Rakugo Storyteller Hayashiya Konpei Dies at 77

Society Culture

Tokyo, Dec. 21 (Jiji Press)--Rakugo storyteller Hayashiya Konpei, who appeared on the "Shoten" popular Japanese television comedy show for some 40 years, died of aspiration pneumonia at his home in Tokyo on Thursday. He was 77.

The native of Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, became a pupil of the late rakugo artist Hayashiya Sanpei I in 1958 and was promoted to "shinuchi," the highest rank in the rakugo world, in 1972.

In 2005, he made public that he was suffering from multiple sclerosis, an intractable neurological disease that causes body paralysis.

He served as adviser to the Rakugo Kyokai association for rakugo artists from 2006.

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