Toshio Ishikawa, entertainment reporter, tells us what’s going on behind the scenes in the entertainment industry: ……
Mothjiro Sato, an indispensable actor in the hit movie series “Otoko wa Tsuraiyo,” was found dead in the bathroom of his home on December 10.
I got acquainted with Mothjiro when I was working at Shochiku. After I left Shochiku, I saw him less and less, and the only time I saw him was when I went to his restaurant “Mothji Mama”.
That restaurant also closed on December 31, 2008. I heard it was because of Corona.
About 50 years ago, I was drinking in Shibuya when I received a call on my pager from Mokuji-san. He told me that “Tora-san” Kiyoshi Atsumi’s mother had passed away, and that he and Keiroku Seki were going to have a party at the restaurant.
Keiroku Seki and I are trying to cheer her up.
The four of us decided to meet, and I felt that Mr. Atsumi and Mr. Seki really trusted Mr. Mothji. I don’t remember what we talked about, but anyway, Mothji-san was cheering up Atsumi-san.
Another memory I have is the time when I was asked to support the election of a current member of the House of Representatives. That was 28 years ago.
I was summoned by Mr. Hisashi Shinma, former executive director of New Japan Pro Wrestling, to have a drink at a Chinese restaurant in the Imperial Hotel in Hibiya, Tokyo, with a group of people who were former senior officers of the Metropolitan Police Department. Among them
Mr. Shinma said, “00-kun is running for Tokyo’s 00th ward, do you have any good ideas?
The year of Atsumi’s death was also the year of his death. Since it was the year that Mr. Atsumi passed away, Mothji’s name immediately came to mind.
The popularity of the “Otoko wa Tsuraiyo” series in downtown Tokyo was overwhelming. Of course, Mothji’s popularity was also great.
He said, “There is an actor named Mothjiro Sato, shall I introduce him to you?”
I’d like to introduce him to you,” he said.
I’d like to take you up on that offer.
I’d like to take you up on that offer,” and we made an immediate decision to go to Mothji-san’s restaurant in Ginza. Six or seven of us, including Mr. Niima, headed for the restaurant. We told Mothji-san everything that had happened and asked for his cooperation.
He gladly accepted and agreed to support us with his own lunch. The group was relieved.
The group was relieved and felt happy that they had come to talk to him.
The atmosphere was “I’m glad I came to talk to you.
From then on, Mr. Mothji came to the campaign office every day and rode in his campaign car continuously. He has been a member of the House of Representatives for nine consecutive terms since his first election. He is a very famous politician.
And I had met him some years ago in a play at Asakusa’s Kaminari 5656 Kaikan called “Friendship: The Ballad of Autumn Cherry Blossoms,” in which actor Ryo Tamura played the main role and Mr. Mothji was also a performer. Mr. Mothji had just lost his wife, but he was working on the stage without informing the people around him.
He had built a small Buddhist altar in his store and visited it every day while performing on stage. I was also on that stage and was surprised when I heard the story. They were a really close couple.
The Sato family was blessed with two children. As was the case at the restaurant, they loved to cook, and it seems that many celebrities gathered around for the “medicinal curry” that Atsumi-san loved to serve at the scene of “Otoko wa Tsuraiyo” (Men Have It Hard).
Then, in July of this year. At a club in Akita, where I happened to be visiting, the owner of the club told me that he had heard the following story.
He said, “I was taken care of by Moth Jiro Sato when I was young, but I still haven’t thanked him…. I haven’t had a chance to thank him for his kindness yet… I haven’t seen him since “Otoko wa Tsuraiyo” disappeared, and I asked him what happened to him.
He asked me. He said he didn’t know where I had called.
It was still early in the day, so I called Mr. Mokuji. Mr. Mothji seemed to remember him, so I asked his permission and gave him my contact information. The owner of the company said
I’m going to see Mr. Mothjiro.”
I wonder if he was able to meet him….
Mothji-san was really caring and well-liked and adored by his junior staff. I wonder how his eldest son, Ryota Sato, who ran the restaurant with him, is feeling.
I am always curious. Oh, my God, my hands are crossed.
Text： Toshio Ishikawa (Entertainment Reporter)
Born in Tokyo in 1946. He has a unique career path from Shochiku's Advertising Department to a reporter for women's magazines to an entertainment reporter. He has appeared on "The Wide" and "Information Live Miyaneya" (both on Nippon Television Network Corporation), and currently appears regularly on "Mentai Wide" (Fukuoka Broadcasting System), "Su Matan" (Yomiuri TV), and Rainbow Town FM.