The indictment, reported by public broadcaster NHK and other major Japanese media, alleges that Ichikawa gave an excessive amount of sleeping drugs to his father, Kabuki actor Ichikawa Danshiro IV, and his mother Nobuko.
The pair were discovered at the family home by Ichikawa’s manager in mid-May. Ichikawa was also present, in a separate room, and in a semi-comatose state.
NHK reports that Ichikawa made a confession to Tokyo Metropolitan Police. The broadcaster quoted Ichikawa’s statement from the indictment: “The publication of articles about me, [alleging things] such as power harassment and sexual harassment, in a weekly magazine was a major trigger for my suicide [attempt].”
The Kyodo news agency on Friday quoted another portion of the statement: “A weekly magazine report prompted us to hold a family meeting, and we decided to say goodbye.”
On the same day that Ichikawa was taken to hospital, and his parents were found dead, the “Josei Sebun” (Women’s Seven) magazine had published an exposé, alleging that the actor had sexually harassed female cast members of stage productions. It quoted the women as saying they felt unable to complain due to Ichikawa’s power over casting decisions.
Born into a Kabuki family with a long and distinguished lineage, the 47-year-old Ichikawa (real name Takahiko Kinoshi) made his stage debut in 1980 and assumed the name Ennosuke in 2012, the fourth in his family to do so.
Ichikawa has taken a central role in “Super Kabuki” productions that reimagine Kabuki — a highly stylized form of classical Japanese theater — for a contemporary audience, drawing on such pop culture phenomena as the hit “One Piece” manga. He has also often appeared in TV dramas, including the 2020 TBS network hit “Hanzawa Naoki,” and a few films.
Ichikawa is also the cousin of veteran actor Kagawa Teruyuki, whose own career went into a tailspin last year following similar magazine allegations of sexual and power abuse. Kagawa made a public apology in September last year.
Shochiku, the film and TV giant that is also Japan’s leading operator of Kabuki theaters, issued a succession of statements in May. In one, it said: “We have interviewed several managers who have been involved with Ennosuke and no such acts [of harassment] have come to light at any of the venues under our management.”
Source : Variety