News Media Personality Ai Ījima Passes Away at 36
posted on 2008-12-24 20:59 EST
Former adult actress and media personality Ai Ījima was found dead in her Tokyo apartment at around 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday. She was 36. The former Matsue Okubo began her career as an actress in late-night television and adult videos, but made a quick and successful transition as a mainstream media personality by 1993. She branched into film, countless television appearances, novels, and even manga. She co-created the three-volume Time Traveler Ai manga with artist Takeshi Takebayashi. The story centered around a fictional version of Ījima who goes back to ancient Egypt, the American West, Rennassance-era Italy, medieval Japan, and elsewhere. Central Park Media's CPM Manga division later licensed the story from Gakken and released it in North America from 1999 to 2001.
Outside of entertainment, Ījima was an outspoken AIDS activist and worked to raise awareness of the epidemic in Japan. She had retired from the entertainment business in 2007, and guest-starred in a special farewell television appearance later that year. Authorities are still investigating the cause of Ījima's death.