The Joe Jitsukawa Story
Comedian. Entrepreneur. Co-Founder of the JustKiddingFilms empire.
Joe Jitsukawa is a modern day renaissance man. Comedian by nature and a skilled entrepreneur by trade. In 2007, Joe and his partner Bart Kwan started their sketch comedy YouTube channel “JustKiddingFilms” which eventually amassed over 3 BILLION views and over 5 million subscribers.
On the side of running the JustKidding empire, Joe fulfills his role as an active-investor in several successful restaurant concepts and shares his business and personal insights with over 20,000 students through his online academy.
Joseph Jitsukawa is a man of many names. He was named after King Joseph from the bible because his Japanese parent’s didn’t want him to be bullied for having a Japanese name while he was growing up in America. He eventually started his YouTube career under the character named Unco Chin and before he revealed his ethnicity to his fanbase, he operated under the stage name Joe Jo.
His two parents were Japanese immigrants who came to America to pursue their passions in classical music. They settled down in Los Angeles, CA for where Joe moved around from city to city due to the trouble in school. Before he got into his teenage years, his parents split up and Joe ended up living with his mom. Without a father figure in his life and with the gang culture in LA on the rise; Joe spent most of his teenage years with the wrong crowd, but during the time it was all he knew.
Joe eventually left that life and started to pursue a better path for himself. He eventually got his GED and went to college where he later graduated Magna Cum Laude. He got his first start into business buying and selling products on eBay. They would sell everything from diecast cars, collectables, electronics, and anything else they can make a profit on. Eventually, they closed down that business because his partner decided to focus on his own career.
This led Joe to working full time at a shipping company where he learned what it took to become a valuable employee to the company. He helped improve the infrastructure and systems which later on became valuable experience for when he started his next company.
During his days at the shipping company; Joe met his future partner Bart Kwan at a mixed martial arts gym. In a full-contact no holds bar fighting gym; Joe and Bart were the only two that goofed around and were always found laughing at something.
Due to their goofy nature and passion for comedy and entertainment; they started to record skits together whenever they had time. They eventually created their company “JustKiddingFilms' also known as JK Films. If they weren’t working or studying; they were filming and writing new ideas. This was in 2008 at the height of the recession and YouTube recently started to become more popular. It was at this point where Joe and Barts videos started to go viral within the Asian community and this led to their initial success in the industry.
Fast forward til the year 2020; JustKiddingFilms eventually branched into a variety of different channels; where their most popular channel JustKiddingNews became an instant hit and became the center point of the direction of the company. Over their career on YouTube, their company has amassed over 5 million subscribers and over 3 BILLION total views.
With the success of their YouTube channel, Joe eventually started to gather more streams of income. He partnered up with several other investors and funded different restaurant concepts like Junbi, ShrimpDaddy, and Chichi Dango; all of which are major successes out here in Los Angeles. Joe plays an active role in these concepts and focuses on advising their branding, team building and marketing.
Throughout his career on YouTube; many of his fans have asked Joe for advice on many different subjects. Over the years, he would get the same exact questions from different people and realized that if there was something that he could provide his fanbase outside of comedy entertainment - it would be to help guide them or help them improve their lives as a way of giving back.
That’s when he created Joemalian Academy and his other online programs. Joemalian Academy is a 100% FREE online school where the goal is to teach all of the basic life skills that every adult should know, but their parents or the school system failed to teach them. Things like how to find your passion, how does credit work and how to effectively use credit cards, how to budget and basic finance, and much more subjects to come.
Joe has been fortunate to live a life full of passion, making a living by hanging out with his friends, adventuring across the globe and believes that 2020 and the years beyond is his chance to give back to his community that helped him get to this point.