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Prominent Japanese comedian and actor Masao Komatsu, known for the comedy song “Shirakedori Ondo,” died of liver cancer at a Tokyo hospital on Monday. He was 78.

Komatsu, real name Masaomi Matsuzaki, was born in the southwestern city of Fukuoka. He moved to Tokyo to become an actor after finishing high school.

He became an assistant to Hitoshi Ueki, a member of the popular band and comedy group The Crazy Cats, in 1963. After making his debut in the entertainment industry later, he appeared on the television show “Shabondama Holiday.”

Komatsu became a household name in the 1970s after appearing on a TV show with popular comedian Shiro Ito, as well as through skits such as “Komatsu no Oyabun-san.” He also released popular humorous songs such as “Densen Ondo” and “Shirakedori Ondo.”

Komatsu was a well-known actor, appearing in hit TV dramas, such as “Zenryaku Ofukuro-sama” and “Kita no Kuni kara,” and movies including “Eki Station.” He also acted on stage in a two-man group with actor Issey Ogata.

In 2011, he became the 10th chairman of the Japan Comedy Actors Association.

The comedian continued to be active in the entertainment world even after being diagnosed with hepatocellular cancer in November last year.

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