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Sunday, May 7, 2006

CHANNEL SURF

TV Tokyo's "Shujii ga Mitsukaru Shinryojo," TBS's "Zubari Iu Wa Yo!" and more

Prevention is said to be as important to medical care as treatment, but often it's difficult to know how effective certain preventive measures are. This week on TV Tokyo's medical variety show, "Shujii ga Mitsukaru Shinryojo (The Clinic Where You'll Find a Family Doctor)" on Monday at 8 p.m., the guest is veteran TV personality Kyosen Ohashi, who is famously careful about his health.

Several years ago, it was discovered that Ohashi had stomach cancer and he underwent surgery. Since, he has always been strict about his diet and has thorough check-ups every year. He wonders how he could have developed cancer and why it wasn't caught earlier. He has heard about a form of bacteria called pylori that is believed to cause stomach cancer, one of the leading causes of death for Japanese people. Ohashi received treatment twice to rid himself of the bacteria, but it wasn't completely successful. A doctor explains why.

The movie version of Dan Brown's best-selling thriller, "The Da Vinci Code," opens in Japan on May 20. Before then, the media will be saturated with promotions for the movie as well as side events that will attempt to cash in.

Even Kazuko Hosoki is doing her part. The bossy fortuneteller is apparently a huge fan of the book, and she invited French actor Jean Reno, who is one of the stars of the movie, to be a guest on her variety show, "Zubari Iu Wa Yo! (I'll Give It to You Straight!)" (TBS, Tuesday at 9 p.m.) while he was in Tokyo a few weeks ago doing PR work.

In fact, Reno found he had little to do in this regard, since Hosoki spends the bulk of the program enthusing over the book and explaining her own related theories. However, as long as Reno is there, he allows Hosoki to tell his fortune, which requires a bit of unburdening about his childhood (a very strict father), his youth (he was a late starter as an actor), and his subsequent success both in Europe and Hollywood.

One of TV's inside jokes is that whenever a week goes by in which there are no high-profile programs, the long-running comedy show "Shoten" (Nihon TV, Sunday, 5:30 p.m.) is always the ratings king, since it has maintained the exact same audience since it debuted in the 1960s. On May 14, the series will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a special to inaugurate its newest host, rakugo veteran Utamaru Katsura.

Utamaru is the fifth host in the history of "Shoten," which is a comedic contest. Rakugo storytellers sit in a row on a stage and the host gives them a topic. Each comedian has to improvise a story or joke on the topic and the host judges them. The winner receives a zabuton (floor cushion), and the person who accumulates 10 zabutons first is the champion.



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