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Yoshimoto Sumimasu Geinin Project Sends Comedians to Myanmar

2018/10/12 Report

Yoshimoto Creative Agency is continuing its Sumimasu Geinin Project that sends Japanese comedians (“geinin”) to live (“sumimasu”) in other countries across Asia. The latest recruits for the project, who are headed to Myanmar, appeared at a ceremony at the Kyoto Hotel Okura on Friday, October 12.

Tokyo-based company MCIP Holdings Co. announced the three comedy units that are scheduled to arrive in Myanmar on October 25 and start working there immediately. They include the Nagoya-born solo performer Mari Midorikawa, who is the first female comedian in the history of the Sumimasu Geinin Project. Also going are Tigers, a comedy trio formed especially for this project, and solo performer Akii, who has experience living in Myanmar and is conversational in the Burmese language.

MCIP Holdings was formed with the mission of spreading Japanese entertainment across Asia, and the Sumimasu Geinin Project is key to doing so and it also helps to better understand entertainment markets in other countries. Including the latest recruits, there will be 14 different comedy units with a total of 21 comedians living and working in Asia. They have been deployed to Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, The Philippines and now Myanmar. While working to bring laughter to the people, the comedians also study the local languages, culture and comedy.

The comedians going to Maynamr will work with an elementary and middle school in order to learn the language and culture, while also doing projects with the school kids. They will cooperate with a production company to create content for the local broadcaster MNTV.

Mari Midorikawa appeared and performed a short skit in rapid-fire Japanese. She then showed off the language skills she has already acquired by repeating it in Burmese, causing reporter from Myanmar in the audience to laugh.

Tigers took to the stage with electric guitar and bass to share their goals for Myanmar in song. Naoya Abe explained that all three members have about 11 years of experience in comedy, and since Hayato Endo plays bass and Okiru plays guitar, they decided to form a trio based around music.

Akii explained that he has lived in Myanmar for the past five years because his father established a school in the country. Although he has not studied the language formally, he has picked up conversational skills.

Comedians who currently working in Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan appeared to share a little advice with the new recruits. Akira, who is living in Indonesia, told them that considering the language and cultural barriers, it is best to keep jokes simple. With less than two weeks to go before their departure, the comedians were eager to practice a Burmese phrase that means “we’ll do our best!”

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