Showman of the Century Who Launched Oliver: Yoshio Kou

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Showman of the Century Who Launched Oliver: Yoshio Kou (オリバー君を仕掛けた世紀の興行師『康 芳夫』 Oribā-kun o Shikaketa Seiki no Kōgyōshi "Kō Yoshio") is the fourth chapter of The Lives of Eccentrics series, written by Hirohiko Araki and illustrated by Hirohisa Onikubo. It was originally published in the March issue of Ultra Jump on February 19, 2003.


The story begins in 1976, in Miami, Florida. The promoter Kou Yoshio (aged 39) accompanies Oliver, a man with 47 chromosomes to Japan. With humans having 46 chromosomes and chimpanzees 48, Oliver is purported as a missing link which may allow crossbreeding between man and ape. Despite looking like a shaved chimpanzee, Oliver is undeniable human-like traits. Oliver was found in Congo and Yoshio brought it to Japan to enact a crossbreeding test, making it a formidable story for the media. When Yoshio proposed the experiment, he already had a young actress volunteered for it. With this bizarre experiment, Koshio hopes to catch the world's attention.

Kou Yoshio was born in 1937 in Tokyo from a Japanese mother and a Chinese father. Despite his mixed blood, Koshio was only discriminated but never bullied because of his forcefulness and his sinister gaze. Conflicted about Japan, Koshio was angry at how the Japanese acted after losing World War II, and began working with a yakuza group during his years in high school. He managed to set up a profitable food delivery business but he was changed after seeing an audience entranced by the obviously fake spectacle of the snake woman. Thus he began his career as a showman.

He began with bringing Russian shows to Japan, financing his shows with the hidden money of rich people who wanted to hide it from tax collectors. Ensues a long string of shows and books that cemented Koshio's reputation. In 1977, Koshio tried to organize a fight between a tiger and a karateka in Haiti, although the show was cancelled by the authorities at the last minute.

Back to 1976, Oliver and Koshio have arrived in Japan. The crossbreeding was set up in a hotel. However, at the last moment, Koshio received confirmation that Oliver had 48 chromosomes and was a chimpanzee. Thus, he stopped the experiment. The whole affair became a scandal that made the front pages of newspapers. While Koshio said that he stopped the experiment because it was too bizarre, in private, Koshio had been aiming for this result and knew that the reveal would attract even more attention. In the end, his aim was to ridicule Japanese society and have a ridiculous headline on their newspapers.

As of 2002, Koshio's business was supplanted by specialized advertising companies but he is still quite wealthy.



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