Yoshiko Okada

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Yoshiko Okada
Yoshiko Okada circa 1935.JPG
Yoshiko Okada circa 1935
Born (1902-04-21)April 21, 1902
Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
Died February 10, 1992(1992-02-10) (aged 89)
Nationality Japanese
Occupation Film actress

Yoshiko Okada (岡田嘉子, Okada Yoshiko, 21 April 1902 – 10 February 1992) was a Japanese film and stage actress who was most famous for her defection to the Soviet Union.

Early career[edit]

Yoshiko Okada in the 1920s

Yoshiko Okada was born in Hiroshima Prefecture in 1902. She made her film debut in 1923 at Nikkatsu in Eizō Tanaka's Dokuro no mai.[1]


On 3 January 1938, Okada defected to the Soviet Union with her lover Ryōkichi Sugimoto,[2] seeking freedom from Japanese fascism and hoping to study theater with other Japanese in the USSR.[3] Sugimoto, however, was arrested and executed as a spy and Okada spent the next ten years in a prison camp.[2]

Late career[edit]

At the end of her confinement, Okada began to work for Radio Moscow and eventually got to study at the Lunacharsky State Institute for Theatre Arts. She helped stage a play and was selected to co-direct the film Ten Thousand Boys with Boris Buneyev (ru), a work that has been called "the first Russian film about Japan not intended to be a depiction of the 'vicious Japanese enemy.'"[2]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Okada Yoshiko". Nihon jinmei daijiten+Plus. Kōdansha. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Melnikova, Irina (2002). "Representation of Soviet-Japanese Encounters in Co-production Feature Films Part 1. The Musical Harmony". Doshisha Studies in Language and Culture. 5 (1): 51–74. 
  3. ^ Kato, Tetsuro (2000). "The Japanese Victims of Stalinist Terror in the USSR". Hitotsubashi Journal of Social Studies. 32 (1): 1–13. 

External links[edit]