by Chris MaGee
I've intentionally avoided reporting anything on this past summer's broohaha involving actress and pop singer Noriko Sakai for a whole bunch of reasons. First of this is a film blog, not a kick people when they're down blog. Yes, we're all interested in the goings on in the Japanese film industry, but I would think only when it relates to the end product up there on the screen. Do, I like everyone else out there like to indulge in a little old-fashioned schadenfreude sometimes? Sure, but one the Pow-Wow blog I like to at least try and appeal to my better angels.
Second, I just found the witch hunt atmosphere of her and her husband Yuichi Takaso's arrest for "stimulant use" to be a little overblown. I'm not a fan of hard drugs, but my policy is everything in moderation. Sadly the chemical mechanics don't always make moderation possible, but from what was reported on umpteenth websites about Takaso and Sakai's use of "stimulants" the details didn't scream out of control, windows taped over with tinfoil, week long sleepless drug binges. They took some drugs. They got caught (and faced public shaming and the loss of their careers as best as anyone could under those circumstances) and they're paying their due. Now they're clear with the house. Leave them alone.
The main reason I didn't report on the Sakai scandal up until now, though, was that... really, Sakai isn't that big of a star, at least not in North America and not to our readers. It's as simple as that. Now that's changed because the whole Takaso/ Sakai drug drama is going to be used for some cinematic fodder. Yes, you got that right... director Masao Kasahara is currently adapting the book "Sakai Noriko - Kakureta Sugao (The Hidden True Face of Sakai Noriko)" to the screen with 37-year-old actress Shion Machida playing the role of Sakai. It is being said that Kasahara is framing Sakai's story in the format of a semi-documentary weekly news programme hosted by Machida as Sakai. The end result will be released in Japan in January and will be titled "Setsuna" which is the Buddhist terms for a split second, a brief moment in time... a brief moment I'm assuming in which it took Sakai to do those few naughty lines of "stimulant".
Thanks to Japan Zone for the details on this... and enjoy reading this item. It's doubtful you'll see another Sakai item posted anytime soon.