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AK100 has a website

Some time ago I mentioned the “AK100 Project” initiative, which is set to begin later this year in order to celebrate and remember Kurosawa through “exhibitions of Kurosawa’s work, newly published books and stamps, merchandise and tie-ups with TV broadcasters and video game companies”, and with everything culminating in 2010, the 100th anniversary of Kurosawa’s birth.

Now, Jeremy just dug up their website, which can be found at http://akirakurosawa100.com/. It is currently only available in Japanese, but the English version is said to be “coming soon”.

It remains to be seen what sort of events and goodies will become available in the next couple of years as we draw nearer to the day of Kurosawa’s centenary. Something already suggested by Jeremy is a meeting in Japan by the regulars here on this website. Depending on the finances, I’d certainly be interested — let us know what you think!


Discussion

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Jeremy Quintanilla

I give up on the translation, I was writing the script in windows Japanese language bar, and then translating with google. Even though my scripts are exactly correct, the translation make no sense what so ever, not even the main topic headings made sense. There is a video on the 4th tab but the best translation I get is “see the power” if thats right, is worthless and took to long just to get that, forget getting the rest.
I open the file up in Flash 8 to take apart each flash frame, sadly the text is in bitmap form and not in flash text, so there is no easy way to translate. Hopefully the English version comes up soon.

I did a WhoIs and the ID of the owner is protected, and the site is only registered to a Tokyo website host. The site is fairly new, 2-16-08 was when it first went active, and the name was purchased about a month before that.

I hope to hear some serious interest in a Japan meetup, I know its not the easiest thing to arrange, but there is plenty of time to work with and save up money. Travel cost is really not that bad, I’ve stayed 2 weeks with very nice hotels, and food and train travel for less then $1500 minus the $1000 plane ticket. It can be done much cheaper if you dont travel aboard like I was doing. Its certainly not cheap but to well worth the cost and plus this is one in life time event–hopefully there are some big events to make it worth the effort.

All I can say is I’m going no matter what–hopefully a few other can come too 😆

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Jeremy Quintanilla

Inspired by the countdown clock on the website, and wanting to make a Windows Vista gadget for sometime. I made a AK100 countdown clock for Windows Vista Sidebar as my first attempt. It works, nothing great.

Looks like this-
ak100

You can download here
Countdown gadget

Instruction are included, very easy. The only problem is the countdown will be slightly off due to different time zones along with Tokyo time. They can however be adjusted in the settings panel.

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Vili Maunula

Too bad I can’t check this out, as I don’t have Vista. Oh well, maybe one day the AkiraKurosawa.info front page will be as interactive as to allow for customisable widgets. 😉

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Lewis Saul

I hope to hear some serious interest in a Japan meetup, I know its not the easiest thing to arrange, but there is plenty of time to work with and save up money. Travel cost is really not that bad, I’ve stayed 2 weeks with very nice hotels, and food and train travel for less then $1500 minus the $1000 plane ticket.

My dream is to go to Japan.

This would be an incredible thing — to meet other AK folk.

Do we think Mr. Richie might meet with us??? !!!

I’m going to save my pennies.

Lewis

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Jeremy Quintanilla

I have no idea what Richie is like outside being interviewed, but I think its safe to assume he would be at any major event and more the likely give a speech. Certainly a group would stand a better chance to meet him, rather then one person. I have always wanted to meet him, if there is such thing as a expert in Kurosawa, it would be him.

I’ve been to Japan a few times but I never did anything much Kurosawa related. A made a few lame attempts that didnt turn out much, and having recently been told the temporary Kurosawa museum isnt worth the effort of going to, I canceled plans for that effort permanently since its so far away from anything else. Appears 2010 is not only the best time but really the only time to fulfill any Kurosawa related goals.

Still a ways to go, but certainly a great time to make some very early plans. It would really great to have a small group, so Lewis- yes save your pennies. 😆

That countdown is nothing great, just wanted to experiment with the programing and found something to try out with. I serious didnt think anyone would keep that thing in place for 2 years, I’ll properly remove it next month myself 🙄

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Jeremy Quintanilla

As Vili mentioned here
rights-for-kurosawas-scripts-sold-to-a-third-party

Kurosawa’s son sold rights to DEX, he appears to be company director as well and chairman of the AK100 project with appears to be done by DEX.

Apparently on 2-13-08, 3 days before the AK100 website was launched DEX held a small company only conference.

