Nationality: Japanese. Born: Kyoko Ikebe in Ibaragi prefecture, 5 December 1931. Education: Attended Municipal 10th Women's High School, Tokyo, graduated 1949. Family: Married the writer Takuji Makino, 1963, one son and one daughter. Career: 1949—joined Shin-Toho Studio: film debut in Damoi; stage debut; 1952—freelance actress; 1957—television debut; 1965–68—lived with her husband in New York. Address: 2–6-6 Aoba-dai, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153, Japan.
Films as Actress:
Damoi (Sato); Kage o matoite
Mado kara tobidase (Shima); Seishun dekameron; Sasameyuki (Abe); Kimi to yuku amerika-kogo (Shima); Ohtone no yogiri; Wakasama zamurai torimonocho: Nazo no noh-men yashiki (Nakagawa)
Kujaku no sono (Shima); Ginza gesho (Naruse); Wakasama zamurai torimonocho: Noroi no ningyo-shi (Nakagawa); Kogen no eki yo sayounara (Nakagawa); Onna-gokoro dare ga shiru (Who Knows a Woman's Heart?) (Yamamoto); Karate Sanshiro; Asa no namon (Gosho)
Oozora no chikai; Arashi no naka no haha; Shanhai gaeri no Riru (Shima); Chakkari fujin to ukkari fujin (Watanabe); Reimei hachigatsu jugo-nichi; Kin no tamago; Okasan (Mother) (Naruse) (as Toshiko Fukuhara, the daughter); Daigaku no kotengu; Kantaro tsukiyo-uta (Tasaka); Inazuma (Lightning) (Naruse); Montenruba no yo wa hukete
Himeyuri no to (The Tower of Lilies) (Imai); Idaten kisha; Himegimi to ronin; Aiyoku no sabaki; Sono imoto; Asu wa docchi da; Yugato (Yamamoto); Tokyo monogatari (Tokyo Story) (Ozu) (as Kyoko); Koibumi (Tanaka)
Hanran (Abe); Utsukushii hito; Sansho dayu (Sansho: The Bailiff; The Bailiff) (Mizoguchi) (as Anju); Kunsho (Shibuya); Onna no koyomi (Hisamatsu); Tomoshibi (Ieki); Tekka Bugyo; Haha no hatsukoi; Jihishincho (Matsubayashi); Chikamatsu monogatari (A Story from Chikamatsu; The Tale of the Crucified Lovers) (Mizoguchi) (as Osan)
Aisureba koso; Nanatsu no kao no Ginji; Akatsuki, no Gassho; Nonki saiban; Gokumoncho; Shiinomi Gakuen (Shimizu); Aogashima no kodomotachi: Onnakyoshi no kiroku (Nakagawa); Oosho ichidai; Seido no Kirisuto (Shibuya); Irrashaimase (Inizuho)
Abare andon (Watanabe); Shuu (Watanabe); Kuroobi sangokushi; Naze kanojo wa sonatta ka; Okusama wa daigaku-sei (Sugie); Ruten; Nezumi-kozo shinobikomi-hikae (Kaido); Morishaige yo doko e iku (Mizuho); Neko to Shozo to futaru no onna (The Cat, Shozo, and the Two Women) (Toyoda); Shin-Heike monogatari: Shizuka to Yoshitsune; Tenjodaifu
Joshu to tomoni (Women in Prison) (Hisamatsu); Arashi no naka no otoko (The Man in the Storm) (Taniguchi) (as Akiko); Osaka monogatari (Yoshimura); Yagyu bugei-cho (The Yangyu; Secret Scrolls) (Inagaki) (as Oki); Hikage no musume; Donzoko (The Lower Depths) (Kurosawa) (as Okayo, her sister); Onna Goroshi abura jigoku (The Prodigal Son) (Horikawa) (as Sister); Chijo (Yoshimura)
Kanpai!; Miai-kekkon; Onna de arukoto (Kawashima); Tokyo no kyujitsu; Anzukko (Naruse); Zenigata Heiji torimonohikae: Onibi-doro (Kato); Tsuzurikata kyodai (Hisamatsu); Akai jinbaori (Yamamoto); Boku wa san-nin mae; Mori to mizuumi no matsuri (Uchida); Zenigata Heiji torimonohikae: Yukionna no ashiato; Soryu hiken (Ninjutsu; Secret Scrolls, Part II) (Inagaki) (as Oki)
Kagero-gasa (Misumi); Aijo fudo; Ai no kane; Ningen no kabe (Yamamoto); Nippon tanjo (Inagaki); Fuunji: Oda Nobunaga
