Noted Rakugo Storyteller Sanyutei Kino Dies at 93

Society Culture

Tokyo, Aug. 27 (Jiji Press)--Sanyutei Kino, having the longest career among active professional rakugo storytellers, died of chronic heart failure at his home in Tokyo on Saturday. He was 93.

A native of Tokyo, Sanyutei, whose real name was Ryusuke Matsumoto, became a pupil of Sanyutei Kinba III in 1941 at the age of 12. In 1945, Sanyutei Kino was promoted to the rank of "futatsume" and began to use the stage name of Sanyutei Kokinba.

He began to appear in "Owarai Sannin-gumi," a television variety show of Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, which started in 1956, with "kodanshi" storyteller Ichiryusai Teiho and impersonator Edoya Nekohachi. The TV show became a major hit.

Sanyutei was promoted to "shinuchi," the highest rank of rakugo, in 1958, and assumed the name of Sanyutei Kinba IV in 1967.

In 2020, Sanyutei started to call himself Kino while having his second son and pupil, Sanyutei Kintoki, assume the name of Sanyutei Kinba V.

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