Comedian Shinji Maki dies in Tama River leap

JIJI

Stand-up comedian Shinji Maki died Sunday after taking a 50-meter leap into the Tama River in an apparent suicide. He was 78.

Maki, whose real name was Moritsune Oi, was confirmed dead at a Tokyo hospital after police fished him out. He had jumped from a bridge along the Nakahara highway in Ota Ward’s Denenchofu district and was unconscious when they found him, the police said.

No suicide note has been found.

Maki, who was popular for doing satire while playing the ukulele, was honored by the commissioner of the Cultural Affairs Agency in 2003, according to his office’s Web site.