Ichikawa Ennosuke is famous in Japan for being a Kabuki actor, but now he’s in the news because of two indictments. Police think that Ennosuke helped his parents kill themselves in a suicide pact.
The day of the incident, back in May, a Japanese magazine published a piece accusing Ennosuke of sexually abusing and bullying others in the theater world.
Ennosuke would later tell police, “A weekly magazine report prompted us to hold a family meeting, and we decided to say goodbye.”
Allegedly the three took massive doses of sleeping pills that Ennosuke supplied. Ennosuke’s manager discovered them. Both of his parents passed away, but Ennosuke survived. He was even still conscious when the manager found them, though he was in a hazy state. He stayed in the hospital until June 27, when he was arrested for his involvement with the death of his mother. Later, on July 18, he was also indicted for the death of his father.
Ennosuke’s father was famous Kabuki actor Ichikawa Danshiro. Ichikawa Ennosuke is a stage name; the actor’s actual name is Takahiko Kinoshi. His parents were Nobuko (mother) and Hiroyuki (father) Kinoshi. Both of his parents were in their 70s, while Ennosuke is 47.
Ennosuke got his start as an actor in the 80s. He was in the One Piece “Super Kabuki” play, a new type of theater that mixes traditional Kabuki with things like effects and music. The One Piece Kabuki play did very well, and Ennosuke said he would move on to acting in the upcoming Demon Slayer Kabuki play, which is scheduled to come out next year. Needless to say, he’s probably going to be replaced by another actor.
The report did not say if Ennosuke confessed or claimed innocence in regards to involvement in his parents’ deaths, or if he confessed or claimed innocence with the initial sexual abuse allegations.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please know that there is help available. In America, you can call 1-800-273-8255. In Canada, you can call 1-833-456-4566. In Japan, you can call 03-5774-0992. For other countries, numbers and resources are available on this site.
Source: The Mainichi Shimbun
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.