Kenji Haga’s Fierce 60-minute Interview: “I’m currently working in a department store after it closes. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Kenji Haga’s Fierce 60-minute Interview: “I’m currently working in a department store after it closes.

Let me show you my big back. The man who once called himself the "Great General of Sincerity" has lost everything and will soon turn 62.

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He talks about his dreams in the back alleys of Kabukicho. If I could time leap, I would work, go to the gym, and play golf with friends without getting caught up in …… scam stories. I couldn’t do that when I was younger.”

Even after 2 a.m., Kabukicho, Shinjuku, the “town that never sleeps,” was still crowded with drunken customers.

A couple wandering aimlessly in the direction of a love hotel, students frolicking with cans of beer in their hands, a middle-aged man slumped on the street…through the hustle and bustle, Kenji Haga, 61, with tanned skin and a white jacket, appeared.

Please ask me anything.

He looked a little tired, probably because he had just finished his second day as a “hands-on host” at the “Ai Honten” restaurant.

I was invited to an event, so I got to try out a host for five days, and I was very impressed. I was impressed. The hosts at “Ai Honten” are all about 40 years younger than I am, but they are really solid. They are polite, don’t miss any customer’s move, and follow any topic of conversation. They are very serious and study hard. And he is as handsome as an idol. I’m sure everyone thinks, ‘Oh, Haga is too old to be a host. ……,’ but he has no intention of losing (laughs). I have experience that younger people don’t have, so I show them how to behave in a way that suits the occasion. I’m going to show them that I have a big back.

He got his big break as a member of the first “Iitomo Seinen-tai. The experience of the “Great General of Sincerity,” who became a regular on Japan’s wide-ranging TV shows after having affairs with numerous beautiful women, can certainly be put to good use in serving customers.

In fact, I received an offer from Ai Honten 20 years ago to make my debut as a host. It was called ‘New Ai’ at the time, but I turned it down because I was too busy with work. Back then, I was so busy that I could only take one full day off every three years. ……

However, Haga’s “turbulent days” suddenly came to an end in 2007. He was arrested on suspicion of fraud in connection with the sale of private equities.

At the time, this magazine was the first in the media to report on the case, and Haga said, “I have nothing but gratitude.

Haga said, “Friday was very thorough with me at the time. Of course, it was my fault, but I really went through hell. But, you know, I have nothing against them at all. I was on the cover of Friday magazine once. I support people who are doing their best, and if they do something wrong, I criticize them. I think that is natural and fair. And this time, he came to interview me trying to do my best.

Haga is optimistic, saying that he learned a lesson from losing everything.

I was shallow, or perhaps I thought too lightly. …… Everything that happens to me is because of me. There is no such thing as a good deal. I don’t think I want to drive a luxury car anymore. I want to be a person who can lead a normal life. I am currently running a small company with a little more than 10 employees in Okinawa, where I am based. When we have a pop-up store, I work at the department store after it closes to bring in the goods. I also design jewelry. I don’t earn enough money to be extravagant, and it is common for me to eat cup noodles for dinner, but I believe that if I don’t keep my feet on the ground and build up trust one step at a time, it will really be the end of me.

In the past three years, he has only had one or two entertainment jobs a month, instead of one day off every other week.

I wake up in the morning, do calisthenics, do push-ups, go for a run, and post a “weather report” on my YouTube channel. I want to get myself back to a place where I can keep myself healthy and get my heart screwed on again, so that everyone will be satisfied with my work. That is my dream and my goal.

I must show the utmost sincerity in my life.

Kenji Haga, interviewed in person: “I’m currently working at a department store after it closes for the day.
Kenji Haga: “Right now I’m working at a department store after it closes,” direct interview with Kenji Haga

From the July 28, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Hiroyuki Komatsu

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