Daily Archives: January 28, 2008

Miyazaki Gov. in Fuji Drama Special

Higashikokubaru Hideo, Tsukaji MugaMiyazaki Prefecture governor Higashikokubaru Hideo (50, photo left) really is a one-man publicity machine. The former comedian didn’t even have to leave his new workplace to film his part in an upcoming Fuji TV drama special. Comedian Tsukaji Muga (36, photo right) of the duo Drunk Dragon visited the prefectural office at the weekend to film scenes for “Hadaka no Taisho” (The Naked General), in which the governor plays himself. Ironically, three people were arrested just last week for shooting nude photos in front of the building, just the kind of stunt the politician might have been involved in during his days as Sonomanma Higashi. But his first year in politics has seen him plugging Miyazaki products left, right and center, making countless TV appearances, and he continues to enjoy unwavering popularity among his constituents. In the Fuji drama, Tsukaji revives last year’s role as the late artist Yamashita Kiyoshi (1922-71).

• Former Johnny’s Jimusho idol Okamoto Kenichi (38) has been divorced since last year, according to the latest issue of “Shuukan Gendai” magazine. The former rhythm guitarist of the group Otokogumi married model Yoshie in 1992. Their son Keito was born the following year, and he followed in his dad’s footsteps, becoming a member of the Johnny’s group Hey! Say! Jump! last year.

• Actor Karato Ryou (38) spoke yesterday for the first time about his battle with cancer. Appearing at a PR event in Osaka for the movie “Koneko no Namida”, he revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx eight years ago, shortly after getting his license as a pro kick boxer. He spent the next two and a half years in hospital, undergoing surgery five times, and his vocal cords were repaired using fat from his stomach. He was able to return to his acting carer in 2004 but kept his medical history a secret. He decided to open up about it yesterday as the film is set in his home town of Osaka and tells the story of boxer Morioka Eiji, who won a bronze medal at the 1968 Mexico Olmpics and died of cancer in 2004. The movie stars Takeda Shinji (35) and is directed by Morioka’s nephew Morioka Toshiyuki.

• Popular magician Magii Shinji (34) and talento Yoshida Yuki (28) became parents for the first time on Saturday. Magii, known mainly for his corny party tricks, announced the arrival of their baby girl on his blog on Sunday. The couple got married in August 2006.