Wasabi Stories vol.204: “Become a Worthy Person to Receive Help From People Around You”


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“Become a Worthy Person to Receive Help From People Around You”

Today’s story-teller is Kabuki performer Shutaro Kataoka.

His story is about Pontocho street in Kyoto, a city that he holds many memories.

Kataoka has been visiting Pontocho street since his earlier years. He used to visit tea houses and had many customers who patronized him.

He once received given a secondhand Nissan Bluebird.

He met this customer by chance. A geisha at a tea house introduced the customer who was a businessman to Kataoka because he was a theatergoer.


When Kataoka told him that he was attending a driver’s training school, he told him that he would buy him a car.

So he bought Kataoka the secondhand Nissan bluebird. Since it was a secondhand car, it used to break down occasionally. But it was a memorable gift for him.

On the other hand, a gift he received from Ms. Sawada, an okami (a female chief service manager) of a tea house. He recalls and says, “She said, ‘Shutaro-san, today is your birthday isn’t it? I couldn’t find suitable for your birthday present, so…’ and she lit the bundle of his checks and burned them in front of him. Making it a wash was her birthday present for me. Honestly, it touched my heart.”

He was once asked to take two maiko girls to a movie by another okami. The okami gave him spending money but she asked him to put the money into his wallet so that the maiko girls would think that he paid for everything. She told him not to tell them that the okami paid for it.

After introducing a few of these episodes, Kataoka says that he is thankful for the support of the people around him and his fans.

Finally, he says, “I deeply thought, ‘I want to be more successful as a performer so that my clients will be happy’, ‘I want to become a successful performer so that I can become a high-spender customer at the tea houses I go to’. Most of the people who were great help to me passed away before I became successful, so I couldn’t return the courtesy. I have regrets about it.”


The NIKKEI 02/12/2010 by Shutaro Kataoka (kabuki performer)




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