Yukata Cowboy, a cross-cultural sketch comedy series about the Most Mistaken Man in the World, launched online on Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The series of 2-3 min. episodes is inspired by the true, fish-out-of-water mishaps of Japanese-American filmmaker Atsushi Ogata.
With a cowboy hat, Japanese “yukata” (casual summer garment) and rapid-fire tongue, Yukata Cowboy drifts across the U.S., Japan, and Europe. In each country, he tries to fit in, but the more he fits in, the more he is mistaken for someone else. He struggles to find his own voice.
Yukata Cowboy has recently won top awards at the web fests of Bilbao, Miami and Sicily. Taking Best Character (AMETS section) and Web Series Mag Special Mention at Bilbao Web Fest (Spain); Best Creative Concept at Miami Web Fest (USA) and Special Mention for Outstanding Performance as Actor at the Sicily Web Fest (Italy); the series now ranks #16 in the Web Series World Cup.
Presented 14 times at Camera Japan Festival (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Yukata Cowboy has been nominated for competition at Rio Web Fest (Nov. 6-8, Brazil), Geneva International Film Festival (November 6-14th, Switzerland) and Dublin Web Fest (Nov. 20-22, Dublin, Ireland).
Ogata plays all of the characters, as well as Yukata Cowboy. He portrays people’s lives in other countries, focusing on common, everyday details such as stairs, elevator or bicycles. These observations translate into something more universal, similar to Jerry Seinfeld’s stories about lost socks and dryers. Ogata’s sketches come off as humorous and quirky, at the same time connecting to underlying human and global issues. The tone of Yukata Cowboy is witty and light-hearted, suitable for multi-cultural, educated audiences.