Actor and comedian Beat Takeshi, whose real name is Takeshi Kitano, was recently at Tokyo’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan to talk about his upcoming historical movie Kubi, which he wrote, directed, and acts in. He also got to talking about the Japanese entertainment business in light of the recent scandals involving widespread (and largely covered-up) sexual abuse at Johnny & Associates (a talent agency for idols), plus an apparent suicide of a Takarazuka actress (and fingers are publicly pointing in different directions).
He pointed out that it’s not all glitz and glamour in the entertainment world, and that actors are often treated as “commodities.” He spoke about abuse of power in hierarchical business structures, and that getting a job in the Japanese entertainment business “was seen as something in which bad treatment happens.”
“For myself as well, from the time I entered the field of comedy and entertainment here in Japan, there have been periods where it was not possible to laugh,” he acknowledged. And he would know — he’s been a name in this business since the 1980s.
However, he also said that things are getting better in the Japanese entertainment world, albeit he says that people still need to “remove these dark sides” of the industry.
And it sounds as though he’s overall glad he’s stuck with the business, commenting, “When I look back now, I feel a sense of ease or achievement in the fact that I am here and have been a part of this world for this long.”
Among his many credits, Takeshi has been Kitano in Battle Royale and Battle Royale II: Requiem, and played Daisuke Aramaki in the live-action Hollywood Ghost in the Shell movie starring Scarlett Johansson.
The popular manga and anime series Oshi no Ko has also been about the “dark side of the entertainment industry,” specifically in Japan.
Source: Kyodo News
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.