Torata Nanbu Honors Late Friend Ryubei Ueshima | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Torata Nanbu Honors Late Friend Ryubei Ueshima

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Despite experiencing a serious illness in his late 60s, Torata Nanbu exhibited an energetic spirit that defied his age.

It was unexpected of him to leave on Ryubei Ishima’s birthday.

On January 20, Torata Nanbu (real name Michihiko Sato) of the performance group “Dengeki Network” passed away at 11:55 p.m. on January 20 at a Tokyo hospital due to a stroke. The cause of death was a stroke, and he was 72 years old.

Interestingly, January 20th is the birthday of the late Ryubei Ueshima (61 years old at the time of his passing in May 2022), a member of the comedy trio “Dachou Club.” Torata nanbu was a member of Dachou Club during its formation. When Ryubei Ueshima passed away, Torata nanbu appeared on the program “Joho Live Miyane-ya” on May 12, 2022.

“I won’t meet him anymore, and if possible, choosing death by oneself is actually wrong. Two years ago, I underwent a kidney transplant, and during the time I was in bed, thinking about how to live and how the people around me would protect their lives, throwing away my own life is still wrong. Even if I say it’s wrong, he can’t come back anymore.”

And he said this, his breath catching in his throat.

“In 2017, Mr. Nanbu’s diabetes worsened, leading to an emergency transport. Subsequently, he underwent a heart bypass surgery, and in May 2019, he also underwent a kidney transplant. Despite all this, he continued to strive to pursue his passion for performing on the stage.” (Statement from an entertainment agency representative)

In the July 3, 2020 issue of FRIDAY, an interview with Nanbu, who returned to the stage after the transplant surgery, was published. We would like to look back at the true face of Mr. Nanbu, a comedian (some content has been modified).

“Even if I don’t look good, my way of life is to crawl through life.”

“People are born naked and die naked. No matter how bad looking you are, crawling around is your way of life.”

This is how Mr. Nanbu, the leader of the radical performance group “Dengeki Network,” describes his way of life. Their ultimate physical performance, which can never be duplicated by anyone, good or bad, has been shocking the audience. In 2020, “Dengeki” celebrated its 30th anniversary.

“For the past 30 years, we didn’t have a single regular TV show. Despite that, being remembered by the public and being able to continue our activities steadily and for a long time is something I take pride in, in a way.” (Nanbu – and the following remarks are similar)

Performances by Dengeki Network, such as drinking detergent in one gulp, were truly life-threatening. Behind the scenes, there were even situations like this

“When we were doing gigs at school festivals and being pulled around, I had a stunt where I tied a string around my testicles and attached it to a motorcycle for a pull. However, on one stage, during the performance, the ‘bag’s skin’ slipped off. It was incredibly painful, but even after that day, I continued working with bandages wrapped around (laughs).

There was also a time when I swallowed a piranha for the human pump act, and it didn’t come out for a while, making me anxious. In the end, about three hours after the show, I drank beer, felt sick, vomited in the toilet, and a piranha covered in blood came out. The next day, when I went to the hospital, there was a hole in my stomach.”


However, during his hospitalization for his own illness, the thought of quitting crossed his mind for a brief moment.

“In March 2017, my diabetes worsened, and I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. At that time, my breathing had stopped. I somehow survived and was hospitalized to undergo heart bypass surgery. At that point, I thought, ‘Maybe I can’t continue with Dengeki anymore. Furthermore, in May 2019, I received a kidney transplant from my wife. I almost gave up, thinking, ‘This time, maybe I won’t be able to stand on the stage again.'”

However, with the determination of wanting to entertain the audience once again, Torata Nanbu overcame multiple surgeries and made a comeback in the summer of 2019.

“Those who enjoy life are the real winners!”

That’s what Mr. Nanbu used to say. One wonders if he is now reuniting with Mr. Ueshima.

When he sat down at the editor-in-chief’s desk of our magazine, he performed the familiar trick of sticking a can of beer to his forehead
He was in his mid-twenties. His hair is fresh and frizzy. He originally wanted to be an actor and was a member of a theater company.
A commemorative photo taken at a performance in the UK. In Europe and the U.S., they performed under the name “TOKYO SHOCK BOYS” and drew a lot of laughs on stage.
Interview with the leader of “Dengeki Network,” a man who survived a kidney transplant surgery.
Interview with Toradan Nanbu, leader of the “Dengeki Network,” who survived a kidney transplant surgery.
Interview with Toradanobu Nambu, leader of the “Dengeki Network,” who survived a kidney transplant surgery
Interview with Toradanobu Nambu, leader of the “Dengeki Network,” who survived a kidney transplant surgery.
  • PHOTO Hiroyuki Komatsu (1st and 2nd photos, 5th to 8th photos)

Photo Gallery8 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles