Ryutaro Kamioka, a former entertainer who gained popularity in Japan with his comedy group "Manga Trio" and was widely active as a TV show host, died on May 19, it was learned on June 2. He was 81.
Kamioka died from lung cancer and interstitial pneumonia. His funeral was held with his close relatives.
Kamioka, whose real name is Ryutaro Kobayashi, was born in the city of Kyoto. After his music career, he formed Manga Trio with the late Knock Yokoyama and another member in 1960, when he was 18 years old, calling himself Punch Yokoyama.
The trio attracted attention for their "manzai" comedy, and established the style of manzai based on comic dialogue. At the height of their popularity in 1968, the group disbanded when Knock ran for the House of Councillors election.
Kamioka retired as an entertainer in 2000.