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26 2010

Vaudeville Comedians


The trio named “Poka Suka Jan (ポカスカジャン, all three words are Japanese echoic words)” is a group who performs “BOYS (ボーイズ芸).”

BOYS is one style of entertainments in which comedians (usually three or four) uses instruments and funnily sing songs. The origin of the entertainment is regarded as “Akireta-boys (あきれたぼういず, meaning unbelievable boys)” formed in 1937 in Asakusa (浅草) by Yoshio Kawada (川田義雄), Saburo Bouya (坊屋三郎), Rie Shiba (芝利英), and Keaton Masuda (益田喜頓). I think the boys’ were influenced by American and English vaudeville performance at the time.

I saw Poka Suka Jan’s performance at the 40-year celebration party of an eatery my best friend and her mother run. Each of them was a vocalist of a band before forming the group, so they have singing and also instrument abilities. They uniquely arranged Japanese popular songs, for example in bossa nove and ancient Japanese court music style, sang them and danced.

A style of popular comedies has been changing over time, and Poka Suka Jan is a scarce successor to BOYS.

In addition to the group, an eccentric comedian named “Neko-Hiroshi (猫ひろし: Hiroshi the cat)” appeared. He is 147 centimeters tall and has a ridiculous style.

It was first time for me to take a picture with celebrities (nobody pays attentions to “celebrities” in Azabu….).

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I was pretending his signature gag.


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