Oedo no kyoji; Arakure daimyo; Yurei hanjo-ki; Hi-sen-ryo (Tanaka); Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru (The Bad Sleep Well; The Rose in the Mud; The Worse You Are, the Better You Sleep) (Kurosawa) (as Keiko)
Osaka-jo monogatari (Daredevil in the Castle; Devil in the Castle) (Inagaki) (as Ai); Kuroi Gashu: Aru sogu; Aru sonan (Death on the Mountain) (Sugie); Mosura (Mothra; Godzilla vs. the Thing; Mothra tai Godzilla) (Honda) (as showman); Onna bakari no yoru
Kiri no minato no akai hana; Asu aru kagiri (Till Tomorrow Comes; Ashita aru kagiri) (Toyoda); Saotome-ke no musumetachi (Hisamatsu)
Tengoku to-jigoku (High and Low; Heaven and Hell; The Ransom) (Kurosawa) (as Reiko, Gondo's wife); Dokuritsu bijin-tai; Shichi-nin no keiji: Onn o sagase
Akahige (Red Beard) (Kurosawa) (as mental patient)
Kareinaru Ichizoku (The Family) (Yamamoto)
Tsubasa wa kokoro ni tsukete (Horikawa)
Otoko wa tsuraiyo: Torajiro Haru no yume (Tora's Spring Dream) (Yamada)
Harukoma no Uta
Shikibu monogatari (Kumai) (as Isa Otomo)
Madadayo (Not Yet) (Kurosawa) (as professor's wife)
Wandafuru raifu (After Life) (Koreeda)
By KAGAWA: article—
Interview with Alain Masson, in Positif (Paris), January 1996.
On KAGAWA: article—
Anderson, Joseph L., and Donald Richie, in The Japanese Film: Art and Industry, Princeton, New Jersey, 1982.
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Early in her career, Kyoko Kagawa worked in various film genres, specializing in the roles of innocent and sincere girls. She established her expertise at portraying this type of character in such roles as the kindhearted daughter in Mikio Naruse's Okasan, as the youngest and most sensitive daughter in Ozu's Tokyo monogatari, and as the student who tragically dies defending her native Okinawa in Tadashi Imai's Himeyuri no to. Throughout her early performances, Kagawa demonstrated an acting style that was very natural, pragmatic, and realistic.
Kenji Mizoguchi expanded her capacity for believable suffering by giving her lead roles as the enslaved daughter who sacrifices her life for her brother in Sansho dayu and as a wife who elopes with her husband's employer in the Kabuki-inspired Chikamatsu monogatari. In the latter role especially, Kagawa showed the tenacity required to survive the physical conflicts of human emotions. Her depiction of the dramatic changes a woman undergoes from a protected, wealthy wife to an independent, passionate lover was without compromise. Her next portrayal, of a helplessly shrewish wife in Toyoda's Neko to Shozo to futaru no onna, was a surprising departure, with a stylized cynicism replacing the naturalistic innocence that was her trademark. Kagawa's success in this unusual role, contradicting the actress's image, widened her scope and reputation.
After appearing once more as an ingenue in Kurosawa's Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru, she starred in another peculiar and stylized role as the apprehensive wife of a kidnapped president in Kurosawa's Tengoku to jigoku. In Akahige, Kurosawa incorporated both facets of Kagawa's image by casting her as an innocent girl who turns into a nymphomaniac at night. The performance, which was alternately naively idyllic and knowingly horrifying, was the highpoint of Kagawa's career.