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Why Japan is Obsessed with this Indian Actor

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In 1998, Indian superstar Rajinikanth’s film Muthu opened to a phenomenal response from Japanese fans, becoming a runaway hit at the Japanese box office, staying in the theatre for more than 100 days.

Yasuda Hidetoshi’s tryst with Rajinikanth’s movies also began with Muthu, released in Japan as Muthu-The Dancing Maharaja. Yasuda is one of Rajinikanth’s biggest fans; running a Japanese fan site dedicated to the superstar, travelling to Chennai for the release of every new Rajinikanth movie, organising events that celebrate the superstar’s birthday and new movie release in Japan with other fans. He can often be seen zipping around in an autorickshaw that he imported from India to Japan, in honour of one of Rajinikanth’s characters from Baasha who was an autorickshaw driver. VICE met Yasuda in Osaka, Japan to understand how he became a Rajinikanth fan, stories and experiences from his travels to India, what it was like to meet Rajinikanth in person and what it means to be a fan of the superstar.

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