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Kenichi Enomoto

  • Biography
1904-1970. Comedy actor. In 1929, he participated in the launch of the theater group Casino Folly in Asakusa and created the Casino Enoken boom with his unique charm and solid performance by moving about in his petite physique. In 1934, he starred in the movie Enoken no Seishun Suikoden (Enoken’s Tale of Youth’s Folly), and gained national popularity. He worked actively in movies and on stage and became a central figure in the Japanese comedy world. Although he had the misfortune of having his right leg amputated in old age, he also made a comeback wearing a prosthetic leg at the Shinjuku Koma Theatre in 1963.

  • Association with Minato City
He was an infamous naughty boy in Azabu

Born as the first son of Heisaku Enomoto, who ran a shoe shop in 5-chome Aoyama and whose business was not doing well; Heisaku later opened Musashino Senbei, a rice cracker shop, in Kasumi-cho, Azabu, which became a great success. He then built a rice cracker factory in Azabu Juban. Kenichi also moved to Azabu Juban. He was a very mischievous boy, perhaps as a result of seeking attention to avoid the loneliness he felt after losing his mother, Sho, at a young age. He changed schools often.

It is said that as a child he already had the potential to become a comedy actor with his petite physique and excellent motor coordination. Back then he was called “House-Mouse Ken-chan” and “Eno Ken-chan.” After Heisaku’s death, he went to Asakusa and became such an icon that he was named the King of Comedy. His tomb is in Hase Temple in Nishi Azabu, which is the family temple of the Enomoto family, and the tombstone is inscribed with these words: “Here Lies the King of Comedy.”

Concise Jinmei Jiten (Concise Biographical Dictionary) (Sanseido)
Nihon Eiga Jinmeijten (Biographical Dictionary of Japanese Film) (Cinema Junposha)
Kigeki koso waga inochi (Comedy is My Life) (Kenichi Enomoto / Eiko Shuppansha)

  • Walking Points
Tomb of Kenichi Enomoto (Daihonzan Eihei Temple Chokoku Branch Temple, 2-21-34 Nishi Azabu)

  • Literary Works
Kigeki koso waga inochi (Comedy is My Life) (Kenichi Enomoto / Eiko Shuppansha)
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  • Related Publications
Nihon no Kigekijin (Japanese Comedy Actors) (Yumihiko Nakahara / Shobunsha)
Enoken Roppa no jidai (The Times of Enoken-Roppa) (Seiichi Yano / Iwanami Shinsho)
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