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山P、米横断の旅DVD発売

山下智久(27)が、シカゴからサンフランシスコまで米国を横断する国道66号線(ルート66)を1人旅した日本テレビ系「山下智久・ルート66~たった一人のアメリカ」(1月2日~3月26日まで月曜深夜12回放送)のDVD、ブルーレイが大ヒットしている。1万枚を超えればヒットという市場で、2万1000枚を売り上げている。・・・

日刊スポーツ
http://www.nikkansports.com/entertainment/news/p-et-tp0-20120426-940298.html

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an English translation of  the above article from the Nikkan Sports

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New release DVD & BD of Yamapi’s  journey across America

Yamashita Tomohisa’s new DVD & BD of his journey is becoming a big seller.   They were produced from his TV travel program ” Yamashita  Tomohisa Route 66 Tattahitori no America ” broadcast by NTV from January to March of this year. Though DVD is regard as a big seller if it sells more than about 10000 copies  in Japan, they sell over 20000 copies now.

Yamashita made a two-week journey by driving himself  along Route 66 last November without his manager or usual staff. One night he noticed that he hadn’t any bottled mineral water right before a bedtime at a St. Louis suburb motel on the second day of his journey. As he was warned by his staff not drink tap water because it could lead to upset his stomach. Yamashita, who has a considerate mind towards others, couldn’t disturb the staff’s sleep at 2:00 am, so he made an international call to his more close manager in Tokyo. In the end the manager awoke Yamashita ‘s support staff  by a international call again to make them bring the drink to Yamashita 🙂

But he was changing  gradually while he was driving 3700 km by himself and having talks in English with the local people of America. He became to so open up to others that he could ask Mr. Angel, a master of a barber shop in Seligman city Arizona, to shave the cameraman of the party with beardy in English, meanwhile he offered to the role for the cameraman and shot the scene. He said he learned how important relating to others actively is.

Yamashita has become mentally tough by these experiences. After returning to Japan he made plans for a fan event on the theme of the trip. On May 19th, Yamashita with his 380 fans selected in a lucky draw will look back the trip in the event at a theater in Tokyo.

(April 26,2012 from the newspaper ” Nikkan Sports”)

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from the final episode

At last Yamapi arrived at L.A! He completed his Route 66 trip successfully.

When he saw something new in America, he kept using the word ” sugeee!(which means “Wow great!”, young people’s language in Japan)”It was very funny for me.

Even though it was only a two week trip,  we enjoyed seeing his natural face on the show. Whenever he appeared on a variety program in Japan, he seemed not to express his feelings very much. In contrast here, he talked freely, laughed aloud, raised a cheer, rocked to the music. We could see a variety of his aspects.

The theme of the trip was ” what is the most important thing in the world? ”
Every time he met experienced people on his trip, asked “what do you think is the most important thing in your life? ” and he hung on their answers.
I guessed he might be searching for his own way of life as a talent, because he started the trip right after he had gotten out of the NEWS, a Johnny’s group he had belonged to for long time.
Anyway,  the trip became a memorable work for him as a watershed moment in his life, I think.

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*Yamapi is Yamashita Tomohisa who is a Japanese idol talent belonging to Japanese major talent agency Johnny’s. Arashi and  SMAP also belong to the agency.

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.                I did it!!,  in L.A

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.                   Thank you Akkun! You did a fine job!

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.  Yamapi scratches the surface of his car with a coin” Tomo , 2011,11.15, In L.A

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.                I’m  filled with a feeling of accomplishment

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.                 I could have various meetings on my trip.

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.  Look back at the trip

.            With an elderly couple who run their private museum of Route 66

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.               He’s amazed at the big steak in a restaurant in Texas.

He ordered a steak which could be free if eating up everything of it, but he couldn’t 🙂

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.      The man is a stuff of one of the Route 66 museum in Oklahoma. Yamapi is surprised to look at his full-body tattoo.

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.              At a coin laundry in Oklahoma, it is for the first time in his life. While waiting for finishing the laundry, he is studying English.

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.             At the mysterious Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona

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.                       He’s jumping at the Monument Valley in Arizona

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.                                  viewing the map and checking plan for the day

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.       Quenching  Akkun‘s thirst at a gas station.

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.              Yamapi drives led by the local bikers in Willams, Arizona

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.              Yamapi happens to know them at  restaurant. They say “We have something we want you to see” and they take him to the Grand Canyon.

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.       With the owner of the old souvenir shop along the Route 66. He is 84 years old. Wow!

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.      The old man says ”If you try, you can do it.”

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Since the drama “JIN“, we haven’t really seen Ayase Haruka much on TV lately. It makes me feel a little bit sad. She did good job in JIN, especially in the first part of it.
“Jin” is a fantasy drama broadcast in 2010 and 2011 by TBS TV of Japan. The main character Minakata Jin, a doctor of the university hospital, timeslipped into the past “Edo period“,the time of the Samurai warriors. Ayase played a role of a samurai family’s daughter Saki and supports Jin‘s medical work with enthusiasm, They save the people who get infected with cholera or work hard to help a syphilitic oiran (a kind of a hetaera at that time) by producing penicillin by themselves. Saki is falling in love with Jin gradually, but they keep passing each other for some reason… In the end Jin suddenly returns to the present time and they don’t end up getting together. He spends days suffering from grief. One day he happens to meet Saki’s granddaughter and receives a letter which is from Saki in the past to Jin of the current day…I could not see it without tears.

Although people don’t watch  TV dramas very much recently in Japan, the drama became a big hit in years. Ayase Haruka looked very good in samurai-age figures, and was  able to make the role pure and attractive.

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.pictures above from televised shots of the variety show ”Arashi ni shiyagare”

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from here, JIN Gallery

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