Warning: this article contains statements about suicide. If you or anyone you know is suicidal or having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to a suicide prevention organization in your country. In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available by calling 988. In Japan, the TELL LifeLine service is available at 03-5774-0992, and an English counseling service is available at 03-4550-1146. In Canada, Crisis Services Canada is available at 1-833-456-4566.
The Tokyo District Court sentenced kabuki actor Icihkawa Ennosuke IV (real name: Takahiko Kinoshi) on November 17 to three years in prison, suspended for five years. (If Ennosuke remains on good behavior for five years, he will not serve time in prison.) The court affirmed the sentence again on Tuesday.
Ennosuke was indicted on July 28 for allegedly assisting in his parents’ double suicide on May 17-18. Prosecutors believe it was part of a family suicide pact.
During his trial, Ennosuke admitted to the charges and apologized, saying he was “full of regret.” Ennosuke’s sentence became final on Monday, and neither the defense nor the prosecution will file an appeal.
On May 17, Ennosuke gave his parents excessive sleeping drugs, which led to their deaths, before collapsing himself. Ennosuke’s manager found their bodies at their home in Tokyo around 10:15 a.m. on May 18. Although Ennosuke’s parents had already passed, Ennosuke was found “conscious but in a hazy condition,” and taken to the hospital. According to investigative sources, Ennosuke had also attempted to commit suicide.
On the day of the incident, a weekly magazine had published a report about Ennosuke’s alleged involvement in bullying and sexual abuse, some involving actors and theater staff. According to The Mainichi, Ennosuke told an investigative source, “A weekly magazine report prompted us to hold a family meeting, and we decided to say goodbye.”
Ennosuke was arrested on June 27 on suspicion of assisting in his mother’s death. He was served another arrest warrant on July 18 on suspicion of assisting in his father’s death as well. His father was also a kabuki actor under the name Ichikawa Danshiro.
Ennosuke has performed in kabuki plays for One Piece and Naruto. He was also in the live-action mini-series of Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan (Kishibe Rohan wa Ugokanai). He had announced that he would be involved in a production based on Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba in 2024.