Why a disciple decided to accuse Sanyutei Enka of “spectacular power harassment” under his own name | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Why a disciple decided to accuse Sanyutei Enka of “spectacular power harassment” under his own name

Sanyutei Tenka, a disciple of Sanyutei Enka, finally made up his mind to sue his master, Sanyutei Enka, but what awaited him was...

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Master Sanyutei Enka IV (left) and his disciple Sanyutei Tenka (right) (from the website of the Rakugo Association of Japan)

When I was initiated into the world of rakugo, which I had longed to be a part of, what I found was a daily life of violence and verbal abuse. Following the first part, “Sanyutei Enka, a famous rakugo storyteller,” we will continue the story of a rakugo performer, Sanyutei Enka, who was accused by his disciple of “violent and abusive behavior” under his own name. (Part 2), we will continue the story of rakugo storyteller Sanyutei Tenka’s fierce days under the tutelage of his master Enka.

On February 20, 2022, he decided to accept excommunication.

Then came the fateful February 20, 2022.

Sanyutei Enka IV, 63, was performing as a chorus performer at the Asakusa Engei Hall for 10 days. During this period, Sanyutei Enka (40) and his disciples would normally have to appear backstage for several days. However, at the time, Tokyo was designated as a city under “priority measures to prevent the spread of the disease,” and the association notified them not to wait in the dressing rooms. Enka is a board member of the association and naturally knew this. Enka had performed as the last performer at the previous show, but because of the COVID-19 crisis, his students did not go to the dressing room for even a day.

I was still worried, so before the show began, I asked the proprietress, ‘Could you ask your master if it would be better if we stayed in the dressing room?’ I asked her, and she said, ‘Yes. She said, ‘You don’t have to stay. You can go home. Just to be sure, I checked with the hostess again the day before the fifth day. Enka was quite an indifferent husband, and the landlady did not want to be offended, so she checked with the master every time. In other words, the master must have known. However, on the eighth day. The master called me and just told me to stay behind for the Chishu-gyu-raku. I had a bad feeling that something was wrong. When I went to the backstage of the final performance, I was suddenly hit on the head and told I was excommunicated.

The first day is the most important day for a rakugo storyteller. If you think you have no pupils on the first day, why don’t you tell them then? If he thought there were no disciples on the first day, he should have said so then. He dared to leave it alone and kept silent until the eighth day, and then snapped. I realized that this was a deliberate set-up to make him lose his temper. He is a person who tests people. My mind had been distant from him for a long time, but for the first time I said, ‘Yes, I understand,’ and accepted his excommunication.”

The Days of Fighting with the Master

In the first place, I was excommunicated because of Enka’s unreasonableness. So I thought I would try to make a comeback under a different master.

On February 24, however, Enka himself sent a short message to Tenka’s cell phone. The message reads.

If you do not apologize by the end of February, you will be excommunicated.

The message reads, “If no apology is received by the end of February, you will be excommunicated.

A short message from Enka to Tenka on February 24. She has not yet been excommunicated.

Huh?” I thought. You haven’t been excommunicated yet? I thought. Frankly, I didn’t understand what he meant, and I was a little confused. I was a little confused, because when I was told I was excommunicated, I accepted it. There was no fault on my part, so I did not apologize. Naturally, I thought that my master had submitted my “notification of excommunication” to the Rakugo Association.

A master’s “excommunication” of a disciple is only valid when the master issues an “excommunication notice” to the Rakugo Association and the association accepts it. In other words, the master-disciple relationship continues as long as the “notification of excommunication” is not submitted. On the 26th, the younger apprentice sent an e-mail to Tenga. The content of the message is as follows

A message from my master. I said by the end of February, but I didn’t say this year. He says he will wait for next year and the year after.

In an e-mail sent to Tenga from a younger disciple, he wrote an excuse as if the “excommunication” story was a joke!

What does this mean?

He wrote, “What it means is that he never intended to excommunicate them from the beginning. He would rule with violence, and when a disciple was about to quit, he would use ‘excommunication’ as a shield to silence the disciple. They just kept repeating that kind of thing over and over again.

Decides to sue

Tenuta decided to sue, demanding an apology and compensation for 12 years of verbal abuse and violence. On March 30, he sent a certified letter to Enka and the Rakugo Kyokai. The Rakugo Kyokai was notified of the following

Whether or not they approve or tacitly approve Enka’s abusive language, violence, and repeated excommunications as a “method of fostering future generations.

What are your thoughts on conducting promotional and educational activities to prevent power harassment, etc.?

The content of the report asks the following two questions.

