more sad news

Roland Domenig roland.domenig
Sat Mar 27 08:57:00 EST 2004

this week was indeed a sad week for japanese tv-fans. not only did ikariya
choichi pass away, but also three other popular tv-actors.
on march 24, actress mitsuya utako died from pneumonitis at age 67. she
began her career as actress for the shintoho-studios in 1956. in the 1960s
she switched to television and became very popular through several daily
noon dramas. her portrayals of mother-figures earned her in the 80s the
nickname 'hirumero no joo' or 'queen of noon-melodrama'.
on march 25, actor shimokawa tappei died from blood poisoning at age 73. he
began as stage actor in fukuoka, but also appeared in several films, mostly
in smaller roles like in kurosawa akira's DODESKADEN. he is best remembered
as detective nozaki in the very popular tv-series TAIYO NI HOERO! (bark at
the sun, 1972-). 
shimokawa's partner in many instalments of this series, actor matano seiji
a.k.a. detective bruce, killed himself on march 23 in the isakaya he ran in
tokyo. he was 43. after making his debut as detective bruce in the TAIYO NI
HOERO series in 1983 matano, whose father is italian, appeared mostly in
tv-dramas and v-cinema-productions.

roland domenig
institute of east asian studies
vienna university    

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