Kabuki actor Ennosuke admits to aiding parents to take their lives


A judge's gavel

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Prominent Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke admitted Oct. 20 to helping his parents to end their lives with sleeping drugs in May, in a suspected family suicide pact prior to the publication of a magazine report accusing him of sexual abuse and harassment.

“I have hurt many people, including fans who have supported a person like myself. I am filled with gratitude for those supporting me. I will forever feel sorry,” Ennosuke, 47, told the first hearing at the Tokyo District Court.

In the hearing, prosecutors demanded Ennosuke get three years in prison. They said he and his parents decided to die together after Ennosuke, who found out about the forthcoming magazine report, told them of his plan to die, thinking he could no longer work in Kabuki.

In his closing statements, he did not mention anything about whether he wanted to return to Kabuki. According to Ennosuke’s statements, read out by the prosecutors, he wanted to stay involved in Kabuki and perform.

The trial closed the same day with the defense team demanding a suspended term. The ruling will be handed down on Nov. 17.

According to the indictment, Ennosuke, whose real name is Takahiko Kinoshi, gave his father Hiroyuki, 76, known as Kabuki actor Ichikawa Danshiro, and mother Nobuko, 75, sleeping drugs at their family home in Tokyo on May 17, leading to their deaths between the afternoon and the next morning.

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