「Hogeisen」 Restaurant by Ex-Entertainer’s Famous Captain Michio Kono “I’m Asakusa!”

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This time, Michio Kono, the manager (commonly known as the captain) of Whale Shop Whaling Funa, the face of Rokku, the center of Asakusa popular culture. A man of energy and fortitude! Let’s take a lot of power from Captain Kono’s story. By the time you finish reading, your feet may naturally turn to “whaling ships” …!?

“Whaling Funa” is located in the middle of Asakusa Rokku Street leading from Denpoin-dori Street to Rokku Broadway. Captain Kono, a former entertainer and the head of the Asakusa cheerleading team, greeted me with a gag of “I’m Asakusa!” opening speech. It is crowded every day with unique customers who gather because they are attracted by the bright and warm personality of the sun.
It opened in 1977. We started with a small rental shop of about 6 tsubo near Hanayashiki. Having put an end to his career as an entertainer, he now wants to help Asakusa by supporting young and poor young entertainers from behind the scenes as a cook. The couple worked hard as one, wishing that “Eat whale (gay) and polish your craft!” for the whale ingredient. There were times when I had a pinch along the way, but it was so late that I was introduced in a gourmet program that was still rare at the time, and it was published in a newspaper … In the meantime, it became a popular shop, and in 2000, my dream came true, and I finally managed to own a shop in my longing, Rokku

But just as he seemed to be off to a smooth sailing, he suffered a stroke after years of hard work. Paralysis on the right side and speech impediment. Devastated by despair, he even considered suicide for a time. “What wrong have I done for all my hard work for people and Asakusa every day, you damn kannon!” For the first time in my life, I also held a grudge against the god of Sensoji Temple.
What saved Kono was his wife’s pocketbook, which he happened to see. It was full of feelings and love for her husband after he fell. “Hell to go, hell to go. If it’s the same hell, let’s move on.”
The tears from the bottom of my heart were pouring out.
“What am I doing? Your wife is much more important …!”
I made up my mind, and from the next day, I decided to rehabilitate cooking the restaurant’s signature dish, stew. Both seasoning and utensils are forced to move from the left hand to the right hand, which does not move slightly, and the knife is tied and the ingredients are cut with the strength of the waist. Formerly two hours of preparation became eight hours of penance, but by persevering and repeating without giving up, he made slight daily progress, and a few years later he recovered almost without inconvenience. It was a miracle resurrection led by fortitude and family love.

“The Whaling Ship” appears at the beginning of Beat Takeshi’s classic song “Asakusa Kid,” which recounts memories of his lower years. I’ve been dating for almost half a century. Takeshi, who is kind-hearted, leaves money behind every time he visits the store to “feed young entertainers” and occasionally casually advertises Asakusa on TV. From every corner of Kono’s words, you can feel the depth of the bond between the two of you.
Takeshi, who paddles out from Asakusa to the ocean, and Kono, who keeps sailing on a “whaling ship” while protecting Asakusa. Both love Asakusa and want to contribute to its development.
In the 8th Shitamachi Comedy Film Festival in Taito, Takeshi will finally make his triumphant return! Kono willingly accepted the role of livening up the opening ceremony and added to the festivities with an innovative red carpet production that showcased an unprecedented Asakusa-like atmosphere.

“Asakusa is like our stew (lol), a mysterious city where you never know what’s in it. And it is the city of Wen-Ko-Chishin. Even among the old things, there is always something new to develop. I hope you will take advantage of this wonderful entertainment history and new and old talent to have the Shitamachi Engei Festival next time!”
Even though his form has changed, Kono is a natural Asakusa gay man who makes Asakusa happy with his performances (whales). With this man, Rokku and Asakusa will be all right. The famous captain who embodies “I’m Asakusa!” was a charming man full of modest energy.

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