Various media announced on Sunday that actress Etsuko Ichihara
died in a hospital in Tokyo from heart failure. She was 82 years old.
Born in Chiba Prefecture, Ichihara joined the Haiyuza Theater in 1957 and showed excellency in acting on stage and in films. Her acting continued after leaving the Haiyuza Theater in 1971, and she expanded her acting to various TV series. In 1990, she received
Best Supportive Female Role in the 13th Annual Japan Academy Prize for the film Kuroi Ame
As a seiyuu, she was one of the narrators in the Manga Nippon Mukashibanashi
series from 1975 to 1995—a total of 20 years. She narrated the Ashita no Kibou: Kanashimi yo Arigatou - Takae Tsuneo Monogatari
movie and voiced Hilda in Taiyou no Ouji: Horus no Daibouken
, Hitoha Miyamizu in Kimi no Na wa.
, and Obaa-chan in Miyori no Mori
Ichihara was diagnosed with autoimmune encephalomyelitis two years ago and went down a road of treatment in order to return to work. According to her agency, Wonder Production, she returned to the hospital due to a caecum. She was well and left the hospital but returned to the hospital again due to her physical condition worsening again. After a long treatment, she died on Sunday afternoon.
Source: NHK News