 

Sakurai had visited high school girls’ soccer team Mizusawa UFC Princess, whose top player Shiori Koyama was lost to last year’s tsunami.   In memory of their team mate, the team and Sakurai played a special match against their lost member’s favourite soccer player, Homare Sawa, and her INAC Kobe Leonessa soccer league team.

 

It has been reported Sakurai had practiced with the girls in their hometown before the match day.

“I think the last thing he (Sakurai) wanted was to meet the girls on the match day and say ‘let’s do this’.  He probably wanted to see where Shiori-san had trained with his own eyes,” said one TV staff member.

 

One team member confirms this.

“Sakurai-kun came to our training ground a few days before our game with INAC.  It was during the day, but no one hanging around the field noticed who he was.  He was good with the ball, but got tired easily (laughs),” said one team member.

 

It has been reported the same team member said Sakurai did not lose his focus during the game itself too.

“He’d sigh and shout when he made a mistake, he was taking it seriously.  When I’d ask him to run out front for a long pass, he’d say ‘leave it to me’.”

 

Another team member found it funny watching Sakurai.

“Some of us were saying that Sakurai-kun’s shorts were short.  They’re made for girls, so they were a little small for him and really tight.  He said it was embarrassing so would try and push the shorts down, but after running around on the field the shorts would ride up again.  It was like watching a soccer player from the old days,” said the team member.

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Arashi look back on 24Hr TV special

17:18 JST August 27, 2012 1 comment

Arashi, this year’s main personality for Nihon TV’s “24時間テレビ35『愛は地球を救う』(24Hr Television / Love Saves the Earth’)”, look back on their third time hosting the show, reports Mainichi Shimbun on August 27.

 

Kazunari Ninomiya:

“It’s possible there’s only a set number of dreams one person has.  But being here with everyone, and thanks to all of those people on location, in these 24 hours I’ve been able to see so many more dreams about the future.”

 

Masaki Aiba:

“This year was another great time for me, I had to fight back the tears so many times…  I could feel how much people wanted a bright future.”

 

Sho Sakurai:

“It was truly an honour.  I was touched by everything.”

 

Satoshi Ohno:

“My feelings for the future have become stronger from this, our third show.  I want to make a fresh start for the future.”

 

Jun Matsumoto:

“I feel like the show was over in an instant this year.  If people were able to get our message about moving forward, I think it was a good 24 hours spent for the future.”

Sho Sakurai blown away by size of SuperStar Virgo cruise ship during movie shoot

11:31 JST July 20, 2012 2 comments

Arashi’s Sho Sakurai was literally running around everywhere during his shoot for the “謎解きはディナーのあとで (Nazotoki wa dinner no atone)” movie, reports Sankei Sports and Chunichi Sports on July 20.

 

The movie version of the hit detective drama series of the same name stars a perfectionist, sharp-tongued butler Kageyama (Sakurai) and socialite, police officer Reiko (played by Keiko Kitagawa).

“This time’s ‘nazotoki’ has been scaled up, I hope you enjoy it,” Sakurai said.

 

It has been reported the cast held a press conference on board the movie’s main setting, Asia’s biggest luxury cruise ship the SuperStar Virgo, which Sakurai had said was a sight to see.  The ship is 268 metres, is about the equivalent of a 14-storey building, and has other features like nine restaurants, a casino, pool, movie theatre, and a gym.

“I looked up at it from the bottom and it’s size blew me away.  It took me an hour to do a one round tour of it,” Sakurai said.

Sakurai also said the cruise ship reminded him of his debut press conference with Arashi in Hawaii onboard a cruiser, but, “this time the ship was so huge”.

 

The movie was shot as the cruise ship traveled 2615 kilometres through Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.

“People even recognised me over here (Singapore),” Sakurai said.

 

It has been reported Sakurai went backwards and forwards between Japan and the SuperStar Virgo twice because he had other jobs going on at the same time.  This included shoots for this year’s 24Hr TV special, and his duty as the London Olympics reporter.  One time, Sakurai had boarded off the SuperStar Virgo at Redang Island, Malaysia, before catching two boat rides, one car trip, and two plane rides to get back to Narita Airport in Tokyo.  From there he caught a car ride to Haneda Airport in Tokyo, boarded a domestic flight to Osaka, and finally caught a car ride to Kobe for his other job.  In total, the one way trip took about 18 hours.

“I started to loose track of where I was,” Sakurai said.

 

It has been reported by the time Sakurai got back to Malaysia to continue shooting the movie, the other cast members had enjoyed a good time.  His co-star Kippei Shiina told Sakurai at the press conference he had spent the time playing on the beach.  Actress Keiko Kitagawa had said she enjoyed her time trying out the different restaurants on board the ship.

