A Lookback On Kensaku Morita Debut Movie “Yuutsuki” And Its Controversy | FRIDAY DIGITAL

A Lookback On Kensaku Morita Debut Movie “Yuutsuki” And Its Controversy

Entertainment Reporter Toshio Ishikawa's talks about "Behind the Scenes" in the Entertainment Industry.

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Kensaku Morita, former member of the House of Councilors and former governor of Chiba Prefecture, rather than an actor, has asked to appear on the radio program he hosts, “Kensaku Morita, Youth Freshly Picked Morning Ichiban” on FM “NACK5”. 

“I have known Mr. Morita since his debut, I was delighted to be asked to appear on the program.”

“When I became a member of the Diet, we became distant, but when I was governor of Chiba Prefecture, where I live, Kumi Hayase, an actress who often appeared with Mr. Morita, invited me to appear several times. But it had been a long time since we had met again.”

Shochiku made a movie version of “Yugetsu,” a big hit sung by Jun Mayuzumi. Mr. Morita was chosen to play the role of the other actor.

That was in 1969, 53 years ago.

“At that time, Shochiku had Shima Iwashita, Miyuki Kuwano, Chieko Baisho, Mariko Okada, and others, and was said to be an actress kingdom. I was working part-time in the Shochiku Advertising Department and became involved in the project as an assistant publicist for ‘Yugetsu’.

On the day of the final screening, an unexpected event occurred. I hope you will forgive me for saying so, but Mr. Morita’s agency, Sun Music, the Shochiku production department, the advertising department, and the director had already decided that Mr. Mayuzumi would be playing the lead role.”


However, during the final audition, Mayuzumi, who was to play the leading role, said, 

I don’t want to perform with Morita.”

Hiroki Matsukata’s younger brother, Yuki Meguro, also participated in the audition, and he was also a finalist. 

Mr. Mayuzumi said, “I want to perform with Mr. Meguro.”


Of course, Mr. Morita, who was involved in the audition, had no knowledge of such a proposal. The people involved had decided behind his back.

“The people involved were so embarrassed that they tried to persuade Mr. Mayuzumi. The conclusion they came to was that Mr. Morita was to be the director of ‘Yugetsu’. I heard that they promised to make the next film with Mr. Mayuzumi, Mr. Morita, and Mr. Meguro.”

He said, “Someone I met while I was attending a prep school after failing college put me on the path to becoming an entertainer before I had any idea what I was getting myself into. At the time, I didn’t know anything, and it was Ishikawa who helped me by giving me all kinds of advice. She really helped me out.”

Morita said, “I didn’t know anything about the entertainment industry at all when I was working.

“I didn’t particularly like movies, but I was crazy about it as a job. So it is true that Shochiku and the production company agreed that they wanted to nurture male actors, and I was very happy to be there when Morita san was born, and I did my best in whatever I could.”

Shochiku also continued its efforts to make Mr. Morita a star. The first step is to set up a supporters’ association.

Although Shochiku had people who were considered stars, there had never been the idea of a supporters’ association. Aizawa Masahisa, president of Sun Music, to which Mr. Morita belonged, was the man who made singer Teruhiko Saigo a star, and he had the theory that “the establishment of a supporters’ association is important” to connect fans and stars.

“So I went to Sun Music’s office, which was located behind the Tokyo Kosei-Nenkin Kaikan in Shinjuku at the time, to help set up the fan club, make bulletins, and write addresses. I spent more time at the Sun Music office than at the Shochiku headquarters.”

Gradually, the number of members increased, and in the year of his debut, Mr. Morita appeared in six films. He was active in a wide range of films, from coming-of-age stories to comedies.

He later appeared as a detective in “Castle of Sand”. It is true that Shochiku was also making efforts to market Mr. Morita.

In 1971, the serial drama “I am a Man” (Nippon Television Network) began, which ran for two years. The theme song, “Farewell, Let’s Say Tears,” was also a big hit, and he was on his way to becoming a star. Back then, he was known as



“But then I realized that Morita is now 72 years old, and I am 75. I never thought that Morita, who was called the “master of youth,” would become a politician.

  • Text Toshio Ishikawa (Entertainment Reporter)

    Born in Tokyo in 1946. He has a unique career path from Shochiku's Advertising Department to a reporter for women's magazines to an entertainment reporter. He has appeared on "The Wide" and "Information Live Miyaneya" (both on Nippon Television Network Corporation), and currently appears regularly on "Mentai Wide" (Fukuoka Broadcasting System), "Su Matan" (Yomiuri TV), and Rainbow Town FM.

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