I managed to find a .PDF file of that event which you can download here.
AK100 Document
Its in Japanese, but I manage to poorly translated it here.
Translated AK100 Document

Doesnt say more then we already know, but there was a meeting held to discuss the events late Feb.

It mentions the acknowledgment (or so I think) of Kurosawa fan sites, perhaps they plan to do some tie ins with them. Considering this is the only active Kurosawa site I’m aware of, hopefully they are aware of this site, or can be– maybe something could happen ❓ 💡

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Jeremy Quintanilla

Some more info I found, this refers to a stockholders meeting that hasnt happened yet, to which they will discuss the AK100.

The .PDF
AK100 Document 2

And I poorly translated it here again.
Translated AK100 Document 2

Appears close to $4Million dollars is what DEX will pay for the rights, seems really cheap to me.

Also my last statement in my previous post, I should retract, I mis translated a line. It does not mention “fan sites” but “official sites”. I fixed it now, to read in the translations more correctly”fans of official sites“.

At any rate this is still the only active/ up to date fan site I’m aware of, including any Japanese sites. It might be a good thing the AK100 group becomes aware of this site. — I wont do anything to bring it their attention, Vili should decide that.

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Vili Maunula

Incredible work, Jeremy! The line about “works and new remake of a movie (including an animated drama)” may not go down well with some.

I’m pretty sure that the AK people are aware of our existence, or otherwise they aren’t really doing their homework.

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Jeremy Quintanilla

I would say so, your site appears on top on nearly every Kurosawa search on google.com. On google.jp its slowly climbing, I think its on page 2.
About the only search term on google.jp that doesnt turn up this site is Kurosawa’s name in Kanji 黒澤 明.

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Vili Maunula

We actually just made it to Google.com’s Top 10 earlier this week, but seem to have fallen back to #11 since. We have been #11 and #12 for quite a long time.

Slowly, the more sites link to us, the higher we climb in the rankings. So, if any of you have the opportunity, do link to us from sites that have relevant content. 😉 (Please, no spamming, though.)

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Jeremy Quintanilla

I’ve been told the early stages of the AK100 project, starts around June this year. We should hear some more information and an idea what the plans are.

Kind of old news but all I have found out so far is that Hisao Kurosawa, wants to expand distribution of AK’s works and re-release movies at theaters-when I dont know yet and Sega will announce a game around the summer time-in which I know no detail about yet.

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Vili Maunula

Could the game be Ni-Oh, which to the best of my knowledge has been in and out of development over the past years? The KOEI, Kou Shibusawa Productions and Kurosawa Productions work was supposed to be based on an unfilmed script by Kurosawa (about a blonde samurai in the 16th century Japan looking for his destiny), and was originally going to be launched together with a movie filmed from the script, but the film got cancelled in 2005.

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Jeremy Quintanilla

They updated the site a bit the beginning of the month. I have finally been able to watch all the videos from the people involved in the project.

Only one is in English, and its the most worthless and from a person who clearly knows little about A.K, just the MPAA want to be represented.

The rest are in Japanese, and not much better, but to be fair I wasnt able to understand all that much. A few words I didnt know and I think I missed something vital, because I keep hearing all them mention they have read or are reading about Kurosawa. I would hope they already know about him. Maybe someone can fill me in here.

The bit I knew was they all were aware of the projects concerns, but they never get into what they are. Overall it was just your basic, glad to be here, A.K. is great, Japan know these and wants to tell the world.

Richie is predictably on board the project, but has no video, just a bio.
Nogami is never mentioned, maybe later she will be listed on the site.

She the only one I really care to hear, with Richie being the exceptions, all the other people listed or have videos are just representatives of large studios and businesses. I fairly sure they will sell out Kurosawa’s name as fast as possible. I wonder where Hisao Kurosawa true intentions are– I bet $$$

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Jeremy Quintanilla

The site now has been completely translated in English. Its all on cue, from the vague information I was able to get, for a mid June announcement of the plans for AK100.

Maybe I browsed the website before the update was completed a few week ago, but there are 3 videos missing, and Shiroh Mifune’s is new, and A.K’s daughter video is finally working fully.

Any others with intentions to attend?

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Vili Maunula

Thanks for keeping us up-to-date, Jeremy!

I’m afraid I think I won’t be able to attend any of the AK100 activities. Unless they come up with something that is really worth the trip in 2010, that is. Who knows.