“I ate fried rice nine times,” she said.

 

Despite being overly busy Sakurai did manage to have a good time himself as well.

“The first two days I was here [on board the ship], I took 500 photos, then this time I took 300 photos over three days,” he said.

 

Filming is still going on in Japan, and the movie will be released in 2013.

 

**EXTRA**

Sakurai’s comment about filming the movie on the cruise ship.  Published on the “謎解きはディナーのあとで (Nazotoki wa dinner no atone)” movie website.

“Singapore is one of the countries I’ve always wanted to go to.  I knew I would be coming here to shoot the movie so I tried very hard to restrain myself from coming here during my days off from work.  I had a lot of fun here.  When we had shoots scheduled in the afternoon I’d get up early in the morning and walk around the ship.  I thought I had enjoyed it as much as humanly possible, but obviously Kippei-san had a better time (laughs).

This story has moved from a drama series to a special drama, and now a movie.  I hope people will be able to enjoy how the story has been scaled up with an overseas setting and shoots on a luxury cruise ship.  My co-stars make up an amazing cast as well so I don’t think you’ll find yourself bored at any time.  I really hope you look forward to seeing it!”

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More about Arashi’s 24Hr TV specials

16:56 JST July 11, 2012 1 comment

Jun Matsumoto is turning into a brass band conductor, Sho Sakurai a soccer player, and Kazunari Ninomiya has just finished shooting his drama on the edge of a 20 metro cliff for this year’s 24 Hr TV, reports Sports Hochi, Sponichi Annex, Sankei Sports, and Nikkan Sports on June 10.

 

“24時間テレビ35『愛は地球を救う』(24Hr Television / Love Saves the Earth’)” is being hosted by Johnny’s group Arashi this year, and new details about their special programs have been revealed.

 

Matsumoto will conduct the brass band at a high school in Ishinomaki, a town devastated by last year’s tsunami.  It has been reported Matsumoto had no plans to conduct at first.  The band had been invited to perform in Tokyo’s Budokan, where the 24Hr TV special will be aired from, to express their gratitude to everyone who has supported their community and to tell people they are doing their best to rebuild their lives.  But after Matsumoto had visited the school in June, the students invited the Arashi member to lead them as they prepared for their Tokyo performance.  Having no conducting experience, Matsumoto has since been learning the fundamentals from Japanese conductor Yutaka Sado.

“He said the most important thing is to draw together all of the thoughts of each and every musician, become a part of their music-making, and to have fun.  I had also heard that after the tsunami, Sado-san had been involved with organizations which had donated instruments to their school.  Maybe it’s fate,” Matsumoto said.

 

Just north of Ishinomaki, a high school soccer team in Rikuzentakada had been invited by Sakurai and FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Homare Sawa to play a match in memory of their team member Shiori Koyama.  It has been reported the Mizusawa UFC Princess player had a dream of becoming a World Cup soccer player but she was lost in the tsunami which hit Rikuzentakada on March 11, 2011.  Despite the fact Sawa and a number of her team mates were preparing for the London Olympics, the women’s soccer team INAC Kobe made time for a match against their juniors earlier this month.  Sakurai joined the Tohoku team as a special member as the two sides played off in a 30 minute match.

“It was incredible.  Even the heavy rain stopped while we were having the match.  I think Shiori-san was watching us,” Sakurai said.

News report of the match on TV

It has been reported over in Shizuoka prefecture, Ninomiya had been filming the climax scene to his special drama “車イスで僕は空を飛ぶ (Kuruma-isu de Boku wa Sora wo Tobu)”.  In the drama, Ninomiya plays a good-for-nothing teenager who gets in a fight which leaves him paralysed from the waist down.  Wanting to end his life, he drags himself and his wheelchair to the edge of a 20 metro cliff.  The cliff used in the scene had bad footing even for those who could walk, and so just in case, a rescue team and coast guard team were on standby during the shoot.

 

“You might see it as taking too much risk, but it was a decision made by all of the production staff to bring out the real meaning of this scene,” Ninomiya said.

News report of the shoot on TV

 

Here’s a link to where I got the screenshots: http://youtu.be/_RBvdZ0kLGw

Sho Sakurai and Keiko Kitagawa reunite for “Nazotoki wa Dinner no ato de” movie

10:41 JST June 4, 2012 3 comments

Keiko Kitagawa (photo thanks to Sankei Sports)

Fans will get to see Arashi’s Sho Sakurai and actress Keiko Kitagawa on the big screen next year when the “謎解きはディナーのあとで (Nazotoki wa dinner no ato de)” movie comes out, it was announced on June 3, reports Sankei Sports.

