Renowned Kabuki Actor Sakata Tojuro Dies at 88

Society Culture

Tokyo, Nov. 14 (Jiji Press)--Renowned kabuki actor Sakata Tojuro IV, a designated living national treasure and a master of the "kamigata" style of kabuki performed in western Japan, died of natural causes at a Tokyo hospital on Thursday, it was announced Saturday. He was 88.

His wife is Chikage Ogi, former land minister.

Tojuro, whose real name was Kotaro Hayashi, was born in the western Japan city of Kyoto in 1931 as the first son of kabuki actor Nakamura Ganjiro II.

In 1941, he made a stage debut under the name of Nakamura Senjaku II. He learned the basics of classical performing arts such as "Noh," "gidayu" and "kamigata mai."

In 1953, at age 21, he shot to stardom after playing the role of prostitute Ohatsu in "Sonezaki Shinju" (The Love Suicides at Sonezaki), a work staged for the first time in 250 years.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press