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investor in Japan

hi folks. I am investing in DEX in Japan. As Jeremy has mentioned 50% of the rights have been purchased. Anything you want me to translate, let me know. I’ll write a summary of it.

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Vili Maunula

Hi Investor!

If you have any interesting inside information in addition to what I wrote in the news post and what Jeremy has offered, we would of course be really interested!

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investor in Japan

:mrgreen:
Maybe the first exhibition of the total 300 events could be interesting

http://www.designexchange.co.jp/newpage2/news/irr/pdf/07090402.pdf

AK exhibition events from 2008 to 2010 in 300 locations.
1. movie sets used by AK and etc related to it
2. AK’s scripts and drawings of seens
3. awards and such

and additonally from other news source are
script of Tora Tora Tora, which was unfinished
other uncompleted videos

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Vili Maunula

Thanks for the information, Investor!

300 locations seems like much. I take it these are not restricted to just Japan, then? I wonder if the exhibitions will be of similar scale as that which toured Japan in 1999. I think it was four or five rooms, with plenty of paintings and memorabilia.

As far as I understand, the scenes Kurosawa filmed for Tora! Tora! Tora! will be made available, as will the Noh film that he started filming in 1983.

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Jeremy Quintanilla

I would be interested in anything you can turn up really, Investor. Short summarized translations are always nice, as you can see, my attempts are rather lacking and erroneous.

Specifically interested in anything that may happen around Kurosawa’s birthday 2010 in Japan. I hear rumors of a June announcement, but nothing solid to conclude something will happen.

Also I’m curious, as what reason DEX wanted the rights. I assume that would like to see a return on their investments quickly

Are they planning to make returns largely on some events around 2010?
Or are they planning to do so in long term licensees?
I wouldn’t imagine licensing would ever fetch much return, so I assume some events in 2010 are the ultimate goal.

Oh, good luck on your investments. :mrgreen: :

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investor in Japan

Hi guys, sorry for being lazy and not showing up.

I have continued to increase my stake in DEX, now I have probably invested to the level of which would secure me at around somewhere in between 10 th to 15 th largest stake holder of DEX 😛
Considering the current global market condition of everything being sold off, I will probably increase my stake a bit further. Thanks to the DOW&NASDAQ falling crazy, I get the chance of buying more at a larger discount. 😉

As for the movie “last princess”, it has already fallen off from the theaters revenue top 10. Pre estimate was around $20 mil, but 1st month results at around $ 6 mil, I think theater revenue will be at around $10 mil 🙁

Movie “tsubaki sanjyu ro” and “last princess” both coming out under expectations. The “last princess” targetted teens by using young ideals, which did attract the young but from the elders who know the originals, would not come to theaters. And for ” tsubaki sanjyu ro”, movie was shot using more mature actors, but then young teens would not come to the movies. So… continues to face hard times trying to remake the arts of AK

The movie was presented at the interanational movie market in “Festival International du Film de Cannes”on May 17th and 20th; DEX being the agent for the contracts. According to information of movie maker “Toho”, has gotten offers from 10 some countries.

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investor in Japan

the event is planned to start in 2008 2nd half ending in 2010
holding events in 300 locations, 100 per annual

DEX disclosed the ASP per event is estimated to be USD $100,000 at
Operating margin of 35% or USD $ 35,000

So $35,000 x 100 profit an year = USD $ 3.5 mil profit
$3.5 mil x 3 years = $ 10.5 mil profit before tax in 3 years

I think USD $ 100,000 per event assumption is probably too bullish
at ASP of $20(my estimate) per visitor, then need 5,000 visitors an event to meet this projection.

5,000 visitors per event x 100 locations to meet initial plan, which requires 500,000 visitors per annual.

If visitors spend $$ on goodies and beverage and food, bullish ASP per visitor at $ 40. Then required visitor to reach $100,000 level would be 2,500 visitors or 250,000 visitors per annual.

Considering how the movie “last princess” went above 500,000 people in the first few weeks may be not too bullish after all…. I hope……… 😡

>March 15, 2008, 10:33 pm
>#7Jeremy Quintanilla
>Appears close to $4Million dollars is what DEX will pay for the rights, >seems really cheap to me.

$ 4 mil for all the agency rights of AK related contracts
$ 14 mil for the AK rights itself

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Vili Maunula

Thanks for the figures, Investor! It’s all really interesting!

But 100 events per year? That’s two events a week!

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Jeremy Quintanilla

Thanks a lot, it is really interesting. I love this kind of info.