Accusation to the President of the Rakugo Association

On April 12, Enka’s lawyer called Tenka’s lawyer and asked, “Are you willing to go back to Enka?” Tenka’s lawyer replied that he had no intention of returning to Enka. Two days later, a written response to the questions in the content-certified letter arrived. However, the content of the letter was a series of mental arguments between the master and his disciples and a “request” to resolve the issue through discussion, with no apology for past acts of violence.

On May 10, a response letter from the Rakugo Association arrived. According to the letter, it reads.

“We have been calling on our members to comply with the rules, including the prevention of power harassment, at summer meetings and other occasions.

The answer was, “We are calling on our members to comply with compliance, including the prevention of power harassment, at summer meetings and other such occasions. However, the “Summer Yorai” is merely a social gathering where members wear matching yukata (summer kimono), and although Tenga himself has attended the gathering many times, he has never attended any lectures on power harassment.

Subsequently, on June 10, a meeting was held between Ichima Yanagitei (60), president of the association, the association’s secretary general, the association’s lawyer, and Tenuta and the lawyer representing Tenuta. At that meeting, Ichima said

I don’t know if (Enka) will listen to me or not. But, well, masters who have disciples…well…if they do something like a slap on the wrist, that’s something that’s not possible. In today’s world, you know.

We can say to Enka, ‘You’re going too far. We can say to Enka, ‘You are going too far. We can say to Enka, ‘You’re going too far. But we can say to Mr. Enka, ‘You’re going too far. If he doesn’t listen to us again and again, we will consider him, uh…unqualified to be a board member,” he told Tenga.

He told Tenga. In addition, the MISHOP attorney stated that Enka’s claim was “legally correct. In other words, the association’s lawyer admits that Enka’s failure to submit a notice of excommunication to the association, despite the fact that the association had sentenced Enka to “excommunication” in February, “constitutes obstruction of business by deceptive means. However, there is no indication that the association is taking any concrete action on this matter at this time.

Numerous harassment by Enka

A week later, a text message arrives directly from Enka to Tenka’s cell phone.

Please submit a notice of discontinuation of business to me. Without it, I can’t issue an excommunication notice.

The text reads, “If you are familiar with the world of rakugo, this is a good opportunity for you. Anyone familiar with the world of rakugo knows that this is a blatant lie.

Originally, a “notification of discontinuation of business” was to be submitted when a rakugo performer ceased his or her business and withdrew from the association. If one submits a “notification of discontinuation of business,” he or she cannot remain in the association and will have difficulty reinventing himself or herself as a rakugo artist. On the other hand, a “notification of excommunication” is submitted by a master to the association to indicate that his apprentice has been “excommunicated.” If accepted, the master-disciple relationship is terminated, but the apprentice can remain a member of the association. Although the hurdle is high, there is a path to reinstatement under another master.

There is no way that Enka, a director of the association, could have been unaware of this fact, and it is believed that Enka may have tried to remove Tenka from the association. Furthermore, Enka was

I’m going to see Miyazaki’s parents.

Enka sent an e-mail to Tenka saying, “I’m going to see the parents in Miyazaki. In advance of the meeting, Enka’s lawyer sent a content-certified letter to Enka’s parents notifying them not to communicate with each other and not to notify Enka’s parents’ home. Nevertheless, the next day, Enka made a direct phone call to Tenka’s parents’ home. There, Enka called her father.

“I wonder if this move of Tenka’s is because she was bullied when she was little.”

The father was told that Enka made a comment that unnecessarily provoked his parent’s anxiety.

Message exchange between Enka and Tenga. Although it says, “I can’t file a notice of excommunication without a notice of discontinuance,” there is no such fact.

Lastly, I would like to make an appeal.

I have been verbally abused and violated at every turn for the past 12 years. Whenever I was told by Enka that I was excommunicated, I experienced the feeling of despair that my life was over many times. Still, I gritted my teeth and followed Enka. After this incident, some of my seniors comforted me. But their words were, “You have endured for more than ten years. You’ve been working hard. Why can’t you be more patient? Why can’t you be more patient?

Because they cannot go against their superiors, the industry takes the victim’s patience for granted. But enough is enough, and we should condemn the perpetrators who continue to raise their hands in the name of guidance. But those of us in the rakugo industry cannot go against those in higher positions. Of course, I want to continue being a rakugo performer. But I don’t think there is another master who will take a disciple who once rebelled against his master. Once again, I think it is absolutely wrong to think that violence is natural because of the relationship between master and disciple. The rakugo industry should seriously face this fact.”

The office of Ichima Yanagitei, president of the Rakugo Association, told us

“I will not comment on the relationship between other masters and their disciples.

The office of the Rakugo Association also responded.

The office of the Rakugo Association also declined to respond.

There is no indication that Enka has submitted a “notice of excommunication” for Tenka, and he remains on the board of directors of the Rakugo Association. Tenka’s real battle is about to begin.

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