- CRIME ＆ COURTS
Kabuki Actor Ichikawa Ennosuke Arrested over Mother’s Suicide
7:51 JST, June 27, 2023 (updated at 17:38 JST)
The Metropolitan Police Department arrested kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke Tuesday on suspicion of assisting the suicide of his mother, following the death of both of his parents last month.
Ennosuke, whose real name is Takahiko Kinoshi, was found collapsed in the basement of his house by his assistant on May 18.
His 76-year-old father, kabuki actor Ichikawa Danshiro, and 75-year-old mother Nobuko were found unconscious in the living room on the second floor.
Ennosuke’s condition was not life-threatening.
The MPD is also investigating Ennosuke on suspicion of assisting the suicide of his father, whose real name is Hiroyuki Kinoshi.
Ennosuke, 47, told the police in voluntary questioning that he and his parents had decided to commit suicide after having a discussion, according to an investigative source.
Documents written by Ennosuke that appear to be suicide notes were found in the house.
An autopsy has revealed that his parents possibly died from psychotropic drug poisoning.
The MPD believes Ennosuke gave sleeping pills to his parents, and took pills himself.
According to a senior MPD official, Ennosuke allegedly gave a large quantity of sleeping pills to Nobuko at some point between the evening of May 17 and the morning of May 18.
Ennosuke told police he covered his parents’ faces with plastic bags after they had taken the pills, according to sources. No drugs or plastic bags were found at the scene, but it has been confirmed that Ennosuke had been prescribed sleeping pills prior to the incident.
A trace of the same chemical component in the sleeping pills prescribed to Ennosuke was found in his mother’s body.
Giving someone the means to take their own life or explaining how to commit suicide is a crime punishable by six months to seven years in prison.
Shochiku Co., which stages kabuki performances, announced that Ennosuke would not perform through October. Meanwhile, Toho Co. postponed the June 16 release of a movie starring Ennosuke.
Ennosuke’s agency said, “We’ll consider how to handle the situation.”
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