Actress Yada Akiko (29) is making her return to work after a couple of years off to get married and have a baby. It was announced yesterday that she is to appear in the Fuji TV drama “Voice – Inochinakimono no Koe,” which airs from January 12 in the “golden” time slot of 9pm Mondays. One of the top young actresses and TV commercial faces of the last decade, things started to change for Yada a few months after she and actor/singer Oshio Manabu (30) appeared together in the spring 2005 TBS drama series “Yume de Aimashou.” The two had first worked together on the Fuji series “Yamato Nadeshiko” in 2000 but the first report of romance came in August 2005. Yada dropped out of sight when they got married in November 2006, and she became a mother just over a year later (they named their son Riamu/Liam, as Oshio is a fan of Brit rockers Oasis). Yada’s last TV role was also on Fuji, when she appeared in the series “Top Caster” three years ago. Oshio has switched between acting and musical careers, and joined Avex Entertainment this spring. He is said to be aiming to launch a career outside Japan, possibly in Hollywood (he lived in Los Angeles for eight years as a child). But nothing major has happened for him in some time so no doubt Yada will be the breadwinner for the time being.
• Tadano Hitoshi is going Golden! The popular late-night drama series “Tokumei Kakaricho – Tadano Hitoshi” is to get a prime time (called “golden” in Japan) slot on TV Asahi, it was announced yesterday. We’ve run a couple of recent articles on the growing profile of the show and its current big screen version, and mentioned that the show is famous for its sex scenes that often feature real porn stars. Well, for a Thursday 9pm time slot, the show will be expected to cut back on the nudity. But star Takahashi Katsunori, who turns 44 today, said they will push the boundaries as far as the censors (and the viewing public) will allow. A few days before the series starts on January 8, there will be a special featuring former Morning Musume member Nakazawa Yuko (35), though there was no mention of how much she will bare.
• Former sumo yokozuna (grand champion) Hanada Masaru (37) has remarried. He revealed on a weekend variety show that he tied the knot with his 28-year-old bride on December 12. She is not involved in show business. Hanada has four children with his ex-wife Mieko (39), whom he divorced in October 2007. She is said to have learned of the marriage only when reporters quizzed her about it outside her Tokyo home yesterday.
• Singer Gackt kicked off his first concert tour in three years yesterday. His fans tend toward the fanatical so they didn’t seem to mind that the show started two hours late at the Misato City Bunka Kaikan. Gackt said he was a bit nervous after such a long break from performing and had let the rehearsals run overtime. He gave the first public performances of his latest single “Jesus” and the upcoming new track “Ghost,” which is the local theme song for the U.S. drama “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” The tour is his biggest so far but the venues are fairly small, with a total projected audience of about 110,000 for 51 shows in 43 cities nationwide.