SDGs Kagetsu Event combines Comedy with United Nations Development Goals
Held at Yoshimoto’s Gion Kagetsu in eastern Kyoto, SDGs Kagetsu saw an intriguing and hilarious collaboration take place between professional comedians and the Global Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
It was in September 2015, that the United Nations General Assembly in New York adopted the SDGs, which include goals for all nations globally to improve the environment, create a better life for all citizens and develop “a world full of smiles.”
From five comedian groups, one comedian or group will be selected as the best comedy show based on the 17 SDGs of the United Nations.
Kaoru Nemoto, Director of the United Nations Japan, hails from Kobe and has been influenced by Manzai and Yoshimoto comedians since she was young. It was her that first suggested a collaboration with Yoshimoto since the SDGs were announced by the United Nations two years ago.
“We hope to spread the message through laughter, because only announcing things from the UN it is hard to spread the message. Comedy we feel can be a way to reach the audience better,” said Nemoto.
The five comedians took to the stage wearing a rainbow of colored t-shirts emblazoned with a “SDG”s logo.
Each group had to choose 3 of the 17 goals in to their routine, with Nemoto serving as the judge to select the winner.
Nishikawa Kiyoshi was on hand too, to cheer on the five groups. “I am working at Yoshimoto for 53 years and for me, the number 17, the goal of partnerships and supporting each other is the key,” he said.
First up was Fusuya who began with a story related to the concept of eradicating hunger, protecting the oceans and preserving the environment.
Koro koro Chiki Chiki Peppers choose a routine on gender equality, partnerships and equality between nations, turning famous theme songs in to a game that united the concepts.
Sakura Inagaki Saki was the only solo performer. Wearing a cosplay outfit, her routine about ramen and the inconvenience of having a large bust-size incorporated the concepts of gender equality, peace and justice, and quality health services.
Daian were the fourth group on stage, where they told a story about a policeman investigating a stranger at midnight on the street, as a guy returns a DVD to a DVD rental store. The story focuses on the responsibility of commercial product makers, global warming and preservation of the environment.
Last up were Non-Style, who managed to incorporate as many of the goals as possible in to their routine, managing 11 goals as they portrayed a baseball player and his girlfriend as the player plans to give her a birthday present.
Nemoto decided to award Non-Style the prize of United Nations goods, including a baseball cap and back-pack. “They did well to try to get in as many as possible, and are great leader’s as experienced comedians.”
Non-Style revealed that much of the routine was actually improvised, but the comedy wasn’t over, as all comedians returned to the stage and entertained the audience.
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