Matsumoto at Saya Zamurai premiere in Tokyo, 2011.
|Born||September 8, 1963|
|Occupation||Comedian, film director, screenwriter|
Hitoshi Matsumoto (松本 人志 Matsumoto Hitoshi, born September 8, 1963), or Matchan (松ちゃん) as he is commonly known, is one of Japan's most popular comedians and TV hosts. He is one half of the comedy duo Downtown alongside Masatoshi Hamada. Like Hamada, Matsumoto was born and raised in Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture.
Matsumoto was born in Amagasaki, Hyōgo, to a poor family. He has one older sister and one older brother, Takahiro Matsumoto (松本 隆博 Matsumoto Takahiro), an established folk guitarist who released an autobiographical book titled "Matsumoto's Older Brother" (松本の兄 Matsumoto no Ani). He has expressed his feelings about growing up in a poor household in a poem titled Chicken Rice (チキンライス Chikin Raisu) which Hamada turned into a song in 2004. In his poem, he wrote how laughter was the only way to get through those times. He credits his poverty for giving him a good imagination and sense of play, as it forced him to invent his own games to entertain himself.
He attended Ushio Elementary School, where he met Masatoshi Hamada. He graduated from Amagasaki Technical High School in 1982. Although he secured a job at a printing office, to pursue his dream of becoming a comedian, he was invited by Hamada in 1982 to enter Yoshimoto Kōgyō. Together, they became Downtown, and made their major debut in 1983.
Matsumoto remained single with no history of marriage for years after his comedy partner, Hamada, was married with children. He stated that he was not into romance, finding acts such as sharing a bed or bathing with someone else bothersome and unnecessary.
It was revealed in July 2008 that Matsumoto was dating then 25-year-old tarento Ihara Rin. In the evening of May 17, 2009, it was announced that Matsumoto's official bachelorhood had ended with a secret marriage ceremony between himself and the aforementioned Ihara. Ihara, a former weather announcer for the Japanese news program "ズームイン!! Super" (Zoom In!! Super) is nineteen years Matsumoto's junior, and apparently became pregnant by Matsumoto, prompting the marriage. The announcement of the marriage came via fax by Matsumoto's managing organization to several media outlets, including a personal message by Matsumoto himself: "My partner will quit her job and is currently pregnant. As this is a delicate time, I would like this to be dealt with as gently as possible. It would be best to hold a press conference, however I'm too embarrassed to, so I won't."
On October 6, 2009, Matsumoto and Ihara Rin became parents to a daughter. At the time, Matsumoto was in South Korea for the screening of the film "Symbol."
As an admirer of Vincent van Gogh, he has gone to Amsterdam to visit The Van Gogh Museum. These trips were filmed for The True Hitoshi Matsumoto (松本人志の本当 Matsumoto Hitoshi no Hontō), a special NHK BS documentary series. Another figure he respects is the late comedian, Kanbi Fujiyama.
He enjoys tokusatsu shows and owns DVD box sets of series such as Kamen Rider and Giant Robo. He has parodied tokusatsu a number of times on his previous show, Downtown no Gottsu Ee Kanji (with characters such as the Go-Renjai, Miracle Ace and Aho Aho Man), and in his directorial film debut, Dainipponjin.
He has demonstrated good physical fitness on Gaki no Tsukai. He defeated his comedy partner Hamada in a high jump competition by clearing 1.40m on the first try. In 1999, he outran Hamada, Hōsei Yamasaki and both members of Cocorico in a 100-meter race (he ran the entire length while the other four ran a quarter of the length each in the form of a relay race). Three years later, he performed notably better than them in a long jump competition.
Once a heavy cigarette smoker, he quit in 2003.
On June 28, 2010, Yoshimoto Kogyo announced that Matsumoto would not be performing on any shows for two months due to an injury on his left hip, which required surgery. For two episodes, the remaining Gaki no Tsukai cast members discussed his condition, with Matsumoto returning to hosting on August 31, 2010. In subsequent segments of the show requiring rigorous physical activities, such as the annual New Year's Eve 24-Hour Batsu Games of recent years, he is exempted and instead given idle or captive roles, in spite of the injuries.
During the 2012 Gaki no Tsukai batsu game involving the group becoming airline assistants, Matsumoto revealed he had suffered a stress fracture preparing for said batsu game, and despite doctor's orders, he still participated in the batsu game.
