Yoshiko Kuga

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Yoshiko Kuga
久我 美子
Kuga in 1953
Haruko Koga

(1931-01-21)21 January 1931
Died9 June 2024(2024-06-09) (aged 93)
Years active1947–2000
(m. 1961; died 1984)

Yoshiko Kuga (久我 美子, Kuga Yoshiko, 21 January 1931 – 9 June 2024), was a Japanese actress.

Life and career


Kuga was born in Tokyo, Japan. Her father, Michiaki Koga (久我通顕), was a marquis and a member of the House of Peers.[1]

In 1946, while still attending Gakushuin Junior High School, she became an actress for Toho studios.[2] In June 1946, Toho had sponsored a search for "new faces", choosing Kuga as one of 48 new actresses and actors from 4,000 applicants.[3] In 1947, she made her debut as one of the lead actresses in the omnibus movie Four Love Stories (四つの恋の物語, Yottsu no Koi no Monogatari). She was one of the actors active in the 1948 union strike at Toho studios.[3] In the 1950s, she started working independently and starred in many productions of the Shochiku studios under the direction of Keisuke Kinoshita. Other important directors include Kenji Mizoguchi (The Woman in the Rumor), Yasujirō Ozu (Equinox Flower), and Tadashi Imai (An Inlet of Muddy Water). In 1954, she co-founded the film production company Ninjin Club (Bungei purodakushon ninjin kurabu) with actresses Keiko Kishi and Ineko Arima to enable better working conditions for actors within the studio system.[4] Since the 1970s, she appeared mainly on television and on stage.[5]

Kuga was married to actor Akihiko Hirata from 1961 until his death in 1984. She died from aspiration pneumonia on 9 June 2024, at the age of 93.[6]

Selected filmography









  1. ^ 霞会館華族家系大成編輯委員会, ed. (September 1996). 平成新修旧華族家系大成 (Heisei Shinshu Former Chinese Family Taisei) (in Japanese). Vol. 1. Tokyo: Kasumi Kaikan. p. 588. ISBN 978-4-64203670-2. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "久我美子 (Yoshiko Kuga)". kotobank.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b Hirano, Kyoko (1992). Mr. Smith Goes to Tokyo: Japanese Cinema Under the American Occupation, 1945–1952. Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press. ISBN 1-56098-157-1.
  4. ^ González-López, Irene; Smith, Michael, eds. (2018). Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-1-4744-0969-8.
  5. ^ "久我美子 女優 (Yoshiko Kuga, actress)". NHK (in Japanese). Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  6. ^ 女優久我美子さん死去 93歳 誤嚥性肺炎 第1期東宝ニューフェイス 「3時のあなた」司会も (in Japanese)
  7. ^ "士魂魔道 大竜巻". eiga.com. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
  8. ^ "華麗なる一族". Family Gekijyo. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  9. ^ "田中絹代賞とは". Tanaka Kinuyo Memorial Association. Retrieved March 20, 2021.