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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

私達は踊りましょうか。(Shall we dance?)

Richard Gere made the news today with an impromptu foxtrot with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, as part of a promotional tour for Gere's new film, Shall We Dance? a remake of an older, better Japanese film (See Breathless - France for more on Gere's and Hollywood's penchant for this sort of thing).

The Japanese Prime Minister, often called the "Japanese Richard Gere" because of his resemblance to the American actor (only 12 inches shorter), said that Mr. Gere was "interesting", although in a possible freudian slip, the Prime Minister's female translator said in English that Mr. Gere "has an interesting buttocks". She also apparently mistranslated the phrase, "I hope this will lead to improved relations between American and Japanese studios," as "Shake your funky grooving thing Richie Rich and let us get down tonight with relations." There is unconfirmed rumor that she also referred to Gere as one of many "Fine American foxes" but at the time Koizumi and Gere were doing the old Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin Saturday Night Live bit, so it may have been completely appropriate.

Richard Gere, often called the "American Junichiro Koizumi" because of his striking resemblance to the Japanese Prime Minister (only 27 inches taller) indicated that he would lead in the dance, and afterwards stated that the Japanese Prime Minister was a remarkable dancer. Unfortunately, this was rendered into Japanese, by Gere's translator Bob Denver, as "I want to make you my love slave," and Mr. Gere was briefly restrained by Japanese security forces until the mistranslation was sorted out.

Unbeknowst to both Gere and Koizumi, reporters were using highly sensitive microphones during the clinch, and the following transcription of their conversation during the dance was released by Al Jazeera shortly afterwards:

Koizumi: 私達は踊りましょうか。 (Shall we dance?)

Gere: [Nervous laughter] I suppose so... anything to sell the picture, right?

Koizumi: [To reporters] 私は彼が言っている単語を理解できない。 (I can't understand a word he's saying.)

Gere: I’ll be the man and lead. [Bob Denver laughs.]

Koizumi: 私は彼が... 氏Macho 及び鉛であることを行っていることを推測する私をである日本の総理大臣、相棒実現しないか。きれいな女性のJulia ロバーツに第2 計算を得た。(I guess he's going to be Mr. Macho and lead... Don't you realize I'm the Prime Minister of Japan, buddy? You got second billing to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.)

Gere: [To reporters] He's a pretty good dancer.

Koizumi: それらの大きいフィートの氏の大きい打撃の映画俳優を見なさい! 私のつま先で踏んでいる。 (Watch those big feet mister big shot movie star! You're treading on my toes.)

Gere: [To himself] He really does look a lot like me, only much shorter and Asian. It's like Mini-Me-san.

Koizumi: 人は、この猫毛深い鼻孔を持っている。 (Man, this cat has hairy nostrils.)

Gere: I never realized how incredibly sexy I'd look as a Japanese man. [he moves closer]

Koizumi: ちょっと、総理大臣の個人的なスペースを気にしなさい! Junichiro はそれをしない! (Hey, mind the Prime Minister's personal space! Junichiro don't play that!)

Gere: This is so strange. It's like slow-dancing with myself.

Koizumi: これは実際に私はい始めている。まだ、私は出版物のために同調するべきである。 (This is really starting to creep me out. Still, I'd better play along for the press.)

[They dip.]

Gere: This is remarkable. That gorgeous silver hair, those deep, inviting eyes...

Koizumi: 何か。彼は私の耳で吹いている! (What the hell? He's blowing in my ear!)

Gere: Richard, you amazing Japanese studmuffin, you.

Koizumi: 彼はどこに彼の手によって行っているか。ちょっと、流れ作業の氏の上の滞在! Whoa! わかりました! 私達はここにある! (Where's he going with his hands? Hey, stay above the beltline mister! Whoa! OK! We're through here!)

[They stop aburptly. Gere, looking as though he has just come out of a deep trance, walks over to a refreshments table and dumps a pitcher of ice water over his head. Koizumi is leaning against a wall, rubbing his backside against it as though he had a severe and very unpleasant itch.]

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