Doraemon, Sazae-san Voice Actress Sumiko Shirakawa Passes Away

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Voice of Sazae-san's Nakajima-kun was 80

The agency of Doraemon and Sazae-san voice actress Sumiko Shirakawa (real name Sumiko Shirato) announced on Friday that she has passed away. She was 80.

According to authorities, Shirakawa did not show up to a recording session for Sazae-san on Thursday. Staff from the program and her family then visited her home, where she lives alone, and found her body in the bathroom. Shirakawa's agency said that because she died at home, a medical coroner will examine her and determine the cause of death and other information.

Shirakawa, who debuted as a voice actress in the 1960s, is most well known for her roles in Doraemon and Sazae-san. She played Dekisugi in the 1973 and 1979 Doraemon anime and in several Doraemon films. In Sazae-san, she played the role of Katsuo's classmate Nakajima-kun (pictured at right).

Fuji TV will air Shirakawa's final performance as Nakajima-kun in the episode of Sazae-san that will air on November 29. Fuji TV has decided to hold auditions to recast the role.

Shirakawa's other roles include: Jiro Samon in Kyojin no Hoshi, Ace in Space Ace, Hakase in Shin Obake no Q-Taro, Mitsuru and Pula in the 1980 Astro Boy series, and Sid Sawyer in Adventures of Tom Sawyer. She also voiced roles in Gegege no Kitarō, Gatchaman, Himitsu no Akko-chan, Time Bokan, and Yatterman.

Sources: Asahi Shimbun, Oricon via Hachima Kikō

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