Kyōko Kagawa

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Kyōko Kagawa
A photo of Kyoko Kagawa in a fancy traditional dress, next to another woman.
Kyoko Kagawa in 1954
Native name 香川 京子
Born Kyoko Ikebe[citation needed]
(1931-12-05) 5 December 1931 (age 86)
Tokyo, Japan
Other names Kyoko Makino (牧野 香子)
Occupation Actress
Years active 1950–Present

Kyōko Kagawa (香川 京子, Kagawa Kyōko, born 5 December 1931) is a Japanese actress known for her roles in films like Tokyo Story, Sansho the Bailiff and High and Low. She has appeared in 118 films.[1] Her most recent film was Ballad in 2009.


Kagawa was born in Tokyo[2] in 1931. She originally wanted to become a ballerina. She was discovered by a film studio after winning a beauty contest and began a career in acting. Her first major film role was in a movie Mado Kara Tobidase (Jump Out of the Window).[2]

She became a household name for her role in Tokyo Story in 1953. She also appeared in the famous film Sansho the Bailiff. Akira Kurosawa made her one of his regular performers. She played the love interest of Toshiro Mifune, Kurosawa's favorite leading man, several times. Kurosawa used her in The Bad Sleep Well, High and Low and Red Beard.[3]

In 1965, Kagawa married and followed her husband to New York City. From this point, she began to act more in television than on the big screen. She later returned to the cinema, with films like Madadayo and Ballad.

In late 2011, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, honored her long career and her contribution to Japanese cinema with an exhibition titled 'Kyoko Kagawa, Film Actress.'

Selected filmography[edit]


Kyoko Kagawa in the 1950 film Tokyo Heroine




  1. ^ "Kagawa Kyoko" (in Japanese). Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  2. ^ a b Hamilton, Mike (2 September 2011). "Kyoko Kagawa retrospective looks back at Japan's golden age of cinema". The Japan Times. The Japan Times Ltd. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  3. ^ Schilling, Mark (11 November 2011). "An audience with Kyoko Kagawa". Japan Times: 18.
  4. ^ Stuart Galbraith IV (16 May 2008). The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography. Scarecrow Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-4616-7374-3.

External links[edit]