水曜日は、Heroes and Giants
What do you think of when you hear the name, Charlie Chaplin?
Maybe, you think of a man with a small mustache who’s walking in a funny way using a cane.
Many people may think like that of this world-famous British comedian.
But did you know that Charlie Chaplin visited Japan four times?
The main reason Chaplin became interested in Japan may be because of Kono Toraichi, a young Japanese man.
In 1900, Kono ran away from home and went to America.
In 1916, he found out that Chaplin was looking for a driver and went to meet him.
“Can you drive?”
“Yes, I can.”
Can you drive for me?”
This is how Kono became Chaplin’s driver.
He later became his secretary.
People say that if you wanted to talk with Chaplin, you had to talk to Kono first.
He worked for Chaplin for 18 years.
In 1931, Chaplin went on a trip around the world to show people his new movie “City Lights”.
At that time, Chaplin was already very famous and was friendly with people like Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein.
He even met with Mahatma Gandhi in the United Kingdom.
On May 14, 1932, Chaplin came to Japan for the first time with his secretary Kono.
Many people came to see him when his ship arrived at Kobe.
And over 40,000 people went to Tokyo station just to see his face.
Chaplin stayed in Japan for about a month.
During his stay, he enjoyed watching Kabuki theater and eating Japanese food.
He loved tempura so much that he once ate more than 30 fried shrimps for dinner.
Soon after Chaplin arrived in Japan, there was a major incident called “The Go Ichi Go Jiken” or “May 15th Incident”.
People believed that this pushed Japan into World War Ⅱ.
On this day, prime minister Inukai was killed by a group of people who wanted to change the government.
Chaplin was also going to be killed but was saved because he changed his plans and went to watch sumo with the Prime Minister’s son.
The killers thought Japan might start a war with the United States if they killed Chaplin.
Chaplin later said, “that was strange” because he was British, not an American.
In 1972, Chaplin went to New York City to receive an Academy Award.
Kuroyanagi Tetsuko, a famous Japanese TV personality interviewed him.
“Mr. Chaplin, do you have a message for the people of Japan?”
Chaplin replied with tears in his eyes.
“Please tell everyone in Japan that I love them all.”
A lot has changed in Japan since the days Chaplin visited.
But his movies are still popular today and everyone knows his name.