When I was asked to write a novel, I had a hard time choosing a theme. When I was asked to write a novel, I had a hard time choosing a theme, but I came to the conclusion that what would I write about if I didn’t depict my family and my birthplace? It’s a dark story, but it formed the basis of who I am as a person. I want people to read this story and laugh as hard as they can. That’s what I was thinking when I wrote it.
Perhaps it was the sense of liberation he felt after releasing his first novel to the world, but the expression on the face of Sho Kaga (28) was completely cheerful. He is one of the best comedians of the seventh generation of comedy, and usually works with his partner, Kaya Takaya (28), as the popular comedy duo “Kagaya. In 2007, the duo made it to the finals of the “King of Comedy” competition, and they are so active that there is not a day that goes by that they are not seen on TV. His first novel, ” O-Ango” (Kodansha ), was published on November 10. The writing process was a series of hardships for Kaga, who was diagnosed with a “weak brain wave” last August and had to suspend his activities.
To be honest, it was quite difficult for me. …… I woke up at 6 a.m. every morning and wrote one page of manuscript paper before going to work for over a year and a half. I can only concentrate on one thing at a time, so when I was working on a comedy show, I couldn’t stop thinking about my novel and wondered what I was doing. My partner was worried about my health and kept asking me if I was okay with the novel. One time, when I told my partner that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, he suggested that we save some work and supported me.
The person in charge of my work did not urge me to meet the deadline, but waited patiently for me to finish writing. When I resumed writing after my hiatus, I found that my writing style had changed, so I ended up rewriting from scratch. If I hadn’t taken a break, my work might have turned out differently.
The story takes place in a small rural town in Okayama Prefecture. The story is set in a small rural town in Okayama Prefecture, and it cheerfully and vividly depicts the daily life of an elementary school student named “Boku” and his family, who are at the mercy of his violent father’s unreasonable behavior. Dad,” who is based on his own father, is a rambunctious kid who gets into trouble all the time, beating up his family, getting drunk, and causing trouble with the police. The title “Oango” means “stupid” in the Okayama dialect, and is a habit of the father in the story.
After his parents’ divorce, the protagonist faces his father, even though his young and sensitive heart is hurt. This is the story of how the main character, who eventually moves to Tokyo and becomes a comedian, meets his father again.
My hometown, Bizen City in Okayama Prefecture, is very closed off, and I didn’t like that atmosphere, so I left the city early and had a dream of becoming a comedian. No matter how painful my past was, I wanted to entrust that dream to the main character so that I could turn it into laughter one day.
Like the main character, I was in elementary school when my parents divorced. My father was more violent than the main character’s father. When I heard that they were getting divorced, I laughed and said, “Of course they are! I don’t know why, but I remember laughing. I was relieved that my mother was finally free from my father, but I was also angry and sad. There were times when I was writing and I thought back to him, ‘He really messed up, didn’t he?
But he was still my father.
Having grown up under such a messed up father, there are things he is grateful for now that he is an adult.
He says, “I never get violent when I drink, and when I’m drunk, I praise other comedians to an unusual degree (laughs). I don’t like slander that hurts people, and if I get married, I definitely want to build a warm family. He’s a bit of an antithesis, but I think I was able to grow as a person because I grew up under his tutelage.
While confronting the dark memories of his childhood, he still managed to portray his family in a cheerful manner in “Oango”. In portraying his father, he faced some conflicts.
I heard that local people who read my work said to my grandmother several times, ‘You must have had a really tough time,’ but every time she would say, ‘My son was even more rambunctious! (laughs). (laughs) My mother said that she cried when she tried to read the book because it reminded her of the past.
My father now has a new family and a child. I had a hard time drawing the line between how much of my father I should portray realistically. It was only a fictional story, and I didn’t want to make my father the only bad guy. I’m still torn about it, and the thought of my father reading this work scares me. Still, I can’t hate my father. I am related to him by blood.
If I really disliked him, I wouldn’t write about him, and even though I haven’t been in contact with him for years, I still feel a connection. I now think that I grew up with the heart of a child, or that he was just too pure. I hope that people who read this novel will come to love my father.”
Kaga has embarked on a new path as a writer and comedian. He already had his next ambition in mind.
He has already set his sights on his next ambition: “I think it’s because I was a comedian that I was given the opportunity to write a novel. As a way of returning the favor, I want to devote myself to comedy for the next year. My partner has not only put up with me, but has also supported me. So, if I were to write another novel, I think it would have to be after I have achieved results in comedy.
However, I already have a desire to write a second novel. If I were to write another novel, I would like it to be a happy story where my mother and grandmother don’t have to be sad. A love story would be nice. For that, I want to make a girlfriend. I’d also like to get married if I can! I’ll do my best!
Kaga now has a new weapon in her arsenal: novels. With her new weapon, the novel, Kaga’s rapid progress seems to be continuing.
It’s a sad but funny story about a family that was pushed around by a messed up father.
From the December 10, 2021 issue of FRIDAY
Photo by： Aida En