Sanyutei said, “Basically, he likes to meet and talk with people, and he often called his acquaintances and fellow performers while he was in the hospital. In this day and age, hospitals are basically refusing to allow visitors, and he must have had a lot of free time during his hospital stay.”
Around 1:30 p.m. on May 20, a bright red Volvo pulled out of a hospital in Tokyo. Sanyutei Ichitaro (34), a rakugo storyteller and voice actor, was behind the wheel in the driver’s seat. Sitting quietly in the passenger seat is rakugo storyteller Sanyutei Enraku (72). When the car carrying the master arrived at his home, he entered his home for the first time in four months on his own feet, supported from time to time by his wife.
On January 25, 2022, Enraku was diagnosed with a stroke and was hospitalized for treatment. On May 23, his office announced that he had been discharged from the hospital earlier than scheduled. While he attributed his early release to his remarkable recovery, the real reason for his early release was something else.
The gourmet master told everyone around him that the hospital food tasted so bad that he wanted to get out of the hospital as soon as possible, and that was the main reason. He ate well while in the hospital, which may have contributed to his early recovery. (ibid.))
Currently, he continues to recuperate at home, traveling back and forth between his home and the hospital on a regular basis.
He seems to have gotten tired of hospital food and wants to go out to eat after being discharged from the hospital. I heard that he still has a little paralysis in his left arm, but he will be able to eat with his right hand and is enjoying his time at the hospital and at home while undergoing rehabilitation.
In addition, the master, who has been working for many years to resolve the division in the rakugo world, is now thinking more seriously about nurturing his successor.
He has been thinking more seriously about his successor’s training. He often calls his close comrades in rakugo and the members of Laughing Point to talk about the future of the rakugo world. However, he is still active, so I think he will focus more on nurturing his successors while still performing on the stage. (Entertainment industry insider)
Last October, he expressed his desire to assume the name of the seventh Ensei, a major name in the Tokyo rakugo world whose seat has been vacant for more than 40 years. The day may soon be near when Sanyutei Enraku will return with his cheerful wheat-colored skin and white teeth.
Photo： Shu Nishihara Takao Kawakami