News Reporting

Sazae-san Voice Actress Sumiko Shirakawa Passes Away

Hiroshi Nakajima Sazae-sanToday, we say goodbye to an icon.

Earlier today, Sumiko Shirakawa’s talent agency announced that the actress had passed away. She was 80.

According to authorities, Shirakawa failed to show up to a Sazae-san recording session. Show staff and Shirakawa’s family visited her home, where they found her body in the bathroom. Because Shirakawa lived alone, and she died at home, a medical coroner will examine the actress’s body to determine cause of death.

Sumiko Shirakawa made her voice acting début in the 1960s. Through her career, Shirakawa held roles in a number of prominent shows, including Moko in Himitsu no Akko-chan and André in Dog of Flanders. She was best known, though, for her work as Dekisugi in Doraemon and Hiroshi Nakajima in Sazae-san.

Shirakawa’s final Sazae-san performance will air on November 29. Fuji TV is currently holding auditions to recast her character.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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