Please keep us updated on anything that you can find.

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investor in Japan

> I hear rumors of a June announcement, but nothing solid to conclude something will happen.

Will be public after the CY2008 2Q results come out, but checking the balance sheet of DEX, imply they have not yet acquired the
rights of AK up to date due to lack of cash. Therefore I estimate all the pojects of AK100 will be pushed back in timeline.

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investor in Japan

kurosawa production and Mifune production
launches remake of the “seven samurai”
in theaters from Summer 2008

web site trailer link attached

TubakiSannjyuro/ used mature actor….. failed as youth generation did not come

Fortress/used young idols………… the old generation did not come

Seven Samurai/ using mature actor + K1 fighter Masato, who is popular among young generation :mrgreen:

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Jeremy Quintanilla

Guess they haven’t consider just making a good movie, rather then trying to trick audiences into going with lame appeals that never really work.

Thanks again for the updates, keep them coming.

The link to the trailer didnt work, can you try again, I havent seen any trailer yet. .

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Jeremy Quintanilla

A small update:
I’ve gotten a few emails over the last few days, and while none of 100%, they all appear to confirm that AK100 World Tour and AK100 Project:The 100th Anniversary of Akira Kurosawa’s Birth, are two separate events. (They are under however the same committee members)

Which is a bit of good news to me, as the stuff AK100WT that happened in Monaco,Monaco early May, wasn’t all that fantastic. (I’m still awaiting however a rather nice brochure they did for the event to be mail to me, as well as photos).

Assuming the above AK100WT and AK100Project are indeed separate it appears then that early planning is just now taking place for AK100Project(the only one I care about).

So far, the entire month of August 2010, Hokuto, Yamanashi, Japan is planned to hosting AK100Project. Details are speculated so far.

What I know right now, is it will be held at the Fuurinkazan Architectural Pavilion, which is built to look like Takeda Shingen’s (Kagamusha) home(I think) as the city is the believed birth place(not too savy on this area of Japanese history).

I hope to hear much larger announcements real soon, as 2010 fast approaches. I still believe however March, and December 2010 will be the bigger events, and this thing in Hokuto is filler, but I could be wrong. Japan’s tourists agency (Yokoso! Japan) tells me in a series of rather worthless emails that 6 cities are helping fund AK100, so I would assume they too would host something.
I dont know, not too impressed with how anything is being handled, and the way AK100 still seem unsure what to do 😡

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Vili Maunula

Good work, Jeremy, pulling those strings!

I’m still sitting on the fence about travelling to Japan for this. And it’s really difficult to do otherwise when there is so little actual information — not even knowing when the best time to go would be makes it practically impossible to reserve anything and start planning.

Maybe I’ll just host my own AK100 event. I’ll bring the entertainment, you people bring the wine.

The Fuurinkazan looks nice, though.

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Jeremy Quintanilla

I’m feel much the same, and really expected more details to be release already. I need a good 6 months of planning to pull of a trip like this, the later I have to wait for details, the more problematic the trip becomes.

I also stand to miss some airline deals which have March 2010 tickets to Narita from Houston going for $750, compared to the $1400-$1500 I normally pay, and will likely pay the longer I have to wait.

Fuurinkazan does look like a really great place to host something AK.

Is boxed wine OK? 😆

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Jeremy Quintanilla

Another supposed plan, again this one is not confirmed, nor appears part of what I think is 7 key cities were bigger events are to take place.

Anyways
July 1st-20th 2010 in Hiroshima, Japan.
Although, it maybe actually in Miyajima if I read it correctly, which is about a 20 minute ferry ride from Hiroshima. That location seems rather impracticable place if they plan large attendance. The one time I was there the small town and 2 ferry got bogged from a small school field trip. It is a great location-minus the numerous trinket stores near the shrine, all peddling the same junk.

The details are:
Screening some out of thirty pictures by Akira Kurosawa
Exhibition of dresses, properties on film & private objects, etc.
Opening ceremony philharmonic orchestra
Akira Kurosawa film concert
Noh stage performance
Exhibition event concert

There too is something planned in Hong Kong late December 2009, but it may be something small like seen in Monaco, part of the World Tour, again something that my be separate from the AK100Project.
Still dont know about that.

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Vili Maunula

Thanks again for the update, Jeremy!

If they are holding the event in Miyajima, it would certainly seem that they are not expecting huge crowds. I once spent a week there, and as you say it is a lovely little island, and as a setting would serve Kurosawa’s memory really well, I think.

