Kudo Kankuro wins 29th Mukoda Kuniko Prize for “Unubore Deka”

Writer and actor Kudo Kankuro (40) has been chosen as the recipient of the 29th Mukoda Kuniko Prize, an annual award for screenwriters. He earned the award with his screenplay for the TBS drama series “Unubore Deka” that aired last summer, starring TOKIO’s Nagase Tomoya (32).

During the press conference for the award held on Tuesday, Kudo talked about his experience with the Tohoku earthquake, since he is originally from the Miyagi prefecture. He revealed that he was unable to contact his family back home for about a week after the earthquake, but he finally was able to contact his mother and learned with relief that everyone was safe.

Kudo said that he hopes to contribute to the recovery of the affected areas somehow, particularly through his works as a creator. He also indicated that he plans to return to his hometown in Miyagi, as well as visit other areas like Minami Sanriku to see the situation firsthand.

The Mukoda Kuniko Prize was first awarded in 1982 and is named after screenwriter Mukoda Kuniko, who passed away in 1981 in the Far Eastern Air Transport Flight 103 accident.

TOKIO, Arashi to host New Year’s special

TOKIO and Arashi will be hosting back-to-back special programs on NTV on New Year’s Day, totaling five and a half hours in length. TOKIO will kick things off with the tentatively-titled "THE Ultraman DASH: Kiseki no 3-punkan wo Mokugekiseyo" (6:00pm-8:54pm), then pass the spotlight to Arashi for their "Arashi ni Shiyagare Ganjitsu 2-jikanhan SP" (9:00pm-11:24pm).

"THE Ultraman DASH" is a separate project from TOKIO’s current show "The! Tetsuwan! Dash!!" (Sundays 7:00pm). In "The Ultraman DASH," TOKIO will meet with experts of activities such as skydiving, tightrope walking, and bungee jumping, who will attempt incredible feats. For example, one will change outfits while skydiving, while another will neatly slice a raw egg in half while bungee jumping.

Arashi’s special will be an extended version of their show "Arashi ni Shiyagare," which has been on the air since April. It is reported that they will bring on two big-name guests, though their identities are currently being kept secret even from Arashi.

Although the two shows are separate, the ten members from both groups will assemble before each show for a short talk session together.