It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Maria-san! I've just met a girl named Maria-san!!

Speaking of Chairman Kaga, the Liberace-esque host of Fuji TV's Iron Chef, his bio reveals an even more flamboyant personage than I realized. (Chapeau tip to Stew) I'm a massive fan of the show and yet I did not know that he was the first Japanese Tony in West Side Story (1977) AND the first Japanese Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar (1976).

I've heard rumours as to other firsts as well, but as I can't prove them (and in fact may be making them up...maybe) I really shouldn't say.

Of course I will anyway. (I just wish I had a better handle on how much leeway "satire" brings under the Japanese libel laws. The last thing I need is to wander into Tokyo on vacation and discover I 've been sentenced to seppuku in abstentia.)

Anyway:

Takeshi Kaga, AKA Chairman Kaga AKA Tony AKA Andrew Lloyd Webber's Version of Jesus

A List of Other Firsts
by Earl Fando (who will deny everything in the presence of Japanese constables and magistrates)

1959 - First Japanese to be mistaken for Elvis Presley (by Nikita Khrushchev during a tour of a Datsun plant in Hokkaido)
1966 - First Japanese to wear a Nehru suit on purpose. Backwards.
1967 - First Japanese to listen to an American Country and Western album
1967 (same day) - First Japanese to smash American Country and Western Album with the aid of a katana and throwing stars.
1968 - First Japanese to own a copy of The Beatles' White Album (Suuuure he was.)
1972 - First Japanese to break Watergate story, but ignored in favor of those American glory hounds Woodward and Bernstein.
1978 - First Japanese to own a Chia Pet (marketed as Bonzai Pets in Japan)
1981 - First Japanese to appear on Wheel of Fortune. Wins a sequined cape, setting the groundwork for Iron Chef. Also, wins a year's supply of Rice A Roni, "The San Francisco Treat".
1983 - First Japanese to be mistaken for Liberace (by Tom Wolfe during a book tour of Akita Prefecture.)
1984 - (January) First Japanese to point out that Orwell was exagerrating just a little bit in his book.
1987 - First Japanese to cut a rap album (Kaga This!)
1990 - First Japanese to declare dried cuttlefish a really nasty excuse for a snack food.
1991 - First Japanese to portray Douglas MacArthur in Japanese remake of Inchon.
1994 - First Japanese to win World Snooker Championship, despite several shots made more difficult by his cape.
1997 - First Japanese to become fluent in Esperanto.
2000 - First Japanese to appear on Friends (As Phoebe's lothario lover, Sven)
2004 - First Japanese to make contact with extraterrestials (On Iron Chef, Voyage to the Stars.) Hasn't been seen since.

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BTW - this is, in fact, our 300th post to DOUI... just in case you're counting.

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