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Sunday, July 25, 2010


The 'secret lives' of tomatoes; cooking with Japan rock's don; CM of the week: Mobagei Town

Everything you've always wanted to know about the tomato but were afraid to ask is explained on the long-running variety show, "Sekai Marumie Terebi" (The World Fully Exposed on TV; Nihon TV, Mon., 7:56 p.m.), hosted by comedians Beat Takeshi and Joji Tokoro.

Exploring the world through international television programs, "Marumie" looks at the "secret lives" of tomatoes, which have become one of the most common cooking ingredients. A fruit not a vegetable, since it contains seeds, the tomato is believed to have originated in South America where it was mainly utilized for its visual properties as a decoration rather than for its nutritional value.

The show will also look at a Malawi TV program that pits humans against wild animals in "brutal combat," and a Canadian comedy series that evokes "adult laughter."

Tomatoes also play a role on this week's edition of the cooking show, "Chubo Desu yo" (It's Cooking; TBS, Sat., 11:30 p.m.), but the main attraction is the guest, Japan's "don of rock 'n' roll," Yuya Uchida, who turns 70 this year like his hero John Lennon. Though he's there to prepare a summer vegetable pasta dish with host Masaaki Sakai, Uchida will talk about his colorful life, which started as a rockabilly singer in 1959.

Uchida discusses his sojourn to England in the 1960s, as well as his role in bringing cutting-edge groups such as the New York Dolls to Japan in the 1970s. Though he himself has never really released a hit song, with his long mane of white hair and his forceful personality he's an instantly recognizable showbiz fixture. Lately he's been more interested in social issues, having run for Tokyo governor in 1991 and faithfully attending the recent Administrative Reform Council meetings where he never failed to provide reporters with a spicy comment.

CM of the week

Mobagei Town: So far there have been two 15-second entries in this TV commercial series for the mobile phone game Kaito (Mysterious Thief) Royale, distributed by the social-networking service Mobagei Town.

In the first, actress Erika Toda sits in a coffee shop with a friend when they spy another friend across the room with her good-looking boyfriend. While the friend waves back, Toda makes eye contact with the BF. She mutters to herself, "Maybe I can steal that," and starts tapping away at her cell phone.

In the sequel, we see Toda with the good-looking boy at the beach. Obviously her "theft" was a success, but then a pretty girl with a surfboard shows up asking for help and as the BF gives it to her the girl makes very cold eye contact with Toda, who now mutters to herself, "Stolen?" Love, or something like it, is a game.

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