Singer, Actor Hideki Saijo Passes Away at 63
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Singer and actor Hideki Saijo passed away at 11:53 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16 in a Yokohama hospital due to heart failure. He was 63. The Aoyama Funeral Home in Tokyo will hold a service on May 26.
In anime, Saijo was perhaps best known for the song "Hashire Shōjiki Mono," the second ending theme song for the first Chibi Maruko-chan, as well as "Turn A Turn," the first opening theme song for the Turn A Gundam anime. He also starred as the titular character in the 1980 Botchan anime, and the titular character of the 1981 Sugata Sanshiro anime. He played Junji in Kuroi Ame ni Utarete, and played himself in Baby Baachan.
Saijo, whose birth name was Tatsuo Kimoto, was born in Hiroshima, and made his professional singing debut in 1972. He sang such hits as "Young Man" and "Kizudarake no Laura" (Laura with a Thousand Cuts), and he was known alongside singers Hiromi Gou and Gorō Noguchi as the "Shin Gosanke" (New Select Three) for their popularity.
Saijo starred in the family comedy show Terauchi Kantarō Ikka (Kantarō Terauchi's Family) and played the protagonist Taiga Makoto in the 1974 Ai to Makoto film, an adaptation of Ikki Kajiwara and Takumi Nagayasu's manga of the same name. He continued to hold concerts and appear on television in his later years, despite rehabilitating from brain strokes in 2003 and 2011.