Award-winning Japanese actress Yuko Takeuchi, 40, has died in an apparent suicide.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has launched an investigation and suspects that Takeuchi committed suicide.
According to Nippon.com, Takeuchi’s husband and actor, Taiki Nakabayashi, 35, found her hanging by the neck in the bedroom of their apartment in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward on Sunday (Sept 27) around 2am (1am Singapore time). No suicide note has been found.
In recent months, Japan has seen a succession of apparent suicides by showbiz figures, including actress Sei Ashina earlier this month, actor Miura Harumi in July, and reality TV star Hana Kimura in May.
Takeuchi was the mother of two — an infant boy who was born in January, and a teenage son from a previous marriage.
A native of Saitama Prefecture, Takeuchi received a number of film awards including the Japanese Academy Award for Best Actress for three years in a row from 2004, according to her official website. Her body of work includes the American sci-fi series Flash Forward, and more recently, HBO Asia's Miss Sherlock, which re-imagines Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective as a Japanese woman.
Her most recent film, The Confidence Man JP: Princess, was released in July.
On top of being a prolific actress, Takeuchi’s warm, smiling woman-of-the-people image also made her popular with advertisers (such as Panasonic, Suntory and Shiseido), Variety reports.
In an interview published on Sept 7 in Lee, a Japanese fashion publication, Takeuchi said, “Now that I’m in my 40s, I have no desire to look back. Instead it’s as though all kinds of weights have dropped from my shoulders — I feel lighter.”
She also addressed the impact of COVID-19 on her family. “Having a lot of face time with my family makes me feel that it’s okay to value my own life a little more,” she said. “In my 40s, I want to enjoy time with my family, while having this axis called work.”
If you or someone you know is having difficulties coping, here are some numbers to call:
Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
CHAT @ *SCAPE: (+65) 6493 6500, (+65) 6493 6501
SAF Counselling Hotline: 1800-278-0022
Photo: TPG News/Clicks Photos