In Memoriam, Ryubei Ueshima, “The Beloved Life of an Unparalleled Reactionary Comedian | FRIDAY DIGITAL

In Memoriam, Ryubei Ueshima, “The Beloved Life of an Unparalleled Reactionary Comedian

I was able to be active thanks to everyone around me.

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A commemorative photo displayed at Ojangdong, a Korean restaurant frequented by the “Ryubeikai. It shows the strength of his ties with his younger colleagues.

On May 13, a cold rainy day, the wake for Ryubei Ueshima (61 years old) was held at a funeral hall in Tokyo. It was Katsuhiro Higo, 59, the leader of the “Ostrich Club,” who showed up a little after 5:00 pm. After that, “Ryuhei Kai” members Teruyuki Tsuchida (49), Gekidan Hitori (45), and Hiroyuki Ariyoshi (47), all of whom had admired Ueshima, entered the hall one after the other. They all looked down and their expressions were grim.

If you have the will, you can be a comedian even if you are 70 years old,” he said. The best thing is to make people laugh, but it is also okay to be laughed at. I want to remember how I felt when I was a young comedian, and I want to make the “Ostrich Club” bloom once more.

This dream, which he told this magazine in an interview last August to commemorate his 60th birthday, was shattered in less than a year.

Kuniko Yamada, 61, a TV personality who had known Mr. Ueshima for more than 40 years, said, “I loved the gentle Ryu-chan.

I loved Tatsu-chan, who was so kind to me. When I was diagnosed with cancer, every time I saw him, he would ask me if I was all right. When I went to a pub alone on my birthday, Ryu-chan happened to be at the same restaurant. …… Even though it was the middle of the night, Ryu-chan went from one end of the supermarket to the other and bought me wine and cake to celebrate with me. I remember laughing with him and saying, ‘That makes me feel even more empty.

Last August, Ueshima appeared in an interview in this magazine to commemorate his 60th birthday. His untimely departure was met with sadness in the entertainment world.

At the Korean restaurant “Ojandon,” which was a favorite of the “Ryuubeikai,” Mr. Ueshima has a table reserved for him. There, his favorite glass, a bottle he was about to drink from, and commemorative photos of the “Ryuhei Kai” members are displayed. The owner, Kim Geum-yong, recalls.

I used to come here twice a week with my junior comedians. The junior comedians would tease me, saying, “Hey, Ueshima! ‘ The junior comedians would tease me, and it was always lively. We were open until 5:00 a.m., but even when I called out, “We’re closing,” Ueshima would persist, saying, “Just 30 more minutes. We end up drinking until 6 or 7 in the morning (laughs). (Laughs) Because there were so many members, the bill would sometimes run into the hundreds of thousands of yen, but Mr. Ueshima would always pay.

The last time he came was last October. The members of “Ryuhei Kai” reunited at the restaurant as part of a program. When we left, he said, ‘It’s been a long time. I’ll come again.’ I said to him, ‘I’ll be back. …… I guess it wasn’t so much that he liked drinking, but that he liked being at a place where everyone could get together for a drink.”

As a leading figure in the art of reaction, he has left a significant mark on the comedy world. His classic gags such as “Don’t ever push me” and “Here you go” are still loved by men and women of all ages. His backbone was a source of admiration for younger comedians. Takayuki Kinoshita, 50, of the comedy duo TKO, was one of those who were attracted to him.

He was a kind man who cared about even the junior comedians in other offices. Whenever there was a young comedian who was tense, he would say to him, ‘Don’t worry, don’t worry. When we worked together on an end-of-year special program, the “Dacho Club” was just in front of us.

Ueshima-san got a hearty laugh and came back covered in powder from the props. His white body looked like a medal. Then, while taking a shower, he said, ‘This will be a good year for me. I’m going to have a great new year now! I can celebrate the New Year with this! He was a true gem of a comedian and a treasure of the comedy world.

Ueshima expressed his gratitude in the aforementioned interview.

The leader can write stories, and (Terakado) Jimon (59) is a gourmet. For 36 years since my debut, I did nothing. But Beat Takeshi (75) and Ken Shimura (70) loved me and allowed me to appear on their programs. The “Ryuhei Kai” also adored me, and I am grateful to …… for their support. I am truly grateful. It is thanks to everyone around me that I have been able to be active.

I am sure that he is now watching over his juniors from heaven with his favorite drink in his hand.

Hitori, who professes that he will never forget the favor he owes to those who took care of him when he was not selling well, said on the radio, “Someday, I’ll be able to laugh about it.”
Ueshima treasures the luxury wristwatch “Omega” that Ariyoshi gave him as a kanreki (60th birthday) gift, and it was displayed at the venue.
Mr. Tsuchida worked as the head of the public relations department of the Ryuhei Kai. He often shared episodes about Mr. Ueshima in the programs he appeared in.
Higo, the leader of the group, looked exhausted. He and Mr. Ueshima had shared more than 40 years of hardships and joys in the comedy world.

From the June 3, 2022 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Shinji Hamasaki (1st photo) Takayuki Ogawauchi (wake)

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