Returned from a 4cm thymoma! Keizo Nakanishi: “My Mother in Heaven Saved Me”
Keizo Nakanishi, 57, is a singer-songwriter who had a string of hit songs in the Heisei era.
His songs “Choo Choo TRAIN” and “Timing” have transcended time and are loved by teens in Reiwa, and have become a buzz on TikTok.
It was in May of this year that illness struck the hit maker.
On the night of Mother’s Day, he suddenly bled from the bottom of his head. It was my first experience, so I rushed to the hospital the next day and underwent various tests, but the cause of the bleeding was not found. However, a CT scan taken at that time revealed a shadow of concern.
After a thorough examination, the diagnosis was “thymoma.
The thymus is located just below the sternum in the middle of the chest, above the heart. Thymoma is a tumor that forms in the thymus gland, and there are almost no subjective symptoms.
Suddenly, memories of my college days came back to me. I once tried to give up music and get a job, but my mother stopped me. She said, ‘Didn’t you come from Okayama to Tokyo because you wanted to do music? She pushed me to return to music. She pushed me to return to the path of music. Again, on Mother’s Day, I found out that she was sick because of the lower blood. My mother is already dead, but I wondered if she was helping me again from heaven.”
The tumor was as large as 4 cm, and the entire thymus gland was to be removed. The doctor urged him to have the surgery immediately, but the actual removal was not performed until August, three months after the diagnosis. Nakanishi’s strong desire to pursue his music was the reason for the surgery: “I can’t miss the concerts scheduled for June and July.
The doctors were very considerate and decided to use the latest endoscopic surgery-assisted robot “da Vinci” to perform the surgery to minimize the wound as much as possible. I was concerned about whether the surgery would affect my future singing career, but the doctor said, ‘I have operated on a musician before, and he has returned to his career without a hitch.
The surgery lasted approximately five hours. However, his recovery was so fast that he was able to walk the next day, and within about a month he was standing in the Budokan. He says he does not feel sluggish or tired now.
He has written many songs for NHK’s educational programs. However, that has made me more determined to do the best I can in the role I am able to play now. Recently, I have also begun to accept my “inadequate self.
She wakes up early and walks for her health, and posts pictures of sunrises on social media.
I sometimes get a good phrase while I’m walking. I blast it into a voice memo on my phone right then and there.”
Nakanishi’s phone was full of voice memos.” He records the lyrics that “come down” and whistles the melody that comes to him. The title of the voice memo was the place where it “came down.” When I played it back, I was surprised to find that even though it was whistled, it consisted of a perfect musical scale. There was also a humming version. I wondered if it would be performed in the future.
I will be performing at the Bicentennial of Bellows Instruments produced by coba-san at Kioi Hall on October 18. There will be tap dancers, Japanese instruments, and sessions with wonderful artists. It will be an interesting clash of music where you never know what will happen, so please come and feel the passion!”
During the rehearsal, Nakanishi and his co-stars challenged the choreography of “Choo Choo TRAIN” (?!). But they were amused by the scene when they said, “I can’t raise my arms because of my frozen shoulder! Nakanishi, who has been through a serious illness, is still in a good mood. Nakanishi’s “all-out effort” after suffering from a serious illness is well worth seeing.
Photography and text： Aida Pudding
A broadcaster who has been drifting between the worlds of television and radio for more than 15 years