Yoshimoto Kogyo’s Comedy Crisis: The Truth About Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Investigation | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Yoshimoto Kogyo’s Comedy Crisis: The Truth About Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Investigation

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In response to Matsumoto Hitoshi’s sexual scandal, Yoshimoto has made it clear that it will seriously investigate the matter.

Yoshimoto Kogyo has made a decision.

In response to the announcement, voices of admiration and voices of concern about potential trouble are swirling within the broadcasting industry.

In response to allegations of sexual assault by “Downtown” star Matsumoto Hitoshi, Yoshimoto Kogyo, the company to which Matsumoto belongs, recently announced that it is conducting interviews with the parties involved and is in the process of confirming the facts.

“It’s like the stage of the issue has been elevated or magnified.”

The TV program producer takes the situation seriously.

Yoshimoto Kogyo’s efforts themselves are a good thing, and there is nothing wrong with them, but they are necessary steps to clarify the facts.

The problem is the result of their efforts.

“As a result of Yoshimoto Kogyo’s interviews, there is a possibility that testimonies detrimental to Matsumoto-san may emerge. If such facts or testimonies come to light, can Yoshimoto Kogyo announce them openly? In that case, there is a possibility of a confrontation between Matsumoto and Yoshimoto Kogyo.

Yoshimoto might not be able to support legal proceedings. There could even be pressure on Matsumoto to withdraw from legal action. ‘Whether advancing or retreating, it’s hell either way’ in the quest for the truth. Yoshimoto is now pushed to the brink due to its own decisive actions,” said the aforementioned TV program producer.

A sports newspaper journalist points out that for the comedians undergoing interviews, Yoshimoto’s inquiries are also hellish, requiring them to brace themselves for what lies ahead.

“One could try to downplay the situation by saying ‘I don’t remember’ or giving vague testimony to protect Matsumoto, but that could backfire. You never know when or how many times the women involved might decide to speak out to magazines like Bunshun, and if evidence like LINE messages surfaces at that time, it’s game over. Trying to cover up could potentially lead to the end of one’s comedian career, forcing retirement.

Jun Kurose and Kenji Tamura from ‘Punk boo boo’ are already under scrutiny due to Bunshun’s revelations, and I believe they are in a tough spot,” stated the journalist.

Recently, Ohta Hikari from the comedy duo “Bakusho Mondai” appeared as the MC on the program “Sunday Japan” (TBS), where he serves as the MC.

“In an exaggerated manner, I called out to the comedians who were entangled with Matsumoto, saying, ‘It’s a matter of life or death for you guys.’ The true intention behind this is a provocation, urging them to ‘break free from Matsumoto, it’s the only way, distance yourself from Matsumoto’.”


A reporter for a sports newspaper commented,

“It’s a challenge to put yourself first and speak the truth, don’t think too much about Matsumoto. It’s a provocation to discard the notion of being the ‘king of comedy’ within oneself. I believe the comedians involved are being pushed into a difficult position.

Even if they delete their LINE messages, there’s a high possibility that they are still saved on the women’s smartphones. They have to respond to the interviews while being afraid of their invisible past. Are there other comedians besides Kurose and Tamura who have interacted with women? Can Yoshimoto announce the investigation results before the media reports? I believe Yoshimoto is also facing difficulties.”

Here, let’s pause for a moment and bring up a statement from Hakkata Daikichi in 2015.

“There was an occasion when Daikichi from the comedy duo ‘Hakata Hanamaru-Daikichi’ revealed at an event that when Matsumoto asked him to arrange women, the nationwide bad reputation of Matsumoto’s group also resonated in Fukuoka, and women didn’t gather as expected. If Matsumoto had been engaged in similar activities nationwide, with involvement from the ‘Yoshimoto Sumimasu Geinin’ group in arranging such matters, Yoshimoto wouldn’t protect Matsumoto.

Yoshimoto Sumimasu Geinin often collaborates with local governments and even becomes tourism ambassadors, so if they were involved in such unsavory tasks, it would be a problem. Yoshimoto should delve into this matter thoroughly and prove their innocence,” said the same sports journalist.

While there are voices hoping for Matsumoto’s return, there is also the provocative call from Bakusho Ohta for breaking free from Matsumoto. For the comedians undergoing interviews by Yoshimoto Kogyo, it seems like chilly days lie ahead.

  • Interview and text Watabe Wataru

    After working as a desk clerk in the culture department of an evening newspaper, an editorial staff member at a publishing company, and a copywriter, he became a freelance entertainment writer. He covers all aspects of the entertainment industry, including movies, theater, acting, and music. He also works undercover as a ghostwriter for celebrity books.

  • PHOTO Ippei Hara

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