|八代目 明治39年(1906) ～昭和50年(1975) 俳名 是真|
Eighth in the line of Bandō Mitsugorō, he was adopted by Bandō Mitsugorō VII; his son and grandson would go on to take the name as well, becoming ninth and tenth in the line respectively.
He later tried to adapt The Tale of Genji to the stage, but was prohibited from doing so by the authorities.
After a few years in a kabuki troupe run by the Toho company, he moved to Kansai; he lived there for nearly 20 years, performing in Osaka and other venues, and taking part in the final performances at the Ōsaka Kabuki-za, which closed and became a department store in 1958.
In 1962, following his return to Tokyo, and the death of his adopted father Bandō Mitsugorō VII, Bandō celebrated a shūmei (naming ceremony) alongside his son, Bandō Mitsugorō IX and grandson Bandō Mitsugorō X. He took the name Mitsugorō VIII. Four years later, he performed at the opening ceremonies for Tokyo's National Theater.
He performed as Kakogawa Honzō in Kanadehon Chūshingura (the Tale of the 47 Ronin) in December 1974, at the National Theater. This was among his final performances, as he died the following month at age 68.
Photo ©Serghei Pakhomoff
He visited a Kyoto restaurant with friends and ordered an illegally large helping of four livers of the fugu fish. The fugu chef of the restaurant could not refuse the request from such a prestigious artist.
Claiming that he could survive their poisons, he ate the livers and died after seven hours of paralysis and convulsions.
Subsequently, the chef lost his license for breaking the law.
Fugu (河豚 or 鰒; フグ?, literally "river pig") is the Japanese word for pufferfish and the dish prepared from it.
Fugu can be lethally poisonous due to its tetrodotoxin; therefore, it must be carefully prepared to remove toxic parts and to avoid contaminating the meat. The restaurant preparation of fugu is strictly controlled by the law in Japan and several other countries, and only chefs who have qualified through rigorous training are allowed to deal with the fish. However, the domestic preparation occasionally leads to accidental death. Fugu is served as sashimi and chirinabe. Some consider the liver the tastiest part but it is also the most poisonous, and serving the fugu liver in restaurants was banned in Japan in 1984. Fugu has become one of the most celebrated and notorious dishes in Japanese cuisine.
Fugu contains lethal amounts of the poison tetrodotoxin in the organs, especially the liver, the ovaries, and the skin. The poison, a sodium channel blocker, paralyzes the muscles while the victim stays fully conscious along with causing paralysis. The victim is unable to breathe, and eventually dies from asphyxiation. There is no known antidote. The standard treatment is to support the respiratory and circulatory systems until the poison is metabolised and excreted by the victim's body.
Advances in research and aquaculture have allowed some farmers to mass-produce safe fugu. Researchers surmised that fugu's tetrodotoxin came from eating other animals that held tetrodotoxin-laden bacteria and developed immunity over time. Many farmers now produce 'poison-free' fugu by keeping the fugu away from the bacteria. Usuki, a town in Ōita Prefecture, has become known for selling non-poisonous fugu.
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