List of works
- Tōzu (頭頭) (1993)
- Sundome Kaikyō (寸止め海峡) (1995)
- Visualbum Vol. Apple – Promise (ビジュアルバム Vol. リンゴ – 約束) (1998)
- Visualbum Vol. Banana – Kindness (ビジュアルバム Vol. バナナ – 親切) (1998)
- Visualbum Vol. Grape – Relief (ビジュアルバム Vol. ブドウ – 安心) (1999)
- Sasuke (佐助) (2001)
- Zassā (ザッサー) (2006)
- Big Man Japan (2007)
- Symbol (2009)
- Saya Zamurai (2011)
- R100 (2013)
- Violence Voyager (2019), narrator
Television and radio
- Hitori gottsu (一人ごっつ) (1996–1997)
- Densetsu no kyōshi (伝説の教師) (2000)
- Ashita ga aru sa (明日があるさ) (2001)
- Hōsō-shitsu (放送室) (Since 2001)
- Hitoshi Matsumoto no suberanai hanashi (人志松本のすべらない話) (Since 2004)
- Ippon Grand Prix (IPPONグランプリ) (Since 2009)
- Matsumoto Hitoshi no Konto (MHK) (松本一志のコント) (2010)
- Hitoshi Matsumoto Presents Documental (Since 2016)
- Isho (遺書) (1994) ISBN 978-4-02-256809-0
- Matsumoto (松本) (1995) ISBN 978-4-02-256898-4
- Matsumoto Hitoshi Ai (松本人志 愛) (1998) ISBN 978-4-02-257300-1
- Matsumoto Bōzu (松本坊主) (1999) ISBN 978-4-947599-62-9
- Zukan (図鑑) (2000) ISBN 978-4-02-257550-0
- Matsumoto Cinema Bōzu (松本シネマ坊主) (2002) ISBN 978-4-8222-1733-4
- Matsumoto Saiban (松本裁判) (2002) ISBN 978-4-86052-002-1
- Teihon Hitorigottsu (定本一人ごっつ) ISBN 978-4-86052-024-3
- Sukika, Kiraika – Matsumoto Hitoshi no Nigenron (好きか、嫌いか – 松本人志の二元論) (2004) ISBN 978-4-08-780401-0
- Sukika, Kiraika 2 – Matsumoto Hitoshi no Saishuu Sanban (好きか、嫌いか2 – 松本人志の最終裁判) (2005) ISBN 978-4-08-780422-5
- Cinema Bōzu 2 (シネマ坊主2) (2005) ISBN 978-4-8222-1744-0
- Cinema Bōzu 3 (シネマ坊主3) (2008) ISBN 978-4-8222-6321-8
- Matsumoto Hitoshi No Ikari Akaban (松本人志の怒り 赤版) (2008) ISBN 978-4-08-780503-1
- Matsumoto Hitoshi No Ikari Aoban (松本人志の怒り 青版) (2008) ISBN 978-4-08-780504-8
- Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! (Nippon TV) official site
- Lincoln (TBS TV) official site
- Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ (Fuji TV) official site
- Dai-Nipponjin review at SaruDama.com
- Hitoshi Matsumoto on IMDb
- Hitoshi Matsumoto discography at Discogs.
Notes and references
- Matsumoto, Hitoshi (1995). Matsumoto. Tōkyō: Asahi Shinbunsha. p. 45. ISBN 4-02-256898-4.
- "Opinion: A weird Japanese show dares you to laugh". LiveMint. 3 March 2019.
- Matsumoto, Takahiro (1997). Matsumoto no Ani. Akita, Japan: Akita Shoten. ISBN 978-4-253-10255-1.
- Neowing info on the "Chicken Rice" single. Neowing.co.jp, 2004-11-17. Retrieved on 2008-1-10.
- Lyrics to "Chicken Rice." 2004-12-02. Retrieved on 2008-1-10.
- LINCOLN Episode #5 aired on 2005-12-13.
- Japan Zone: Romantic Roundup (2008-07-08). Retrieved on 2008-07-16.
- 松ちゃん電撃デキ婚！元お天気お姉さんと (2009-05-18). Retrieved on 2009-05-18.
- NHK BS's Matsumoto Hitoshi no Hontō, first aired on 1999-1-29.
- Matsumoto, Hitoshi (1995). Matsumoto. Osaka, Japan: The Asahi Shimbun Company. p 22. "I still watch videos of his acts to this day, and no matter how many times I watch them, I never tire of them."
- Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! Episode aired on 1993-07-11.
- Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! Episode aired on 1999-10-17.
- Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! Episode aired on 2002-05-05.
- LINCOLN Episode #38 aired on 2006-09-12.
- Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! Episode aired on 2010-7-04.
- Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! Episode aired on 2010-8-01
- LINCOLN Episode aired on 2010-8-31