A Mr Hirohito Watanabe of Tuckingmill has been awarded 9th prize in the annual Camborne taxi-drivers' awards.
"Banzai Bob" Hirohito Watanabe (62), formerly of Nagasaki and now from Tuckingmill, is a traditional Japanese rickshaw puller (Muhomatsu no issho) in the old style, who came to this country over 40 years ago in order to make a living and to learn to speak English.
Correctly concluding that he would be the first rickshaw puller in West Cornwall, he believed that there was a good living to be made here.
After the first 10 years, Mr Watanabe was eventually beginning to settle in and coming to be accepted by the locals, who gave him his pet name of "Banzai Bob".
Admittedly during the first few years, bookings were very few and far between, as people seemed reluctant to be pulled about by a panting oriental gentleman wearing nothing but his underpants and a lampshade on his head.
Gradually though, in fashion-conscious Tuckingmill, it came to be seen as a style statement to be transported hither and thither in "Banzai Bob's" rickshaw.
After a slow start - it did take a good 10 years - it became an attractive novelty to be pulled by "Banzai" down to the pub and back, particularly if you paid the extra for him to go at his highest (running) speed.
A particular favourite amongst pub visitors being pulled home is to get "Bob" to do his emergency stop, which invariably results in a hospitalisation for either puller or pullee and sometimes for both.
Tamsin, a failed call-girl, decided against trying to make go of it as a TV presenter on the back of her grade D in Media Studies and instead become just a normal Tuckingmill housewife.
No children have resulted from the marriage, but the couple have built up a fine stable of ferrets, which are the envy of the neighbourhood.
"Bob" has had to struggle with the language and has not progressed very far in mastering Tuckingmill English or any other variant of the language.
However, after a couple of hours of explanation, he did take on board the significance of his ninth place award in the much sought-after annual Camborne Taxi Awards, which will be presented next week in the prestigious surroundings of the Corn Exchange in Commercial Street.
"Bob" has announced that he will simply respond with three well-chosen Japanese words:
私は光栄です "Watashi wa Koeidesu", which means "I am honoured!"
Bob has stated that the success of his business has led him to consider the setting up of an apprentice scheme for young Cornish lads, who would like to strike out on their own as rickshaw-pullers in other parts of Cornwall.
If you are interested, you can contact "Bob" via the Roundup.
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