Meeting the Coolest Man in Japan

Meeting the Coolest Man in Japan

You know the trouble with having 16
bowls of food in front of you is knowing where to start so many different bowls
of mochi much is a rice that’s been pounded and beaten down into a kind of
sticky rice cake form and these bowls have been topped in a variety of flavors
from sesame to shrimp, red bean paste and this which is
fermented soy beans which are absolutely awful Don’t call it fermented it’s matured. Well whatever it is I’m not going near it and neither should you if you come to Japan. So anyway today guys we’re going to one of Japan’s most famous jazz bars which is here in Ichinoseki about an hour north of Sendai. Today we’re off to meet a man the
New York Times once called Japan’s most tireless jazz advocate, Shoji Sugawara, a
man who puts even Natsuki to shame on the cool scale. He runs one of the best-known
jazz clubs in Japan called The Basie And we’re gonna go in and find out what
makes it so popular while we’re in the neighborhood we’re also going to be
dropping into a theater performance, I’ve never seen theater in Japan in any form
until now so I’m looking forward to seeing how it differs from the West.
“There was one guy with the most angriest, scariest looking eyes I’ve ever seen in
my life I thought he was gonna come off stage and punch me in the face at one
point” but our day starts by sampling Ichinoseki’s chewy local delicacy He can’t speak as his mouth is full. Once you take a mouthful of this you can’t speak for the next 20 seconds. So we have to kind of
synchronize a time of who’s eating and are you finished? Yes now I can speak, so stuff yourself. Tell us something of value. While I eat the sesame mochi Let me just explain what it is. We’ve got loads of flavours such as Soy bean paste, ginger and he just he just ate it but a sesame and
pumpkins and various 16 flavors. And I’ve got only 9 and I feel very inferior
how comes that? Well you are (inferior). I’m still like half way through it. I think this must be the most difficult to eat in the world. What I will say it’s a good way to explore lots of different flavors as a base. It’s a good way to explore lots of different flavours if you can chew it all. I have no idea how I can finish all this. We met Shoji in the late afternoon amidst the dimly lit surroundings of the Basie jazz club. He was in a reflective mood as he examined
his nostalgic collection of lighters As you look around the club the same name and the same face keeps appearing. American jazz legend Count Basie One of the most influential figures in twentieth-century jazz. At the age of 19 Shoji was battling through Tuberculosis. and claims that repeatedly listening to a performance of “Basie in London” helped him to get through the illness. In the 1970s Shoji met the man himself when he came
to perform in Tokyo and struck up a friendship with Basie visiting the club
that adorned his name several times in In his later years when Basie was battling
through cancer Shoji tried to repay his debt to the legend by sending him
Chinese herbal medicines and in many ways the Basie isn’t just a jazz club is
a shrine to the man that inspired Shoji Still with the collection of 10,000
records he feels like the living breathing epitome of jazz There’s something quite powerfully
nostalgic about it as if Shoji is trying to capture and hold on to the past it
felt like being in a giant time capsule or something there was a piano
absolutely covered in cameras and camera lenses, a bar counter packed full of
bottles of books of photos, there was a seating area on the other side the room
full of customers and they were all sat there drinking but
sitting in silence there was this kind of peaceful meditative quality to it all
they were really there you could tell they were there to sit relax but above
all to appreciate an to listen to the music. We’re at a public “Taishu Engeki”. It’s the first time I’ve been to a theatre in Japan actually and it’s about
to kick off so I don’t know what to expect Ryotaro is here in his nighting gown. Normally the public theatre is like combined with like onsen and
because I’m staying here like you actually you should actually get changed into this but Chris hasn’t because it’s a real shame. He’s not following Japanese culture at all. Not respecting culture. Not respecting Japanese culture? I’ve just eaten a whole plate of
Edamame And I’ve gotten an Asahi Beer;
that is Japanese culture right there. No you’re just consuming it that’s all. That’s not respecting. I’m consuming culture but I’m not respecting it. Taishu Engenki literally means
light theater and unlike a lot of traditional entertainment in Japan such
as kabuki or geisha, Taishu Engeki is entertainment that doesn’t break the
bank it’s entertainment for the masses that doesn’t take itself too seriously
or have a philosophical component its aim is to simply make the audience laugh. Yeah I liked it was kind of like a
cabaret performance the facial expressions were impressive and the hand gestures; there was one guy with the most angriest scariest looking eyes I’ve ever
seen in my life I thought he was gonna come off stage and punch me in the face
at one point and there was a nice variety of performances there with a
couple who were arguing over a baby and whose baby it was turns out wasn’t the
guy’s baby, there was a man dressed as a woman who came out with a cigarette and stubbed out on someone’s face which I quite enjoyed and then there was a rather
chubby character who bursts out of a bamboo tree that was that was pretty
random and in the audience the fans themselves were they were loving it
there was a woman at the front just giving them gifts I thought the
performance bags of things so clearly it’s a pretty popular thing here. Ichinoseki is about two and a half hours north of Tokyo by bullet train and if you’re
interested in checking out any of the places we visited on our trip you can
find the details in the description box below. Wait stop everything I just
realized Ryotaro is dressed like Link out of The Legend of Zelda or some sort of
shitty pirate. I can’t really work out which one. So that’s it for you guys
and I will see you in next video thanks for watching.

80 thoughts on “Meeting the Coolest Man in Japan

  1. 何が良いかって、

  2. I dont mean to be rude but the reporter is so fake and is really like a fish out of water just as his friend said. And why curse dude. Yes I have lived in Japan longer than this newbe

  3. Looks like tiny bowls of shit in fancy colors. Where is the sushi? Goes to japan to eat indian looking street meals. What a goof!

  4. Wow this just became one of my favourite videos… that man is something else, I’d love to just meet him and talk about literally anything 😭

  5. He’s cool and all but putting out a cigarette half-way is pretty douchy nevertheless he kind of reminds me of a Japanese Tony Stark

  6. Could you visit Ryo Fukui's Slowboat Jazz club in Sapporo? He is no longer with us but from what I hear his wife still runs the club.

  7. I've mainly tried the sweet version of mochi but believe you me that tray has nothing on the countless varieties you might encounter as you trudge along.

    Thanks for your work!

  8. "There was one guy with the most angriest, scariest, looking eyes i've ever seen in my life" – That guy looks just like you though.

  9. 生き方はすごいジャズっぽいって言う人はいるんだんですよ said the “coolest cigarette guy”. Special mr.ego. Too much movies…

  10. My life. Is like chasing coltranes' countdown tune as he kamikazes through chord progression. The world is Duke Ellingtons' sentimental mood.

  11. I'm excited to be in Japan upcoming very soon to enjoy the same type of content that's being showcased in this video!

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