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Sunday, June 17, 2007

CHANNEL SURF

Romantic drama-comedy, travel food show and celebrity concert music special

The strong-willed wife is an archetype in almost every culture and it gets the comedy treatment in Fuji TV's series "Oni Yome Nikki (Diary of a Demon Bride)" (Tuesday, 10 p.m.), which is based on a popular manga. Arisa Kanzuki plays the title character, Sanae, whose lazy and negligent husband, Kazuma (Gori), runs the public bath that his family owns in the building where they live.

Sanae believes that Kazuma takes her for granted. One day, a young man named Tanabe admires her outfit, and when she tells Kazuma this in order to get some kind of jealous rise out of him, he acts as if he doesn't care. So Sanae makes a date with Tanabe, making sure that Kazuma finds out. They quarrel, and while she goes on her date, he retires to a bar to sulk.

One of Nihon TV's most popular shows of the last decade was "Dotchi no Ryori (Which Dish?)," where a group of celebrities had to choose which of two mouth-watering meals they would prefer to eat.

The show finally left the air last year and has since been replaced by a similarly-themed series, "Nippon Tabi X Tabi Show (Japan Travel X Travel Show)" (Thursday, 9 p.m.). However, instead of choosing which dish they'd like to eat, the celebrities have to choose which tour package they'd like to take.

This week's destination is the city of Kanazawa. The team headed by media celeb Yuji Miyake explores the city by collecting ingredients for the region's most famous cuisine, digging up bamboo shoots and going to markets to buy white shrimp. The other team, headed by comedian Takeshi Fujii, goes in search of the city's natural beauty, including Kenrokuen, one of Japan's most celebrated parks. The celebrities back in the studio have to choose which trip they'd prefer taking themselves.

Probably the most popular singer-songwriter in Japan is Yumi Matsutoya, who started her career as Yumi Arai in the early 1970s, but has always been better known by her nickname Yumin. Though she is still a big-time performer in her own right, her songs have been covered by hundreds of artists.

Music producer Yohito Teraoka has been a huge fan of Yumin since he was a boy, and has always wanted to sing her songs on stage with her. Yumin agreed, and the rehearsals went so well that other well-known fans were invited to participate in the one-time only concert event.

On Friday, NHK will broadcast the concert (NHK-G, 10 p.m.), which, in addition to Teraoka and Yumin, includes performances by the pop duo Yuzu as well as Kazutoshi Sakurai of the band Mr. Children. The show features interviews with all the musicians and the concert includes a new song that all the participants wrote together.



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