Kirin Kiki

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Kirin Kiki
樹木 希林
OIFF 2015-07-18 123740 - Kirin Kiki-2 (cropped).jpg
Kirin Kiki at the 2015 Odessa International Film Festival
Keiko Nakatani (中谷 啓子, Nakatani Keiko)

(1943-01-15)January 15, 1943
Tokyo, Japan
DiedSeptember 15, 2018(2018-09-15) (aged 75)
Tokyo, Japan
Other namesChiho Yūki (悠木千帆, Yūki Chiho) first stage name;
Keiko Uchida (内田 啓子, Uchida Keiko) current legal name
Years active1961–2018
Shin Kishida
(m. 1964; div. 1968)

Yuya Uchida
(m. 1973; died 2019)

Kirin Kiki (樹木 希林, Kiki Kirin) (15 January 1943 – 15 September 2018) was a Japanese actress for Japanese cinema and television.


Kiki was born in the Kanda area of Tokyo as the daughter of a master of the biwa lute.[1] After graduating from high school, she started her acting career in the early 1960s as a member of the Bungakuza theater troupe using the stage name Chiho Yūki (悠木千帆).[2] She eventually gained fame for performing uniquely comedic and eccentric roles on such television shows as Jikan desu yo and Terauchi Kantarō ikka and in television commercials.[2] She changed her name to "Kirin Kiki" when, after being asked on a television show to auction off something of hers, she ended up selling her first stage name, claiming she had "nothing else to sell."[1]

While battling various ailments, including a detached retina in 2003 and breast cancer in 2005,[3] Kiki continued to act and won several awards, including the best actress Japan Academy Prize for Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad in 2008,[4] the best supporting actress award from the Yokohama Film Festival for her work in Kamikaze Girls and Half a Confession in 2004,[5] and the best supporting actress Blue Ribbon Award for Still Walking in 2008.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Kiki married fellow Bungakuza actor Shin Kishida. They separated in 1968. She married musician Yuya Uchida in 1973, and remained legally married to him though they separated in 1975.[7] Their daughter, Yayako Uchida, is an essayist and musician, and portrayed the younger self of Kiki's character in the film Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad. Yayako Uchida is married to the actor Masahiro Motoki,[1] who was adopted into the Uchida family as a mukoyōshi.[8] Kirin's granddaughter Kyara Uchida has appeared with her in two films, I Wish and Sweet Bean.

Kiki was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and underwent a mastectomy.[9] She died of cancer, and related illnesses, on 15 September 2018.[10]

Selected filmography[edit]





  1. ^ a b c "Kiki Kirin". Tarento meikan (in Japanese). Sponichi Annex. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Kiki Kirin". Nihon jinmei daijiten (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Asahi shinbun shinpojiumu: Gan ni makenai, akiramenai kotsu". Asahi shinbun (in Japanese). 25 March 2006. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  4. ^ "Dai 31-kai Nihon Academī Shō yūshū sakuhin" (in Japanese). Nihon Academī Shō kōshiki saito. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Dai 25-kai Yokohama Eigasai: Nihon eiga kojin shō" (in Japanese). Yokohama Eigasai. Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  6. ^ "Burū Ribon Shō hisutorī 2008" (in Japanese). Cinema Hochi. Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  7. ^ "Japan's grandmother Kirin Kiki has defied conventions throughout her long film career". Japan Times.
  8. ^ "Motoki Masahiro". Nihon jinmei daijiten (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  9. ^ Yoshikawa, Mai (June 28, 2018). "Actress Kirin Kiki wants an ending with no twists". The Japan Times.
  10. ^ "Veteran TV, movie actress Kirin Kiki dies in Tokyo at age 75". The Japan Times. 16 September 2018. Archived from the original on 16 September 2018.
  11. ^ Stuart Galbraith IV (16 May 2008). The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography. Scarecrow Press. p. 375. ISBN 978-1-4616-7374-3.

External links[edit]