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"The Signature Acts of Modern Comedians in Japan" by Masahiro Shoda
"The Signature Acts of Modern Comedians in Japan" by Masahiro Shoda

"The Signature Acts of Modern Comedians in Japan" by Masahiro Shoda

$40.00

Japanese comedy, though lighthearted, masks fierce competitiveness. Japan has over 10,000 comedians, with about 6,000 affiliated with Yoshimoto Kogyo, the largest talent agency. Few make a living as professional comedians. Success requires winning competitions like the M-1 Grand Prix for manzai duos or sketch comedy contests, often with a unique skit or gag.

Photographer Masahiro Shoda's work encapsulates this dichotomy, creating a lasting record of Japan's unique cultural nuances. Through his lens, we see a Japan that is both serious and whimsical, disciplined yet delightfully unpredictable.

Shoda's technique is both spontaneous and deliberate. Shooting on costly large-format 4x5 film necessitates a thoughtful approach; he typically takes only seven or eight photos per session, carefully selecting the moment that best captures the comedian's essence. This process demands both technical skill and intuition.

The Signature Acts of Modern Comedians in Japan" is now available internationally. Tony Yasumura, known for his appearance on "Britain's Got Talent," graces the cover of the English version.