Famous People in Japan

The Drifters

Name Date of Birth Place of Birth
Ikariya Chosuke 1 November 1934 Tokyo
Nakamoto Koji 5 July 1941 Tokyo
Takagi Bu 8 March 1939 Tokyo
Kato Cha 1 March 1943 Tokyo
Shimura Ken 20 February 1950 Tokyo

The Drifters, which was one of the most famous comedian groups in Japan, formed in 1964. Before that, every member had their own rock band groups, enjoyed playing the guitar, bass and so on. They made Ikariya Chosuke their leader, and played rock' n' roll for several years.

However, their songs didn't have enough power to attract people, and their style started to go out of fashion, so they had hard times for a while, and they finally find out that they were more talented as a comedians than as a rock band. What made them realize this was the famous TV program " Hachijidayo Zen'in Shugo! (TBS)." That program was really a great hit making everyone burst into laughter in no time, and they became very popular among every generation.

Their popularity was such that, they could even got a chance to play second fiddle to the famous group "The Beatles," which was their favorite band.

After some years, Arai Chu left the group, and Shimura Ken joined them instead who'd been their pupil against his father's will. Their annual TV program "Dorifu No Daibakusho" was also a hit among families.

However, around 10 years later, their popularity started to wane, and in 1985, they finally broke up.

After that, each of them has acted by themselves as a comedian or an actor.

The leader, Ikariya Chosuke turned into an actor and is on some programs.

Takagi Bu has acted in " Shin Geki." And he is a good ukulele player. He released his first album "Hawaiian Christmas" in 1996. His newest album is "Vintage Boo's Hawaiian songs".

Nakamoto Koji got a regular part on the TV program "Toyamano Kinsan (Japanese historical play)". Kato Cha had a TV program "Katochan Kenchan Gokigen TV", started in 1984. After that, he played regularly on the program "Musashibo Benkei" and appeared other TV programs as a guest.

Shimura Ken was also on the "Katochan Kenchan Gokigen TV". And after that he also appeared on "Shimura Ken no Bakatonosama" or "Shimuraken no Daijobuda" and other TV programs as a guest.

References: Gendai Nihonjinmeiroku

Reported by: Kaori Nagato
Data verified by: Tomoe Yoshida
Date of Report: November 1995
Updated by: Kayoko Ishihama, May 1998

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