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Takeshi Kitano

Japanese comedian, television presenter, actor, filmmaker, and author. Born 1947.

In my movies I don’t pay attention to historical facts. The way my heroes use their swords might have never happened 200 years ago. Director Akira Kurosawa didn’t care either. His actors were handling swords the way he thought most effective for a film. Of course, traditional rules had a purpose back then, but not today. We still say to not step on the edge of a tatami mattress. Why? In the old days someone might have been hiding under the tatami floor to stab you through that slit.

Humor is not something you can learn. Either you have it or not. There are no humor schools. I think, I have a humorous instinct and can react quickly. Words and timing are crucial. There are books about jokes and humor, but they only analyze, they can never tell you exactly how to not overdo it, how to use particular words or when to slightly displace them to trigger laughter.

Because of its feudal history it may be difficult for the Japanese to revolutionize. The hierarchic system of landlords and farmers was around fo too long. And they are conservative. And when some of them protested the Vietnam War, they just followed the American antiwar movement as a kind of fashion. That’s why you could see so many Japanese Bob Dylans in the streets back then.

Japanese are allergic to nuclear weapons far more than others might think. However, Japan is under the American nuclear umbrella. That way, other Asian countries accept the Japanese to sell them products. But it’s another thing if Japan becomes independent from America and rearms drastically. That would remind Asian nations of Japan’s colonial rule and they would boycott Japan.

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