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Takao Osawa has signed to star in “Tsukiji Uokagashi Sandaime” (Tsukiji Fish Market Third-Generation) for Shochiku.

Based on a popular comic set in the famed Tsukiji market — the world’s largest emporium for anything aquatic — the film features Osawa as a banker turned fish seller. His co-star is Rena Tanaka, whose most recent hit was the kiddie fantasy “Kitaro.”

Commenting on the casting, Osawa said he was attracted to the role because his grandparents were fish sellers and “the business runs in my blood.”

Hit-making also seems to be part of his genetic make-up, beginning with “Cry Out Love, in the Center of the World,” a romantic weeper that scored $74 million in 2004, and the drama “Life, When I Meet You in Heaven,” now in release, which has passed the ¥14 million B.O. mark. Osawa also stars in “Midnight Eagle,” the highly hyped thriller that will open the Tokyo Intl. Film Festival on Oct. 20.

Currently shooting at the Toho studio in Tokyo, as well as at the Tsukiji market itself, “Tsukiji Uokagashi Sandaime” is skedded for a late 2008 release, with Shochiku distribbing.