Yankumi to help save the earth – Tokyograph

Yukie Nakama is joining boy band Arashi as one of the celebrity hosts of NTV’s charity program ’24 Hour Television,’ taking place on August 30-31. Part of the show will feature her in character as Yankumi from the ‘Gokusen’ drama series, which is currently doing well in the ratings for its third season.

(Link: Yankumi to help save the earth – Tokyograph.)

Speaking of Yankumi and “Gokusen 3,” I’ve been watching the drama and although the underlying story is pretty much the same throughout the series, it’s like I can’t not watch it. I keep telling myself that I know the story already but I still find myself returning to watch the next episode, so what gives? I guess this is my generation’s “Abarenbo Shogun” which is basically the same show: 1) protagonist hides his/her true identity; 2) someone gets into trouble with some bad guys; 3) protagonist reveals his/her true identity; 4) bad guys get their butt kicked.

For me (and the sake of Okinawan pop culture), it’s neat to find Okinawan-references in “Gokusen 3” which I’m thinking are there because of actress Yukie Nakama. (Check out the screenshots below.)

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Season 3 started out with Yankumi in Okinawa teaching at an English school. (Yeah, it didn’t quite work out so this scene shows her [luckily] being asked to return to teach in the mainland.)

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Here’s another shot of that same scene. Nice, huh?

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This one’s interesting. What’s interesting? OK, stop looking at Yankumi and check out the items on her desk. Yup, you see it now, right? A trio of shisa. 🙂

YouTube: Yoshio Kojima

One of my daily routines every night is to check YouTube’s Most Viewed of the Day and I’ve been seeing a lot of clips from a Japanese comedian by the name of Yoshio Kojima. Lo and behold, he’s from Okinawa! A graduate of Waseda University, the comedian got his big break from his appearances in GuruNai. The clip above also features beautiful actress Ryoko Kuninaka (recently seen in the J-drama “Hotaru no Hikari”).