WORLD ORDER are Japanese male dance performance group. They have performed worldwide at the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL and boast tremendous popularity overseas. They are also participating successfully in nutritional commercials. We conducted an exclusive interview with each of the members (Genki Sudo, Masato Ochiai, Akihiro Takahashi, Hayato Uchiyama, Yuusuke Morisawa, Takashi Jounishi, and Ryuuta Tomita) at their “Art Exhibition”.
――Since your formation, you’ve had your eyes set on heading overseas. With that in mind, please tell us how the group came to be organised.
Sudo: Because I am known as a mixed martial artist and kickboxer and because of the things I have been able to do, there have been times where it has been a hindrance on my career. I released my solo CD when I was a martial artist, but there were mixed responses, things like “Ah. I see…” I’m see as a martial artist here in Japan, so those kind of reactions came about when I appeared on YouTube too, so I felt like I wanted to go and make my debut overseas. My style now was born from how people from overseas stereotypically see Japanese people: serious and diligent. That, combined with wearing a suit and glasses while dancing like a robot is the style we have made.
――You performed at the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL in various countries around the world. What was the reaction like from the overseas audiences?
Morisawa: Their responses were amazing. From every breath to every drop of sweat, everything of us was conveyed and received well. We really felt everyone’s excitement and gaze while we were performing, the tension was high. Everyone really livened up together.
――Are the responses at your concerts in Japan different from those overseas?
Uchiyama: A lot of our solo concerts in Japan are seated, so everyone just quietly watches the stage. Even at festivals, Japan has its own way of having fun.
Takahashi: Outside Japan, I feel the responses aren’t all that different from each other from country to country.
Ochiai: Our performances are generally something to watch and enjoy, but audiences overseas also take the music into account and so enjoying everything at once. They’re really good at having fun.
Sudo: Japan has a unique scene. I’ve come to worry whether or not we are okay with it. People are polite. Everywhere but Japan really goes for it, and when I see that, I wonder “are we really this popular?” and feel misunderstood (laughs).
Jounishi: Parts of our dances take a kind of approach that Kabuki and Noh performances do, so I wonder if our Japanese fans are thinking in terms of that. But people overseas don’t worry about that and can just have a good time.
Tomita: We go all out with everything we have wherever we go, but there are people that don’t understand Japanese, so we make up for that strongly by conveying what we are saying through our performance.
Takahashi: Before our performance at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL in France, we had a chance to interact with the fans. There were a lot of people that greeted us in Japanese. We received a very warm welcome.
――This interview is currently being held at the exhibition centre for your “Art Exhibition” project you started last year. I feel there is a lot of very Japanese-like motifs and expressions about it. Is this true?
Sudo: The Art Exhibition is a place for each member of the group to show their work outside of music. Up to now, it only includes the members’ domestic work It’s especially made up of Japanese-like motifs. We have no plans to make it available overseas. But regarding WORLD ORDER’s primary work – our performances – they are packed full of things Japanese and reveal each member’s potential.
――WORLD ORDER dress in suits and neckties, erasing each member’s individual looks, but I actually think you each have great individuality. Can you do a free-talk and introduce each other? We’ll start from Morisawa. Please tell us about his image.
All: “Yuusuke is a spontaneous guy”. “He has a strong heart.” “I like the gags he pulls in company.” “He’s a fine young man!”
――Next, tell us about Takahashi’s image.
All: “He is kind to everyone, no matter who it is”. “When you talk with him you can feel at ease”. “He’s also really stylish”.
――What about Ochiai?
All: “At first glance he might seem scary, but he’s a big sweet tooth”. “He’s really good both in his work and private life.” “He’s in charge of the choreography, so he has an air of leadership”.
All: “He’s a smart person”. “Even in a talk like this, he’s able to explain himself using words that nobody knows.” “Because he graduated from the University of Tokyo!”
――What about Uchiyama?
All: “He’s natural, I guess?” “He has a small face (laughs)” “He’s kind to the earth.” “He has great recognition from people”.
All: “There’s nothing really in particular… (everyone in agreement)”. “The fact that there is nothing is conversely amazing.”
――And finally, tell us about Sudo.
All: “He’s talented!” “He’s really cool!” “He really has charisma.” “He’s fashionable.” “He is very attentive in his consideration.”
――So it’s safe to say that you’re all charmed by Sudo Genki, correct?
All: Yes! (why are they all laughing?)
――I heard that you all went strawberry picking and treasure hunting on a bus tour to Izu. Strawberry picking is kind of cute and a bit different from WORLD ORDER’s usual image, right?
Takahashi: Hahaha. We took our families with us and it was a lot of fun. We picked strawberries, we hunted for treasure, and we performed live. There was a lot of different things packed into one day.
――Finally, we’d like to hear about the group’s future plans from Sudo.
Original Text: Tanaka Tashinori / Photography: Atsushi Yamada (SHUTTER)
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