It has been 10 years since Hiroshi Osaki took the reins at Yoshimoto Kogyo, and in that time Japan’s oldest and arguably most influential entertainment agency has veered down several different paths. While comedy remains at the forefront of the company’s activities, as it has for over a century, these days it’s about much more than just promoting and showcasing owarai geinin (comedy performers).

During Osaki’s tenure, Yoshimoto has continued to diversify its business profile, expanding into new fields like movie production, idol pop, sports and video games, and even working with the United Nations on sustainable development projects. Its latest venture is Laugh & Peace_Mother, a joint initiative with NTT and the government-backed Cool Japan Fund Inc. Its aim is to produce and distribute educational content via apps and videos.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.