Prince of Tennis Musical Actor Kōtarō Yanagi Takes Long-Term Hiatus Due to Health
posted on by Sarah Nelkin
28-year old actor Kōtarō Yanagi announced on his blog on Monday that he will be taking a long-term hiatus from show business in order to undergo medical treatment. He assured fans that the hiatus does not mean he will be retiring.
He explained his current condition, saying, “Recently, my health has declined, and after talking it over with my doctor, my family, and those around me, we decided it would be best if I took a long break.”
In 2003, Yanagi experienced head trauma when he was in a car accident while returning home from a play, and a subarachnoid hemorrhage occurred in his brain. After losing consciousness and entering critical condition, his parents were told by doctors to be prepared for his death, but he miraculously recovered consciousness three weeks later. However, for a month, he was unable to recognize the faces of his family members, except his sister Erika, who he had lived with for a long time. As of 2012, he has continued to take medicine twice a day, and attends rehabilitation.
Yanagi played the role of Ryōma Echizen in the Prince of Tennis musical in 2003, and it was his first stage role. Although he returned to the role in the “Prince of Tennis in winter 2004-2005 side Fudomine ~special match~” musical in 2004, he was forced to be replaced by Yūya Endō due to not being able to reach high notes or speak his lines fluently due to his partial paralysis. Yanagi graduated from the Prince of Tennis musicals in 2006 after his appearance at the “Dream Live 3rd” event. His latest appearance in show business was in the play, “Mama to Boku-tachi” (Mama & Us) in June, 2013.
Yanagi has also written an auto-biography titled Shogai Yakusha ~Hashirenakute mo, Serifu o Wasuretemo~ (Impediment Actor ~Even If I Can't Run, Even If I Forget My Lines~), which was published in 2010.
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