Beat Takeshi or Takeshi Kitano?

Fourth in our series about Japanese TV and movies, we have a crossover, a comedian that is also a film maker. Knows for his laughs inside Japan, he is better known outside Japan for his movies.

Hiroaki, Masahige and Hiroki



John: Hey,it`s been a while Taro.

Taro: Yeah I haven`t seen you for a while John. How`ve you been?

John: Just as usual. I work in the day time and go drinking or watch DVD`s at home at night

Taro: I was into watching [24],that American TV program about terrorism, on DVD recently too.It was exciting just like you said. Let’s go to my place and drink some beer.

John: Have you heard? A japanese movie director won a prize recently.

Taro: Right. Takeshi Kitano

John: You got it. His movie is interesting. For instance, “Zatoichi”. A man expert “Ichi ” of sightless fencing is a period play that knocks down the organization of the dark, and the movie with subtleties of human nature and an amusement element. Takeshi Kitano performed starring”Ichi ” by himself.

Taro: Ah. It was on TV last year. I did’t see it after all. By the way, . ..

John: Wait a minute. Isn’t Takeshi Kitano as famous and popular in Japan as Spielberg in the United States?

Taro: Spielberg is more popular in Japan as the movie director, but the name “Beat Takeshi” is more famous and it is more popular than Takeshi Kitano in Japan.

John: Who is this “Beat Takeshi”? His brother?


Winning many prizes, Takeshi Kitano is known as a famous movie director in Western countries. However, he has another face in Japan —- as a comedian and a TV entertainer. Maybe, surprisingly, he is more famous as a comedian than a movie director in Japan.

When he is an entertainer, he is called Beat Takeshi.

In the 1980’s, on a TV program “Oretachi Hyoukinnzoku, or “We are the jocular people”, he played Taketyan-man with his face painted white, his eyebrows made bold and two big circles drawn on his cheeks. Taketyan-man was of course eccentric hero and, wearing a red suit with some large buttons, fought with some strange enemies, like Amida-baba(a lot old women),who only make people draw lots. He was so eccentric.

These days, he not only does comedies, he emcees some TV shows and demonstrates his abilities. Especially, in the program “TV tackle”, in which some politicians of both the ruling party and the opposition parties dispute some political problems, he can settle the dispute, making jokes to relax the tension. In the program, his ability is fully demonstrated.
He will always be leading the Japanese entertainment world as a star.

John:Hhh… I didn’t know about “Beat Takeshi”. He is seen differently in Japan and in the United States. I thought he was only a movie director.

Taro:We will arrive at my house in a moment. Let’ watch “Beat Takeshi” on TV.

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