Japanese Actor Kunie Tanaka Dies at 88
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Tokyo, April 2 (Jiji Press)--Japanese actor Kunie Tanaka, known for his protagonist role in "Kita no Kuni Kara" (From the Northern Country), a popular television drama series, died of old age on March 24. He was 88.
The native of the central Japan prefecture of Gifu made his screen debut in 1957 after working as temporary junior high school teacher and studying at an actor school.
Tanaka acquired fame as he played the comical rival of the main character, played by renowned Japanese actor Yuzo Kayama, in the "Wakadaisho" (Young Ace) movie series, which started in 1961.
In supporting roles, Tanaka appeared in many films, including "Jingi Naki Tatakai" (Battles without Honor and Humanity), a popular Japanese yakuza film series.
One of his most successful roles was Goro Kuroita, the main character in the original Kita no Kuni Kara TV drama, broadcast in 1981-1982, who lives with children in Furano in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido. A total of eight special sequels to the TV series were made later.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]