Tokyo Kogyo Chairman (Asakusa French-za Engeijo Toyokan) Matsukura Hisayuki’s Asakusa Rokku Geinoden < 8th > “Sakagami Jiro”
Last time, we talked about how Kin Chanko and Kinichi Hagimoto entered the newly established Toyo Theater as research students, how their talents gradually began to bloom under the guidance of Touhachiro, and how they met Ando Roll, a senior entertainer who was active in the Franco-za that moved upstairs. By the way, who is this Ando Roll? You will remember the fate of his partner “Jiro” …, who later formed Cont 55 with Kin and created a fad. Jiro SAKANOUE (real name: SAKANOUE) was born in 1934 in Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture. He had a beautiful voice and was a boy who loved singing. After I graduated from junior high school, I got a job at a local department store once, but when I won the “Nodojiman Amateur Engeikai”, I went up to Tokyo dreaming of becoming a singer. He became the attendant and master of ceremonies for the popular singer of the day, Koichi Aoki, and while traveling all over the country with him, he studied hard, but unfortunately, as a singer, he did not make any progress at all, and instead, he turned to being a comedian looking for a better way to speak that he had trained as a master of ceremonies. He was a very humble and likable person, having gone through many hardships in those days. When SAKANOUE joined the troupe, the leader of the troupe was Shoji ABE, a veteran comedian who was popular for his silly acting style. He has long been a member of the Francesca Theatre and has demonstrated his leadership and management skills in the younger generation, but his greatest achievement is that he discovered the talent of Jiro Sakanoue and developed him into a top-notch entertainer. The sharp tsukkomi of Hagimoto was brilliant because of his ability as a receiver of Sakagami. His ingenious senility was undoubtedly inherited from his mentor, Abisho. It is no exaggeration to say that without Abe, Cont 55 could not have been born. Of all the stars, only a handful can be real stars. But the stars didn’t see the light of day on the glitzy stage like TV, but they did it because there was someone like Abe who contributed to it behind the scenes. By the way, I would be very happy if you remember that there were so many Asakusa comedians like Ibushigin.
Let’s get back to the story. Hagimoto and Sakagami met when they came up with the idea of trading their entertainers at the Franco-za and the Toyo Theater, which were operating in the same building. At that time, Hagimoto was assigned to the French Theater and they started to stand on the same stage. Actually, Sakagami played Tsukkomi and Hagimoto played Boke in the beginning. However, this is not funny at all (laughs). So I reversed the role, and suddenly it became more interesting. The relentless tsukkomi of Azuhachi and the thorough response of the boke in the preparation of the abesho. Each of them came to the fore like a fish in the water, and developed a great stage. Despite the age difference of seven, they were very compatible. SAKANOUE always carelessly paid attention to Hagimoto so that she could show her strength without hesitation, and Hagimoto fully understood her feelings, and even though she was furious on the stage, she did not forget to raise her seniors once she stepped down the stage. I guess it means that the two of them, who had both deep pocketful thinking and intelligence to think of each other, had a great caliber. Eventually, they even go to Shokunai in cabarets, where they once again show their best dialogue and become very popular. Hagimoto was thrilled, Sakagami was tumbled, and drunken customers thronged. Then, Sakanoue immediately starts to sing his favorite song, and Hagimoto humorously dances … It is also exquisite and interesting (laugh)! It’s not impossible that their performance would not become popular. One day, an able producer at a certain TV station heard a rumor and came to scout. I asked Hagimoto to appear in a commercial. He made a triumphant attempt at his first big chance, but here he made an unexpected blunder. Unexpectedly, he repeatedly failed and was branded as a professional disqualified. The Asakusa Comedy performed in front of a large audience with improvisation and the TV acting that was planned to be performed according to the script written to the camera were so different that I was puzzled and couldn’t show my original ability at all.
◆From the depths of despair! The birth of Konto 55, one of the finest duos in the history of entertainment Hagimoto lost her dream of making inroads into the TV world and once fell to the bottom, but this did not ruin her career. “No more TV. Let’s get back to the basics. Let’s start all over again with the determination to bury ourselves in Asakusa.” The pride of being an Asakusa comedian, who endured hard training every day and was drummed into by his seniors, eventually turned him into an unyielding man. The innocent boy “Kinbo” was no longer anywhere. That’s when Sakagami called me for the first time in a while. I heard that Sakagami was also told about his appearance on TV, but it turned out to be nothing, and he was turned away by a disastrous experience. Ironically, the two got along so well (laughs). We laughed and thanked each other for their hard work and promised each other that we would work hard together again in Asakusa. But fate is a very mysterious thing. How mischievous the god of laughter is! Once again, they stood on the stage in Asakusa and showed more refined performances than ever before, and they were given a tremendous reward. It was a request to perform in a Nichigeki. For comedians of the time, his appearance in Nichigeki was the top career path. What’s more, I was really surprised by the fact that, after going through the previous stage of the Nichigeki Music Hall, I was able to jump to the big stage where only those who succeeded there could step on. In spite of the great pressure, the two of them managed to excite the audience in the Nichigeki theater, and in no time, they attracted the attention of the TV world and started receiving a flood of love calls. As if nothing happened before …! With this trend, Cont 55 became a favorite child of the times. And it is obvious that he will do well after that. By the way, as soon as they made up their mind to do their best in Asakusa for the rest of their lives, they ended up going out to the center as if they were led by something, and they might have left a feeling of regret towards Asakusa. But you don’t have to worry about it at all. This is because the times were looking for laughter in Asakusa. Kin-chan and Jiro represent the wonderful performances of the Asakusa tradition that have been handed down from generation to generation since Enoken, known as Kenichi Enomoto, and act as bridges with television to bring them to the whole country, making many people smile. Everyone in Asakusa congratulates them on their success, is proud of them, and is deeply grateful. In the early 1960s, when the two of them left Asakusa, the Tokyo Olympics brought the era to a turning point in many ways, and the Rokku entertainment district was at the mercy of society. and the Francois were to undertake a second major change of direction … Next time, I will talk about the circumstances around that point. MATSUKURA Hisayuki (Asakusa Engei Hall)