Yoshida Takuro may have to finally put a period to his on-again, off-again farewell concert tour. The popular folk singer (63) has been struggling with various health problems since he underwent surgery for lung cancer in 2003. The latter half of a tour in 2007 was canceled after he came down with asthmatic bronchitis and pleurisy. Realizing he was reaching some kind of limit, he said this year’s tour would definitely be his last. But another bout of chronic bronchitis earlier this month forced him to cancel a show in Osaka at the last minute. He was determined to recover in time for a show tomorrow at Tsumagoi in Shizuoka Prefecture, venue for his famous all-night concert in 1975. He was on his way there for rehearsals last night but his condition deteriorated and he ended up in the hospital instead. He released a statement apologizing to fans and saying that he plans to rest at home until he has made a complete recovery.
• Matsuyama Kenichi will have a rare double chance at winning an award at this year’s 34th Montreal World Film Festival. The actor (24) stars in two movies that have been entered for the event, which opens on September 10. “Kamui Gaiden” (directed by Sai Yoichi and due for release here on Setember 19), in which he plays a fugitive ninja, will be shown in the Special Presentation category. While in “Ultra Miracle Love Story” (directed by Yokohama Satoko) he plays an agriculturalist from Aomori who falls for a Tokyo girl (Aso Kumiko). The movie, which opened in Japan earlier in the summer, has been entered in the Discovery category. It will be return visit to Montreal for MatsuKen. His “Detroit Metal City” won crowd approval, though no awards, last year. The last Japanese winner of the People’s Choice award was Kitano Takeshi’s “Zatoichi” in 2003.