Sunday, December 6, 2009

Yukie Nakama Comes to Aka

Yukie Nakama is an A-list movie/television star in Japan. And she came to our school this week.

This visit was intended to be a follow-up on a show she filmed here two years ago about coral.
She has a lot of personality, so half the show is about her and the other half is about the topic she is covering.

She showed up at lunch time, cameras and thirteen staff in tow. She apparently remembered the three students she worked with before, so she sat with them for lunch. One - a cherub boy - she remembered fondly and they were supposed to have a reunion for the cameras. But he pulled a rather forgettable move in not making eye contact with her nor lifting his head from his plate - opting to eat rather than take part in national television with a beautiful woman. I taught him the word "regret" in English class the next day.

[this video has been removed at the request of Yukie Nakama's management company]

I had been warned ahead of time that her manager tries to control her image and he might forbid me from using my camera. But I was in an optimal position inside the lunchroom to get some video before he could sneak around the cameras and shut me down.

Afterwards he wouldn't let me take any photographs until a very choreographed group shot with the kids. In fact, I thought I was in the clear and got this next shot while she was walking to the group. But the manager jumped in front of my camera after I clicked the shutter (he didn't ask me to delete anything nor did he make usage requests for what he did allow, so I don't have any problems putting this up on my tiny little blog).

[these photos have been removed at the request of Yukie Nakama's management company, so you're just going to have to continue to settle for the Photoshopped Yukie]

Prior to this group shot, of which I was the only photographer, her staff prepped her for me. Her makeup was touched up, her clothes fixed, and her hair brushed while I looked around thinking "uh.. you don't have to do that for me."

My brush with fame consisted of us saying "すみません (excuse me)" to each other when I had to duck into her prep room - the 2nd grade classroom - to grab a lens I had stashed there. Otherwise she didn't give me the time of day. I did, however, get a piece of her. She only took a couple bites of her lunch before taking off. The teachers then had to give away her food, of which I got the main dish. I bet I ate some of her spit.


Saxtor said...

I found your 'spit' comment humorous. A good friend of mine once had an organized group dinner with Conan O'Brien. After the dinner had ended, and the tables were being cleared, he managed to grab Conan's Coke can for me, complete with 'friends'.

Cliff said...

You might as well have kissed her. Awesome!