Actor Gajiro Sato dies aged 78

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Gajiro Sato in 2020

Actor Gajiro Sato died of ischemic heart failure on Friday. He was 78.

According to police, a relative who visited him on Saturday morning found him lying immobile in the bathroom at his home in Tokyo.

Sato, whose real name was Tadakazu Sato, was born in Osaka Prefecture. He joined a children’s theater group in 1953 and subsequently worked to become an actor.

He is best known for his portrayal of Genko, a handyman at Tokyo’s Shibamata Taishakuten temple in the “Otoko wa Tsurai yo” (It’s tough being a man) film series directed by Yoji Yamada. The bearded side character, with his moppy hair, admiration for the series’ protagonist, and comical air, was beloved by moviegoers.

Sato’s recent works include appearances in the TV drama “Jin” and the film “Tsumi no Koe” (“The Voice of Sin”).