From the Stage to the Bookshelves Writing Comedians in Twenty-First-Century Japan
[Recorded 13 February 2019] For a number of years, Japanese stand-up comedians have also been successful with publications on the domestic book market. Benefiting from their high popularity and constant presence in the media, publications by comedians-cum-book-authors often turn into media scoops, be it youth memoirs such as Tamura Hiroshi’s Homeless Middle School Student (2007) or autobiographic novels winning Japan’s coveted Akutagawa Prize like Matayoshi Naoki’s Spark (2015). Manga, film or even Netflix adaptations boost the popularity of the writing comedians even further, while also creating or re-confirming audiences’ ideas about the life of a professional comedian. In his talk, Till Weingärtner, who himself performed as a manzai comedian in Osaka during his doctoral research, will examine the relationship between comedians’ on-stage/on-screen personae with selected books and their adaptations. By doing so, he will offer a better understanding of how comedians’ images are constructed in Japanese show business.