Plain Talk


Comedies won't wear masks by Kilara Sen (Formerly "Kaori" )

I am a comedian in Japanese and English. First I started as a Japanese style comedian (“Owarai-geinin” in Japanese) , and years later started English standup, then now doing standup in both languages. My job is to perform comedy and host at corporates, events, parties and so on. I love my job. There are many differences between Western comedy and Japanese comedy.

A surprise when I just started English was that comedians in Western usually had day jobs. They are rich! enough to subscribe Netflix, at least. In Japanese, although it’s getting more accepted currently comedians having day jobs, it’s been traditionally common ones surviving poor lives with multiple part-time jobs and spending most of the time in “netamise” (kinda mix of open mic and rehearsal internally held at each talent agency) and helping their agencies’ shows.

There are tons of small comedy shows costing free to 500 yen by them.. and they were my departure. I could only perform in front of very small crowds, like 10 people maximum. Sometimes 3, 2.. but it didn’t matter, we just did our best to polish my materials. But only when there was just one, it’s a problem. Because when I said, “Thanks for coming!! My name is Kilara! Nice to meet you!”, Then the audience suddenly stood up and said, “ Hi. I am Suzuki, nice to meet you, too.” ..afterwards we exchanged business cards.

On March 8th, the final round of R-1, which is the annual Japanese comedy competition for solo comedian, is live-aired on TV. Though every year the final and consolation are live-aired with live audience, this year no audience for the virus fear. I can imagine performing comedy in front of only TV crew and judgements would be shitless like doing in front of Hello Kitty: their face seemed, but silent because they have no mouth.

I’ve heard many international people saying Japanese comedy is not funny. It might be because there's no political jokes or sarcasm and they like to take off clothes, then it seems slapstick?

True, Japanese audience usually don’t welcome political and social things in comedy. The moment I told jokes about gender gap at R-1 round 2, I felt audiences’ attention distant. I believe comedy is a last stronghold to improve society so it needs to accept to be social.However, at the same time, I pay great amount of respect to seasoned Japanese comedians in different way than to Western ones.

When comedians come to criticize other, there’s an interesting difference: Japanese more focus on techniques and chemistry, Western on POV and what they talk.

Believing Japanese comedy is more about high context creativity and it’s another rich art form, I would love you to be one of audience experiencing the funniest Japanese comedians, and laugh.

Twitter: Kilaracomedy
Instagram : kilaracomedy










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Twitter: Kilaracomedy
Instagram : kilaracomedy

Plain Talk


The Coronavirus Conundrum: Can The U.S. Win The Fight Against The Deadly Virus? by Patrick Hattman

As I write this article on March 22, the coronavirus epidemic is raging around the world, with more than 14,000 lives lost. While this new scourge on humanity originated in China, it is now taking its toll mostly in Europe, as Italy, Spain and France are bearing the brunt of the mortality inflicted by the disease.

However, in recent days the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has increased dramatically, with a corresponding surge in the death toll. Leaders in local and state governments up to President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. are grappling with innumerable problems, and the solutions in many cases are not yet within their grasp.

A number of states have restricted the movement of their residents. All but five states have closed their schools, maybe for the rest of the school year. Perhaps a nationwide lockdown will be necessary very soon to limit the spread of the disease.

A lengthy recession, if not an economic depression, looms for the U.S., and therefore for the entire world. Millions of Americans will lose their jobs in the coming weeks and months. The federal government will have to send out huge sums of money to businesses and individuals soon to avoid a complete disaster.

And to think that in the middle of February, the U.S. stock market was at an all-time high and the U.S. unemployment rate was at an historic low. People were looking forward to spring, sports and school graduations. How quickly things can change.

When will the coronavirus dissipate and eventually disappear? Some experts say during the summer months. I am skeptical, though, because the coronavirus is currently spreading throughout the world, regardless of the season.

But there is one thing that I am sure of and that is China must be brought to heel by the U.S. and all other countries devastated by the coronavirus once it is defeated. Political correctness must be cast aside and China will have to provide answers and make amends for what it started.


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Step Into Spring At Planetaria Tokyo by Lorne Fetzek

As winter gives way to spring, most residents of Japan start thinking about warm days ahead, and especially in light of recent world events, we’re all looking for activities that lighten our spirts. Mixing unique experiences into our calendars can help quell the restlessness that we often feel this time of year.

Have you considered visiting a planetarium? Greater Tokyo boasts at least 20 locations where you can stargaze while indoors, but none is more centrally located than the Konica Minolta Planetaria Tokyo which is located on the 9th floor of the Yurakucho Mullion Building. Despite its convenient location directly above Hibiya Station and only a few steps away from Ginza, upon arrival there is an unmistakable feeling of calm and relaxation that one feels upon entering the lobby.

The planetarium is divided into 3 areas, 2 “domes” and one virtual reality planetarium. Shows run in all three areas from 10:30 through 22:00 daily (hours on holidays may differ so be sure to check the planetarium website for details). Ticket prices begin at ¥1,600 for a single seat adult ticket (about the same as a regular movie ticket). There are packages on offer as well to suit various tastes (and budgets). Dome 2 in particular has oversized, plush “Galaxy” seats (both single and pair seats). Each show is typically 1 hour and there are a wide variety of shows including live music and narrated events. Outside of the theaters, there’s a cafe´ selling quirky food items such as “Milky Way Cotton Candy” and cocktails named for planets and a gift shop with an intriguing selection of space themed items.

So why not treat yourself to some stargazing in the heart of central Tokyo? Keep looking up!!


プラネタリウムに行こうと考えた事はないだろうか? 都内には、屋内で星空を眺められる場所が少なくとも20カ所はある。しかしもっとも都心にあるのが。有楽町マリオン9階のコニカミノルタプラネタリアTOKYOだ。日比谷駅に直結したビルにあり、銀座にも近いというアクセスの良さにもかかわらず、ロビーに入ると紛れもなく穏やかでくつろいだ気分になれる。





Like a Princess

With people all over the world on lockdown due to coronavirus and life as we have always known it at a bit of a stand still, some are coming up with creative ways to pass the time. A woman named Danielle Askew has started an entertaining trend known as Bin Isolation Outings and it sees people dress up in over-the-top outfits and fancy dress to take the trash out. Danielle, who lives in Queensland, Australia, shared a photo of herself putting her bin out, dressed up a bit like Elsa from Disney's Frozen, with a sparkly blue dress and crown. This inspired a number of people to follow suit - with hilarious results. Danielle set up a Facebook group so that others could share their efforts and says she is "amazed" by the reaction to her idea. The inspiration came after a friend messaged her to say she was excited that it was bin day as it meant she got to go outside. Danielle then dared her friend to get all dressed up to go on the little "outing" and she accepted the challenge, with Danielle doing the same. So far more than 215,000 have joined the group to dress like princess to take their bins out!

Avoid DIY?

In the UK, doctors are urging people to avoid gardening or DIY jobs around the house during the coronavirus lockdown. They are concerned that work may result in injuries that could add to the strain that hospitals are facing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Surgeons are urging people to avoid starting any task that could lead in a traumatic injury as it could divert NHS staff and resources away for the current coronavirus crisis at hand. Records show there has already been a spike in the number of power tool related injuries since lockdown was introduced. In the last week alone, the plastic surgery department at Ulster Hospital in Belfast has treated numerous patients who have injured themselves after using lawnmowers, chainsaws and bikes. Some have even needed to have their fingers amputating… So, please, be careful when you are doing any DIY jobs!



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