Machiko Kyō

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Machiko Kyō
Machiko Kyō 1955.jpg
Kyō in 1955.
Native name 京 マチ子
Born (1924-03-25) March 25, 1924 (age 93)
Osaka, Japan
Occupation Actress
Years active 1936–2006

Machiko Kyō (京 マチ子 Kyō Machiko?, born March 25, 1924) is a Japanese actress whose film work occurred primarily during the 1950s. She is known for her roles in Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon and Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu.

Life and career[edit]

Machiko was born as Yano Motoko in Osaka in 1924 as an only child. Her father left when she was 5, and she was raised by her mother and grandmother. She took Kyo Machiko as a stage name when she entered the Osaka Shochiku Kagekidan in 1936 at 12 years old. She trained as a revue dancer before entering the film industry through Daiei in 1949. The following year, she achieved international fame as the female lead in Akira Kurosawa's classic film Rashomon. She went on to star in many more Japanese productions, most notably Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu (1953) and Kon Ichikawa's Odd Obsession (1959).

Her only role in a non-Japanese film was as Lotus Blossom, a young geisha, in The Teahouse of the August Moon, starring opposite Marlon Brando and Glenn Ford.

Kyō continues to perform in traditional Japanese theatrical productions put on by producer Fukuko Ishii. Kyō was nominated for a Golden Globe for The Teahouse of the August Moon, a great feat for an Asian actress at the time, and has been awarded many prizes, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Awards of the Japanese Academy.

Kyo Machiko never married. Though her romantic relationship with Daiei's president Nagata Masaichi was well-known, she maintained a "single" status for the rest of her life. She had no children. After retiring from film, she moved back to Osaka, where she still resides.

Kyo Machiko continued to act through her 80's. Her final role was as "Matsuura Shino" in the NHK television drama series Haregi Koko Ichiban in the year 2000. She was most recently presented at the 40th Japanese Academy Awards with an award for merit in 2017.[1]


The filmography of Machiko Kyō includes 97 films. A selected few:[2]





  1. ^ "会長特別賞". Japan Academy Film Prize. Japan Academy Film Prize. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  2. ^ Person (in Japanese), JMDb, retrieved 21 May 2009 

External links[edit]