Osawa Takao is to play late pro-windsurfer Iijima Natsuki in a biopic tentatively titled "Tengoku de Kimi ni Aetara" (lit. "If I See You in Heaven"). Ito Misaki has been cast as his wife Hiroko, and Shinjo Takehiko ("Heavenly Forest") is lined up to direct. Iijima was the only Japanese to appear in the windsurfing world cup for eight consecutive years, but was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2002. Given six months to live in summer of 2004, he wrote his first novel "Tengoku de Kimi ni Aetara" about his experiences battling cancer, as well as several other published works before his death at the age of 38 in February 2006. Filming begins next March, and a release is scheduled for next autumn. (source: Sanspo)
"Memories of Matsuko" star Nakatani Miki headlines an adaptation of Yamamoto Ichiriki's Naoki Award-winning novel "Akane Sora". It tells the tale of Eikichi and Ofumi, two humble tofu makers who open their own shop in a tenement rowhouse. Hamamoto Masaki directs, and cast members include Uchino Masaaki, Nakamura Baijaku, Katsumura Masanobu, Izumiya Shigeru, Ishibashi Renji and Iwashita Shima. Renowned filmmaker Shinoda Masahiro, retired since 2003, initiated the project and spent two years writing the screenplay with his former assistant director Hamamoto. Kadokawa Herald plan to release the film in spring 2007.
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