――I heard that you are also leading some drama activities on campus too.
Yes, we worked with Minoh prefecture and produced and performed a show in Minoh Maple hall in February of this year. Our aim was to make drama more approachable and to spread the fun of humor.
Shinichi Yutani, a Kyogen actor who is also a drama major, and I were the main acts. I asked some people around me if they were interested in joining, too. Most of them had never taken part in an activity like this nor learned about drama before, but I thought that was actually good – I thought I could give them all a chance to feel the excitement in producing and performing a play together.
The people in Minoh were very kind to us. After performing the show, I was walking in town one day, and a woman came up to me and told me she had seen our show. She even gave me some candy! [laughs]. Every part of the show was made by students from Osaka University, including the wonderful pamphlets and posters. Our show was awarded by the school as the best research project of the year. I have emceed at various events and seminars in Minoh, appeared in movies in and outside Japan, and as a result, I was personally awarded too by the school president. I couldn’t have done it without help from the people around me.
(Photo with the Mayor of Minoh )
――Why did you start doing those activities?
I noticed that I didn’t see many young people attending theatrical performances these days. I am usually the youngest member of the audience whenever I go. During the 80’s and the time of the bubble economy, it was the young people that supported the drama trend. I wanted to awaken that support again. I wanted to make a show by the youth, for the youth.
Another aim was to introduce and spread traditional Japanese comedy to this globalizing world. That is why we picked Kyogen, a traditional form of Japanese comedy, and Sketch, another type of comedy that has been loved by many people over the years, and mixed them together to make the show.
――Are you planning on doing any more shows?
In order to achieve our goal of understanding global humor, we are going to go to Texas this November. There, we will perform our original show, have discussions on Japanese humor, and do workshops. We are also planning to create a show together with the students there.
I also have a plan to collaborate with a film director and publish some works on YouTube. I think using YouTube would be good way to spread information on the activities that I am taking part in.