Rakugo Storyteller Sanyutei Enraku VI Dies at 72

Society Culture

Tokyo, Sept. 30 (Jiji Press)--Noted rakugo storyteller Sanyutei Enraku VI, known as a regular member of the "Shoten" popular Japanese television comedy show, died of lung cancer Friday. He was 72.

The Tokyo native, whose real name was Yasumichi Ai, became a personal assistant of the late rakugo artist Sanyutei Enraku V while attending Aoyama Gakuin University, and then his pupil in 1970, and started to use the stage name of Sanyutei Rakutaro.

Sanyutei Enraku VI was promoted to the rank of "futatsume" in 1976 and to "shinuchi," the highest rank in the rakugo world, in 1981. He assumed the name of Sanyutei Enraku VI in 2010.

He became a regular member of Shoten's "Ogiri" part featuring rakugo artists at the age of 27 in 1977, when he had the rank of futatsume. He was popular for his "sharp tongue."

Sanyutei suffered such diseases as cancer and a brain tumor, and had been hospitalized since late August this year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press