The two will reprise their roles as perfectionist, sharp-tongued butler Kageyama and socialite, police officer Reiko.  The two had played these roles in the 2011 drama series, and a special drama episode in March.

“I haven’t had many opportunities to play one role so many times so I’m really excited,” Sakurai said.

In the movie, Reiko goes on vacation to Singapore on her family’s luxury cruise ship, called the Princess Reiko, and drags Kageyama with her.  While onboard, someone is murdered and the two find themselves trying to solve the case.

It has been reported shooting will take place on Asia’s biggest cruise ship, the SuperStar Virgo, which can hold more than 1800 passengers and 1200 crew.  It has more than 900 rooms, restaurants, a casino, movie theatre, gym, and a library to name a few features.

While there will be some studio shoots, it has been reported 80 to 90 per cent of the shoots will be onboard the ship.  The production team will do shoots on the cruise ship later this month and in July when they go on board for two four-day cruise trips.  On location shoots in Singapore are also being planned.

“It’s a job, but it’s like a dream job because we’re filming on a luxury cruise ship and in Singapore, which is where I’ve always wanted to go,” Sakurai said.

The “謎解きはディナーのあとで (Nazotoki wa dinner no ato de)” is scheduled to be released in 2013.

Inside the SuperStar Virgo

Inside the SuperStar Virgo

Sho Sakurai enjoying the local drinks in Okinawa

18:04 JST February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

(How did I miss this one…. Momo)

Actress Keiko Kitagawa on location for "Nazo-toki wa Dinner no atode" (photo thanks to Tokyo Walker)

On location shooting at a tropical beach with emerald green seas, Arashi’s Sho Sakurai and actress Keiko Kitagawa are in Okinawa to work the special drama episode of “謎解きはディナーのあとで (Nazo-toki wa Dinner no atode)”, reports Tokyo Walker on February 14.

The Nazo-toki team have been doing on location shoots since February 10 for the drama, which is based on the award-winning novel of the same name.  The story follows Reiko Hosho (Kitagawa), one of the richest heiresses in the world and now a new police detective, and Kageyama (Sakurai), Reiko’s mean-mouthed butler who uses his amazing detective skills to guide Reiko to figure out who the killer is .

 

The production team and cast had spent two days on the Okinawa beach, where the weather stayed fine most of the time, although there was a little rain on the second day’s morning.

 

It has been reported in between shoots, Sakurai had a great time trying out the local drinks.  During the night he would go into the convenience store to buy 泡盛 (Awamori, an alcoholic drink made in Okinawa).  Then, during dinner the Arashi would try some 古酒 (Kusu, old vintage Awamori).

 

Sakurai said this shoot felt like the real end to the drama.

“When we finished filming the drama series in December, we’d already been told there was going to be an special episode, so this shoot feels like the real finish.  We’ve got a week’s worth of shooting to do, and I hope we can all give it our best and stay in one piece.”

 

The episode begins with the death of a Western painter.  Then, the story moves to Okinawa.  Not only will fans get to see Reiko and Kageyama work together to solve the mystery, the two will be joined by the drama’s regular cast and some special guests.

 

“謎解きはディナーのあとでスペシャル (Nazo-toki wa Dinner no atode Special)” will go on air in Japan on March 27.

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Sho Sakurai to play lead in war drama

17:03 JST January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Arashi’s Sho Sakurai and AKB48’s Yuko Oshima will play side by side in an upcoming special drama, it was revealed in January 24, reports Sankei Sports.

 

“ブラックボード〜時代と戦った教師たち〜 (Blackboard ~Jidai to Tatakatta Kyoshi-tachi~)” is a three-part drama to be broadcast in Japan in April for three consecutive nights.  The story’s setting is post-war Japan, and the country’s teachers are adopting the new democratic education system, but one junior high school teacher (Sakurai) is torn between the old militarist way and the new.

“I want to deliver a post-war Japan story that’s never been told,” Sakurai said.

 

Sakurai’s character begins as a Japanese history teacher during the war, and is a firm believer in the militarist education.  But after losing his right arm in battle and making a return to education as a social studies teacher, he struggles with the fact that he has to eradicate his militarist teaching.

“There are many ways to talk about war, but I had always thought I’d like to communicate it through a drama,” he said.

 

Producers at TV company TBS have said in February, Sakurai will be coached by a military official in order to learn how to act like a war veteran, and will have his hair cut short to look the part.

 

Sakurai’s co-star Oshima will play an English teacher who embraces the new education system.  Although she fights a lot with Sakurai’s character, she eventually falls in love with him.

 

The Arashi star also said the drama’s meaning can be related to life today, almost 70 years after WWII.

“Facing the future with your children, but feeling conflicted inside.  I think there’s a story about post-war Japan that hasn’t been told that’s behind it.”

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