Butchie Musha, the god of repentance, talks about the behind-the-scenes of “Hyokinzoku. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Butchie Musha, the god of repentance, talks about the behind-the-scenes of “Hyokinzoku.

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Hirokazu Musha aka Butchie Musha

The legendary comedy program “Ore-tachi Hyokin-zoku” was broadcast on Fuji Television from 1981 to 1989 and featured such comedy stars as Beat Takeshi and Akashiya Sanma. One of its popular sections was the “Hyokin Penitentiary.”

Performers (and sometimes staff members and others involved) who had committed an offence during the week would repent to “God” for their transgressions and receive a “X” or “Y” for their transgression. ×If the answer was “X,” they would be doused with water, and if the answer was “Y,” they would be acquitted of their sins. The man who served as “god” for the entire period was Hirokazu Musha (70), a.k.a. Butchie Musha. Musha, who currently runs the snack bar “Onna Mu Bar” in Kabukicho and is the representative of the theatrical troupe ZANGE, looks back on those days.

When I was appearing on “Comedy Star Birth” with my comedy duo “Conto Upper 8,” someone from the production company told me, “We have an offer from Hyokin-zoku for you.

When I went to visit the director of Hyokin-zoku, he told me, ‘We are going to do a new corner, and we want you to be as expressive as possible when you make a mistake and give an X or a circle. I want you to be as expressive as possible when you make a mistake, so practice a little. So I practiced alone in the mirror in the dressing room. So I dressed up as a god and did as I was told, and that was the first time.

At first, it was just a one-day job.

But it was so well received that I was asked to do it a second time, and after about the third time, I was asked, “Can you hold off on Wednesdays for a month? I was asked. The job kept getting longer and longer, and before he knew it, he had been doing it for seven years. God’s” job was to record “Hyokinzoku” every Wednesday. The schedule was grueling, starting at 8:00 a.m. when rehearsals began and ending at 27:00 a.m. when the show was on its longest run.

Whenever there was an NG, I would leave the set, which was a confessional with tires underneath. So I had to be there all the time.

I later found out that the reason I was chosen was because I was a bored comedian. Someone who could be there from 8:00 a.m. until night. And someone who was a little fat and paid a small fee. It was hard to hear that afterwards. I was disappointed that I wasn’t chosen because of who I was.

God, who could have chosen anyone, actually had the heavy responsibility of judging the confession. The director did not tell him whether to choose “X” or “Y,” but rather the warrior made all the decisions on the spot.

He said, “There were no complaints from those who were given X’s. I knew that the ratings for the corner were good, so I decided to give it a try. After all, the ratings for the corner were good, so everyone was happy to be on the show. But there were times when I was really confused about whether I should be given an X or not. I had to think while the music was playing.

The one I was most confused about was Mari Amachi. For us, she was a super-idol, and the fact that she was kneeling in front of me was already a miracle. I would think about it for a few seconds. But even though it was Tenchi Mari, I knew I couldn’t let my personal feelings get the better of me, so I gave her a “no.” I gave her a “yes. And when I gave out a “B”, it felt surprisingly good (laughs).

(Laughs)” Hisashi Hieda, chairman of the Fuji Sankei Group and head of production at the time, even covered his face with water. Such lack of discovery was probably one of the reasons for the popularity of the show, and the penance section often recorded the highest instantaneous ratings among the “Hyokin Zoku” programs, which had ratings of over 20% at the time.

The reason for this was that it was right around the time when Drifting was ending, and when I changed the channel, it was right around the corner from me. That’s when the ratings jumped. It was lucky for me. I think Hyokin Zoku itself got 26 to 27%, but the penitence corner got close to 30%.

Musha says that the fun of “Hyokin Zoku,” which was very popular at the time, was the happenings.

As God gets used to the show, the talent is so funny that he can’t help laughing at them. But it never gets cut. We did “Hyokinzoku” because we thought such coincidences were funny. Usually, the scripts for one-hour programs, even for variety shows, are two or three centimeters thick.

But the script for “Hyokin-zoku” is very thin. It is very thin. We leave it to the talent. The talent is more interesting than the writers. Hyokin Zoku” is a compilation of happenings that happened by chance.

Even Adamo-chan’s (Toshiro Shimazaki) “Pay! was born by chance when Adamo-chan (Toshiro Shimazaki) was asked to come out dressed like that. If it was boring, he would have been dropped from the show, so he was desperate.

But it’s funny because it’s so desperate. Everything in “Hyokinzoku” was left up to the talent. But that also gave the talent a lot of freedom. Now, they are all bound together and it’s getting boring. In the past, it was absurd.

For the episode with Beat Takeshi that remains in Takeshi’s memory from his days in “Hyokinzoku,” please read “Part 2: The God of Penitence, Butchie Takeshi’s Unforgettable Invitation to Join Takeshigunta” and Takeshi’s words.

Part 2: The god of repentance, Butchie Musha’s unforgettable “invitation to join Takeshigunta” and Takeshi’s words.

Musha sometimes holds penance events at his “Onna Mu Bar.
Many people know God, and everyone takes pictures with their smartphones during the events.
Musha without makeup. Of course, he looks like this when he is not holding events.
  • Profile Butchie Musha (Hirokazu Musha)

    Born in Nagano Prefecture in 1952. After passing an audition for "Comedy On Stage" (NHK), he studied under Leonardo Kumar and started his career in comedy. Representative of ZANGE Theater Company and BMC Enterprises. The play "Ikiru" will be performed at Ageo City Cultural Center on September 3, 2012.

  • Cooperation for the interview N.K Narts

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