The details seem interesting. I bet the exhibition is more or less the same one that toured Japan in the late 1990s. The Noh performance could be interesting too, depending on what they will stage.

Keep us updated, if you find out more!

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Jeremy Quintanilla

An update, if for nothing else then to amuse myself:

I came across this chart about 4 months back:Click here for Chart
To translate a bit:
4: Rome
5: China and/or Hong Kong (can’t tell what it’s suggesting)
6: France
7: Monaco
8: Hiroshima
10: Austria
11: Hokuto City
12: Rome

I been trying to get some information because the chart contradicts some previous information, and too is rather disappointing if this is all they plan. Along with the length of the event, it would suggest it’s just some boring display of stuff as they did in Monaco earlier this year.

Originally, there was suppose to be actually celebrations that lasted 1-2 days, with the biggest event in Tokyo. Now as I’ve mention previous it’s possible AK100 World Tour and AK100 Project are two different events-which I was hoping.

Well, it’s a bit saddening when everything AK Project has been edit, or removed. All these took place around the same time, 2 months back.
DEX’s blog is no more –http://blog.dex.ne.jp/

Total Promotions email no longer goes through and a direct email to one contact I found come back as invalid address, despite be normally helpful in the past.

And Akirakurosawa100.com is down

Maybe I made them mad with my pestering 🙄 .

I too around the same time got a email from Total Promotions but it was completely blank, minus an invalid link, then I got a email from DEX stating roughly : thanks for becoming a cooperate supporter, you will receive your information shortly. I never got this letter in my USA address, nor in a company that offers Non-Japanese, Japanese addresses to later be mail outside Japan(great for ordering Japanese junk).

I been trying to keep hopes held high, but more and more I get disappointed. Plus there is still no actual set plan despite the closeness to AK’s 100th. Everything still is consider pending if you research the chart more, namely emailing the cities listed. My best communication was with with Hiroshima’s city project person( or something like that), to whom knew little, but helpful- stating they were still waiting for funding, and logistics. Those email by the way were writing by a native Japanese on my behalf-unlike most of my other emails which I’m sure make little sense in my horrible and very limited vocabulary Japanese.

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Vili Maunula

Let’s hope that the akirakurosawa100.com website being unreachable means that there has been a rebellion in the ranks, and the Good Guys (whoever those might be) have taken over, have inserted some sense to the project, and are now busy rescheduling the whole series of events, as well as rebuilding a brand new and shiny website which will include all the information about everything you ever wanted to know about anything, as well as God’s Final Message to His Creation (as a bonus unlockable).

Considering their track record, however, I bet they just forgot to pay their hosting bills. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually forgot that they had that website in the first place.

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Jeremy Quintanilla

Finally, some real, gonna happen news!

I just got an email from Hiroshima/Miyajima’s project manager, and just a few hours ago, this site launched, and in fact not yet complete:

http://ak100project.com/hatsukaichi/index.html

The site is only in Japanese, but rather easy to read through, plus most of the links have English directories, just view the status bar in your browser, ignore the really bad spelling and happily navigate . 🙂

Only Miyajima’s show is finalized, nothing else, perhaps the reason no other directories outside Hatsukaichi’s is active on the site.
By the way, I believe Miyajima, became part of the city of Hatsukaichi, to which is located in the Hiroshima. In case you’re confused, as was I, when Miyajima is shown, but Hatsukaichi is talked about. Even though if you actually go to what was Miyajima, it’s still called Miyajima. Those Japanese 🙄

I’m still hopeful some more stuff, mainly in Tokyo, as it was here the supposed super event was going to happen, but that was over 2 years ago. There also appears to be the combining of AK100 World Tour, and AK100 Project, assuming, that were at one point two different things-to which, I believe, but could never prove.

Maybe’s Vili’s “Good Guys” might be coming through, while the news isn’t much, it is something, in a long series of nothings

July is the absolute worst time for me to travel, so I’m unlikely to make this event, but if no others come about, well, I guess, I’ll find a way. Whatever the case, I should quit neglecting my Japanese studies.

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Ryan

Jeremy that image you posted is amazing. I’ve never seen that one before! I watched Rashomon again the other day (I finally got the Criterion Collection edition).

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Jeremy Quintanilla

Yeah, certainly among the best AK related photos I ever came across.

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Vili Maunula

Thanks again for the info, Jeremy! It all still seems very confusing.

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