Aoshima Yukio (1932 -2006)
Because of my post “Stop Hunger Strike Anywhere, Please,” I searched the web for a Japanese hunger striker and read Wikipedia. And I thought you might be interested in his work. He was a multi-talented comedy writer like Steve Martin or Al Franken in my opinion. I love those writers. Quality humor writing makes us laugh and think. If you are a writer, you probably know how hard it is to do that.
He became a member of the upper house in 1968, and between 1995 and 1999, he was the governor of Tokyo. He was since 1960s for his comedy writing and also as a comedian. He won a series of his elections without making any political speeches. He was highly critical of sponsored political campaigns. Once, he declared that he would write his first novel and win a prestigious Naoki award. He did write it and won the award. His painting also won a prestigious award.
He suffered from tuberculosis as a young man, and in 1991, he was diagnosed of malignant lymphoma. He underwent chemotherapy. The following year, 1992, a big corruption was revealed, but the prosecutor office only fined minimum and tried to let go of the incident. To protest this lukewarm measure and also to get rid of the rotten root of the Liberal Democratic Party, he went on to a hunger strike. But after 30 hours into it, he was rushed to a hospital. Later, Kanemaru Shin resigned and was indicted on this Sagawa Kyubin scandal.
I found a rare slapstick comedy sketch on youtube below. Aoshima Yukio started this live television program called Otonano Manga. It ran from 1959 to 1964, but because it was live, only few films exist. I believe Aoshima Yukio wrote the majority of the sketches, but this particular one on corruption was written by Suzuki Tetsu. But you get an idea of Aoshima Yukio’s early comedy.
Two cops are investigating a cop for his alibi. The defending cop says he was in a movie theater three days ago, but the manager cop on right tells him the theater has been under renovation for a week. The manager cop says, “In recent years, cops related corruptions have become increasingly rampant. The eyes of the society are very severe. What you did was very serious! It reflects on our entire police force. Do you understand this situation?!”
The left defending cop admits his lie and apologizes, but takes out a tape from his shirt pocket. He says to the manager cop, “Haven’t you been taking bribe from a mafia group and leaking information? He continues,
“In recent years, cops related corruptions have become increasingly rampant. The eyes of the society are very severe. What you did was very serious! It reflects on our entire police force. Do you understand this situation?!”
The left and right cops become friends. The middle cop intervenes. He accuses both cops and gives the same speech as above. His arm is revealed. He is a drug addict. All three become good friends. “We all make this happy society together.” End.