Nakatani Miki Wins Best Actress Award

Actress Nakatani Miki (31) was the only big Japanese winner yesterday at the first ever Asian Film Awards. The event was held last night in Hong Kong to coincide with the opening of the 31st Hong Kong International Film Festival. Nakatani won the best actress award for her starring role in “Kiraware Matsuko no Isshou” (Memories of Matsuko), based on Yamada Muneki’s novel of the same name and adapted last year as a TBS drama. She beat such prominent nominees as Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi and Miyazawa Rie, nominated for her role in “Bushi no Ichibun” (Love and Honor). The movie, the third in a trilogy of samurai dramas directed by Yamada Yoji, was nominated for best film but lost out to Korean hit “The Host”. That movie’s star, Song Kang-ho, beat out Watanabe Ken, who poignantly played a middle-aged Alzheimers sufferer in “Ashita no Kioku” (Memories of Tomorrow).

• The Tokyo home and office of controversial kyogen actor Izumi Motoya (32) has been seized by the tax authorities, it was revealed yesterday. According to the “Shuukan Bunshun” weekly magazine, the two-storey building in Itabashi Ward was seized last year following large scale local and national tax evasion. The Izumi Souke company, run by the actor’s domineering mother Setsuko (64), allegedly evaded some ¥150 million in taxes over five years. The company has appealed the imposed penalty.