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Veteran Actor Kazuo Kitamura Passes Away at 80

posted on 2007-05-08 09:34 EDT
Japan Today reports that veteran actor Kazuo Kitamura died of pneumonia in Tokyo on May 6. He was 80. He played Black Oni and Niwatori-chōja in the classic 1979 anime movie Taro the Dragon Boy. He is most well-known outside Japan for starring in Akira Kurosawa's Heaven and Hell in 1963. He also played the first Tokugawa shogun of Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu, in both the Musashi television series (2003) and SHINOBI - Heart Under Blade (2005). The latter is the theatrical version of The Kouga Ninja Scrolls novel that also inspired the Basilisk manga and anime.

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