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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Familiar Faces in Japan

Do you enjoy watching television in Japan even if you are unable to speak the language? I do. I appreciate seeing something different than the usual fare in my home country. In addition, I've begun to recognize certain personalities, and I look for them whenever I visit Japan.

Shingo Katori.

I first began noticing a funny, handsome, rascally-type who turned out to be the singer (SMAP) and actor Shingo Katori. I remembered him from the Taiga Drama "Shinsengumi" which had played on a local cable channel in Los Angeles. His was an isolated presence in the USA (aside from a gyoza commercial), but in Japan he seemed to pop up everywhere. I saw him in ads, on billboards, in magazines, and on television. Once I saw him walk off a talk show after becoming irritated at the host - it was hilarious.

Nishida Toshiyuki.

The next person I began to see everywhere was the actor Nishida Toshiyuki. I have loved this guy ever since he played the hapless Hidetada in "Aoi Tokugawa." Whenever I lay eyes on him I feel as if an old friend is welcoming me to Japan. And on my recent trip, he showed up even sooner - as part of the inflight entertainment in 2016's "Life's Promise." Yokoso

Nishida Toshiyuki.

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