Nakamoto Construction: “Smiles and Oddities” Shown to Regular Customers at the Izakaya He Manages | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Nakamoto Construction: “Smiles and Oddities” Shown to Regular Customers at the Izakaya He Manages

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A February 2019 photo of him with a customer at his izakaya. Whenever he went to the restaurant, he was always alone and smoking a cigarette.

On January 19, Nakamoto Takumi, a member of “The Drifters,” passed away due to an acute subdural hematoma caused by a traffic accident. The suddenness of the incident has caused grief not only among people in the entertainment industry, but also among neighbors in Nakamoto’s hometown of Meguro-ku, Tokyo.

I will never forget the sight of him sitting alone in his chair, smoking a cigarette.”

One such customer was a customer of Nakamoto’s izakaya, “Nakamoto Family JUNKA’s Kitchen,” which Nakamoto opened in 2015 on the first floor of his home in Meguro-ku, Tokyo. The day after his death, the door to the restaurant read.

The day after his death, there was a sign on the door of the restaurant that read, “We regret to inform you that we will be closed for a while, owner.

The next day, the store was quiet with a sign on the door that read, “We will be closed for a while. The next door neighbor also had a snack bar owned by Nakamoto, but both had been closed since about a year ago due to the COVID-19 crisis.

I had been to Nakamoto’s izakaya only a few times, but it was in an obscure location about five minutes’ walk from the station, with only a few regulars among the clientele, so it wasn’t exactly thriving. On that day, no customers came in for about two hours after I entered the restaurant.

In February 2019, a man who lives in the neighborhood said he sometimes headed to the izakaya alone. He thought, “I might get to meet Nakamoto.”

He said, “There isn’t a person born in the Showa era who isn’t a Drifters fan. Of course, I am a big fan of the Drifters, and when I was a child I used to watch “8:00! (TBS) when I was a child.

The restaurant has a counter with about five seats and two tables for four people. The building was aging, but there was something retro about it, and the atmosphere was great. On that day, there happened to be no customers in the restaurant, and Mr. Nakamoto was alone at a table. When I told him that I was a big fan, he smiled and said, “I’m so happy to see you,” while his narrow, droopy eyes narrowed even more, and he said, “Thank you. I asked if I could take their picture.

He said, “Since we’re here, let’s take a picture side by side.

This is the picture of that time. This is the picture of that time (the first picture). He had a big smile on his face, and his small back was even more rounded, making him look very cute. We talked for a little while, and then Mr. Nakamoto moved to another table, where he was smoking a cigarette and sipping on a glass of wine. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t drink…”

Shukan Shincho” (October 13 issue) reported that his wife, enka singer Junka (54), had left their home in July of this year. According to the article, she moved to Yokohama to open a curry restaurant, and Nakamoto, along with the dog and cat they kept at home, left and the house was a dump, according to another former regular customer, who had sensed something was wrong for several years.

The name of the restaurant is ‘Junka’ and his wife’s name is attached to it, but I never saw her at the restaurant. There was a male cook in the kitchen. I think his wife was probably devoted to the snack bar. Other regulars blurted out, ‘I never go to the snack bar. His wife is really beautiful and good at serving customers. The customers often talked about how worried they were about his wife cheating on him when he had such a beautiful younger wife.

The last time I saw Mr. Nakamoto at the restaurant was about two years ago. When he stood up, he was slow and his gait was quite unsteady. I had said to him, “I haven’t seen your wife, but I wonder if she is all right…. For us, the members of Drifting were all heroes. It is sad.

There is no doubt that there is much mystery surrounding Mr. Nakamoto’s later years. For now, we can only pray for his soul rest in peace.

For the Showa generation, Drifting is an eternal hero (Image: Kyodo News)
  • Photo Kyodo News (2nd photo)

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