Unstable Incomes behind "Underground Business" of Comedians in Japan

Society Culture

Tokyo, July 8 (Jiji Press)--Despite mounting criticism over recently revealed "underground performances" by some comedians in Japan for antisocial groups, quitting such operations appears difficult as they are important sources of incomes for such entertainers, many of whom are apparently not earning enough money from activities through their talent agencies, pundits say.

Major entertainment company Yoshimoto Kogyo Co. said on June 24 that it has suspended some of its comedians for the time being after they were found to have attended an event arranged by an antisocial group and received money from it.

Underground performances refer to operations in which comedians receive money in return for activities they conduct without the involvement of their management agencies.

The scandals should be utilized as an opportunity to consider ways to deal with antisocial groups, instead of simply criticizing comedians involved, an expert said.

The scandals came to light as a weekly magazine recently reported that Hiroyuki Miyasako, 49, a member of popular comedy duo Ameagari Kesshitai, and others who belong to Yoshimoto Kogyo participated in an event hosted by a fraud group about five years ago.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press