Ever wondered what goes around in the world of politics in Japan? We’ve all heard of the saying “Politics is a dirty game”, and while it may be true, the country loved by many has been ranked as the 18th least corrupt country according to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2015, which makes the people in Japan very proud of their country.
But amidst those numbers, Japan did have a controversial issue regarding a certain politician. What was first something to get angry about, turned out to give many of us a great laugh. You might have seen the gags on TV, and know that this is about no one other than Japan’s unwanting comedic politician, Nonomura Ryutaro (野々村竜太郎).
Nonomura, a member of the Hyogo Prefectural Assembly (local government), brought his party and himself into disrepute when reports came to surface that proved that he had used approximately 3 million yen (around 30,000 American dollars) worth of government funds for personal travel expenditures. On July 1st 2014, the day after reports came out, Nonomura held a press conference where the politician burst out crying like a kid. As it turned out, he was not so good at pretty crying producing big howling sounds and all.
Many people couldn’t stop laughing at Nonomura when they saw this crying shame on TV, and the controversial politician’s howling video was soon shared all over the world. Nonomura became an international sensation, and even foreign news stations didn’t spare him. For maximum comedic effect, we should not forget about those playful Photoshoppers that the online world boasts either!
After the politician’s downfall, a number of people made memes of him that even made the whole affair even more funny of Nonomura, he even became a parody inspiration for anime ‘Gintama’. The photo of a child wiping Nonomura’s tears from the television also went viral. As a result of all the mockery the politician has received, he then sought refuge at his parent’s home in Osaka.
Though for us who were not directly affected by the actions of the politicians that have started this episode in the first place and thus have moved on from the incident, our attention has been drawn once more as Nonomura stood trial on January 26, 2016. Everything seemed ordinary, except for the fact that Nonomura came to court completely bald which has raised questions on the internet. News programs have revealed sketches of Nonomura doing his new leaning pose, moving on from the cupped ear pose he immortalised himself with earlier.
Politics is surely a serious matter, but no other country could have raised this subject in a more entertaining way than Japan. The Nonomura fever might again stick around again for a while, but as it always goes, this too shall pass. Who knows one day Nonomura might decide to do showbiz as a comedian as many have suggested. As his political career is surely over, this might not be a bad idea!