Award-winning Japanese actress Yuko Takeuchi has been found dead at her Tokyo home at the age of 40. Police have launched an investigation and suspect the mother of two took her own life, media reports say. She is said to have been found by her actor husband Taiki Nakabayashi at their home in Shibuya Ward. Her death was confirmed at hospital.
Ms Takeuchi was a popular actress in Japan, having appeared in many films and TV series during her career. In a statement her talent agency, Stardust Promotion, said it was “stunned and saddened by the news”. Ms Takeuchi was known for her role in 1998 Japanese horror film Ringu, which was adapted by Hollywood in 2002 as The Ring. She also played a female Sherlock Holmes in the 2018 HBO series Miss Sherlock, which was broadcast in several countries including the US.
For three years in a row, between 2004 and 2007, Ms Takeuchi won best actress in a leading role at the Japanese Academy Awards. Along with her long list of acting credits, Ms Takeuchi’s warm, smiling woman of the people image made her popular with advertisers. Although suicide has not been confirmed in Ms Takeuchi’s case, it has been the cause of death for a number of Japanese talents recently, including the actress Sei Ashina earlier this month, actor Haruma Miura in July and wrestling star Hana Kimura in May.
Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world although figures have dropped since preventative measures were introduced in 2015, according to the World Health Organization.