Around the world no other club has been the source of wild speculation and urban legends as Freemasonry. This is mostly due to the club’s secrecy on what exactly they do along with its illustrious membership including voice actor Mel Blanc, MLB pitcher Ty Cobb, and circus promoters the Ringling Brothers.
Although very little is known about the Freemasons, one Japanese comedy program, by a sheer stroke of luck, was able to infiltrate their Japanese Grand Lodge and speak with their newly inducted Grand Master.
"You ha Nani Shi ni Nihon e?" (Why did you come to Japan?) goes to major airports in Japan and asks random people getting off planes the titular question. They then follow the travelers on their journeys and get to know more about their lives as the comedic duo Bananaman provide commentary.
Although it’s a slice of life type of lighthearted programing, the reporters occasionally run into famous actors or athletes as well. This time, however, the interviewers had come across members of the Manila Chapter of Freemasonry. The members said a new Grand Master was to be appointed in Tokyo and they were attending the inauguration.
Considering the type of organization these people were from, you’d figure the conversation would end then and there. However, perhaps because this show is so well-honed at worming their way into people’s lives they managed to talk their way right through the doors of the Freemasonry Grand Lodge near Tokyo Tower.
Inside, their cameras filmed intimate scenes of the Grand Lodge which had pictures of other members such as George W Bush hanging on the walls. They also encountered a room where rituals were performed. The Masonic symbol could also be seen everywhere including on members’ neckties, gold rings, and even happi.
Unfortunately we can’t show you any of their footage. Not because of the Freemasons though – a force more dark and sinister protects these images: the legal team at TV Tokyo.
"The You ha Nani…' crew then found themselves witnessing the induction of the 57th Grand Master. His name is Victor Ortiz, a Filipino man who worked at an American military base. At one point the crew was able to confront the new leader and asked him the question on everyone’s mind: “Do you control the world?”
“Hell, no!” replied Ortiz, “Sure, some presidents have been Freemasons, but really, it’s impossible to control the world by ourselves. All we do here is community service.”
"You ha Nani Shi ni Nihon e?" and TV Tokyo both received massive praise online for their fearless exposé of the secretive group. Some cheered “Way to go TV Tokyo!” while others were worried the network would disappear soon. Others also affixed Monday’s airing with the label "kamikai," a word indicating an episode of god-like quality.
Still, in the end, all we learned is that Freemasonry is just a group that does various charitable works not unlike the Lions Club or the Rotary Club. They simply seem to adhere to the ethic that one shouldn’t boast about their good deeds. Actually, the Japanese branch of Freemasonry has been much more publicly accessible these days.
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