The chairman of Toyo Kogyo (Asakusa Entertainment Hall/Toyokan Asakusa Franco-za) Hisayuki Matsukura’s Asakusa Rokku Geinoden (Entertainment of the Six Wards of Asakusa) < the fourth > ‘Happa Mutoshi Nagato Isamu’
We talked about Kiyoshi Atsumi last time and before last. He was the second chairman of the Franco-za, but this time, he will tell the story of the first and the third. The first generation, who later formed the “Derailment Trio,” had the ambition of drawing laughter from the living room. The third generation is Nagato Isamu, who became popular for his humane performance in the TV period drama “The Three Samurai” and achieved great success as an individual actor.
It was in the early 1950s. While being tossed about by the historical background of the TV birth period, please take a look at the underlying power of the popular leaders who made a chance with their abilities honed on the stage every day and their strong individuality …!
◆The first star of France! The energetic first leader, Mutoshi Yaba
Mutoshi Yaba was born in 1926 in Kagoshima Prefecture. From around the age of 20, he aspired to become an actor, and after working in several theater companies, he joined the Franco-za in 1951. The performance style is very energetic! When you stand on the stage, there is no improvisation, no dialogue, and you don’t know what will happen (laughs). In particular, the dialogue with veteran comedian Sayama Shunji, who has a funny character, was excellent. At the time when Sayama said “Oh, no.” the skit in which the eight waves inserted a strong thrust was exquisite, and the two “araiyada duo” were always popular. No matter how far Noji flies from the audience, the wind blows. Rather, the tradition of the French-za, which involves customers by taking sides, has been established by the Happo and has been passed down from generation to generation.
However, no matter what kind of chameca you do, the stage will surely be established because you have an unshakable ability to convince everyone at the bottom. His charisma, which was worthy of the name of the first chairman, was also something of a surprise. Among the many excellent Asakusa comedians, the presence of Hachi Nami was outstanding, and it was natural that he got the attention of the TV industry early. The “Derailment Trio” was formed in 1956 together with Toru Yuri and Toshiaki Minami. The trio rode on the wave of the time and the TV wave they had just created, and quickly became a sensation. However, perhaps because it was too exciting to put the conte on the public airwaves as it was on the live stage, the performance on TV was somewhat mild (laughs).
Even after the breakup of the Derailment Trio, Yaba continued to steadily expand his range of activities and entertained us greatly, but in 1964, an accident left him dead at only 37 years of age. It’s a shame to think how big a man he would have been if he had avoided his early death. I would like to express my respect to the first leader who opened the way for his juniors as the first star from the French Theater.
◆BREAK IN THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE! Nagato Isamu was loved by everyone for his warm personality.