[SOCIAL WIRE] ‘Thank You for All the Laughter’: Japan Mourns Comedian Ken Shimura’s Death

Veteran Japanese comedian Ken Shimura is the most famous person to date to have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. His agency made the official announcement on Monday, March 30, that his death was confirmed on the evening of March 29. Shimura had been battling for his health over the preceding week since being admitted to a Tokyo area hospital.

 

Known for his various facial expressions and comical sounds drops, Shimura was also an advocate for animal welfare in Japan.

 

On Twitter, we look at how the nation reacted.

 

Yuriko Koike (Tokyo Metropolitan Governor)

To Japan’s leading entertainer, Ken Shimura-san, I’d like to pay my respects again for your many accomplishments, and congratulate your life. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government should work in cooperation with the nation and not increase the number of deaths, we will give priority to the care of the critically ill and avoid the collapse of medical care, and will endeavor to end it with all our best.

Hirofumi Yoshimura (Osaka Prefecture Governor)

Ken Shimura-san, condolences from the bottom of my heart.

Tomonori Jinnai (Comedian)

As a child, I laughed and fell in front of the TV. The very first time I learned the interesting and cool things about comedy without a shadow of doubt was your “Drifters”. Condolences.

Soso Takei (TV)

A very big sempai in the entertainment industry.
Condolences to Ken Shimura-san. I always wanted to appear in your Tensai! Shimura dobutsuen show. The segment on people living with animals, especially the lions and kids, was a dream of mine. I’m very sad, but one day, it’d be great if I can be in a show like that. I’ll do my best to make something just as entertaining as that show.

YOSHIKI (Artist/Musician)

Depressing news from Japan has been reported. Ken Shimura-san, who I was together with on Kakuzuke. Condolences to you.

RENA (MMA fighter)

I was shocked and felt pain after I heard the news of Ken Shimura-san’s death. He greeted me with a smile while shooting on set and made me feel relaxed and smile even though I was feeling nervous. Ken Shimura-san has given me a smile on my face ever since I was small. Condolences.

Ken Mogi (Scientist)

When I was in the senior level in elementary school and Ken Shimura-san joined the ‘zen-in shugo’ show, suddenly it became really funny, things like the moustache dance, Higashi Murayama Ondo, Baka-dono, eikawa skits, I loved that kind of comedy that penetrated love for people and music. It’s a frightening illness, Shimura-san’s music has suddenly stopped. I’m sad. Condolences from the bottom of my heart.

Genki Sudo (Politician, Musician, former MMA fighter)

Ken Shimura-san, this is so unfortunate. All we should do now is stop non-essential going out. Do things like wash hands, and gargle thoroughly. Condolences.

Rie Tanaka (Former Gymnast)

Ken Shimura-san, I can’t find words to describe (this feeling). I’ve loved you since I was a small girl. Condolences. I’ll be okay. There’s nothing else. Truly, take care.

KENZO – DA PUMP (Musician/Artist)

Ken Shimura-san, condolences. I’ll never forget the impact you made with entertainment. Rest easy.

HIKAKIN (YouTuber)

Ken Shimura-san, My tears haven’t stopped since this morning. Since I was small, our family watched your comedy, we recorded it on tape, watched it over and over again, and you’re my favorite of all. Your impact on me made me want to make better funny faces. Thank you for all the laughter. Condolences.

Seikin (YouTuber)

Ken Shimura-san, I’ve watched you since I was little, the god of entertainment. Baka-dono, I always recorded it, and even until the videotape got worn out, I watched it so many times. A true genius. Condolences.

Jero (Musician)

Since I was a boy, I always watched Ken Shimura-san’s videos. I laughed all the time with my family. I’m glad we were able to meet and perform together. For that I’m very thankful. Shimura-san, rest in peace.

Mariko Shinoda (Former AKB48 member)

Ken Shimura-san, thank you for all the laughter and happiness. Condolences.

Hitoshi Matsumoto (Comedian)

What a wonderful uncle (oji-san). Thank you.

 

Related:

Japanese Comedian Ken Shimura Dies of COVID-19 Infection

Author:

Galileo Ferrari works at a global IT company, consults with startups in Japan, and is a contributor with JAPAN Forward. The views expressed are his own.

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