Veteran actor Ashiya Gannosuke died on Wednesday of heart failure in a Kyoto hospital. He was best known for his role as the traveling artist Yamashita Kiyoshi in the television series “Hadaka no Taisho Horoki”. He was 72. Following WWII, he became a comedian, forming a manzai duo with his brother. He gained popularity as an actor in the mid-1950s, but landed his most famous role in 1980. He also had a million-selling hit with his singing debut “Musume Yo” in 1984.
• The Hello! Project, which is behind such J-pop stars as Morning Musume and Matsuura Aya (17), is to hold another audition. A spokesman said that 50 or even 100 new members might be signed up. If you – or your daughter – fancy becoming an idol singer against tens of thousands of other young hopefuls, check out this site.