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Sunday, May 1, 2011

CHANNEL SURF

Behind Ryu Murakami's e-book; show-biz confessions; CM of the week: Recruit

Some writers hate e-books, but not novelist Ryu Murakami, who has embraced the technology with the same enthusiasm he has for all tech developments. NHK's news focus program, "A to Z" (NHK-G, Tues., 6:10 p.m.), visits Murakami in the studio as he "produces" his latest novel in electronic form.

Murakami's new work will be more than just characters on a screen: It will incorporate images, spoken narration and even music. Recently, the media raconteur started his own e-book publishing company, for which he has recruited not only other writers but also vanguard technicians and arts-related experts such as composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. His goal is to realize a book that could never be possible in print.

The Fuji TV special "Geinokai Kokuhaku 3" ("Show Business Confessions"; Tues., 7 p.m.) presents the darker aspects of several celebrities' lives.

Last year, 1970s pop duo Pink Lady embarked on a reunion tour that was anything but easy. Now in their mid-50s, the two women found it very difficult to re-create the manic choreography that was central to their appeal. Moreover, back in the day they were essentially mindless dolls obeying their managers' orders, but now they are in charge of everything, and the strain often shows.

The special also looks at director Nagisa Oshima, one of the great filmmakers of the '60s and '70s, who suffered a stroke 15 years ago. Oshima's wife, actress Akiko Koyama, has been taking care of him ever since, and the stress once drove her to attempt suicide.

CM of the week: Recruit

At first glance it seems like a prime example of counterintuitive marketing: Married couple Kirin Kiki and Yuya Uchida doing a TV commercial for bridal magazine Zexy, published by Recruit.

The 68-year-old actress and the 71-year-old self-described "rock 'n' roller" and John Lennon acolyte have had a famously rocky marriage but have stayed together. The catch copy of the campaign is the English phrase "Get old with me," and the couple are pictured sitting on the ground in traditional Japanese clothing, except that Uchida is wearing his trademark mirrored sunglasses and Kiki has had her hair artificially whitened.

"What's the good point about marriage?" Kiki asks, more to herself than to her husband, who answers, "No comment."



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