I’m sorry. I’m still alive. I’m not dead yet!
Sanyutei Enraku VI, 72, told the assembled press. The press laughed in relief at the first words of their master, who appeared for the first time in six months. On the day of the event, the Sanyu Festival was held at Mokuboji Temple in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, for the Enraku V family. The master, who had been recuperating at home, attended the event wearing his favorite hat and bringing a sweet bean-jam bun from his favorite bakery. Together with other bananashika, he prayed for the repose of the souls of his predecessors and for the prosperity of his family.
On January 25 this year, Enraku suddenly went on medical leave due to a stroke, and it was thought that his discharge from the hospital would last until August, as he had suffered from lung cancer four years earlier. However, on May 20, he was discharged early and began his recuperation at home.
During his stay in the hospital, he had been leaking to those around him that the hospital food was so bad that he wanted to get out of the hospital as soon as possible, and that he wanted to eat delicious soba noodles. I want to eat delicious soba! However, even though she complained, she ate well on hospital food, and it seems to have helped speed up her recovery.
The announcement of his return to the Takaza two months after his discharge from the hospital is said to have been based on Marugaku’s strong desire to return to the Takaza.
He said, “It seems that he strongly thought about his future after this incident. While he was in the hospital, he called his good friends and the members of “Laughing Point” and talked about the future of rakugo. After being discharged from the hospital, his wife stayed by his side, and he regained 9 kg in one week after losing 10 kg during his hospitalization. In addition to his physical paralysis, he suffered from memory impairment immediately after his discharge from the hospital, but he has almost recovered from that now, too.
Sanyutei Enraku will return to the stage on August 11 at the National Engeijo (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) for the “August Nakagiseki” performance. The expectations of rakugo fans and viewers are growing for the master’s high spirits, as evidenced by his video message on “Laugh Spot” (Nippon Television Network) during his recuperation.
From the August 12, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Takayuki Ogawauchi, Shu Nishihara