Japanese kabuki star arrested for assisting mother’s suicide

Ennosuke Ichikawa’s parents were found dead in the actor’s home in May, while Ichikawa was taken to hospital after collapsing.

One of Japan’s best-known kabuki actors has been arrested on suspicion of assisting his mother’s suicide, local media said, after both Ennosuke Ichikawa’s parents were found unconscious at his home last month.

TV footage showed a car apparently taking 47-year-old Ichikawa from a hospital to a police station as public broadcaster NHK and other outlets reported his arrest, citing police sources.

Ichikawa is a star of the classical form of theatre and has performed in London, Amsterdam and Paris.

In May, rescue workers found Ichikawa’s 76-year-old father – also a kabuki actor – and his 75-year-old mother unconscious at his home in Tokyo.

Both were later confirmed dead from a suspected drug overdose.

Ichikawa was found in a cupboard at the house and taken to hospital where he was questioned by police.

The actor told officers that the family “discussed dying and being reborn” and that his parents had taken sleeping pills, according to NHK.

An apparent suicide note written by Ichikawa, who had previously been prescribed sleeping pills, was also reportedly found inside his home.

Police believe he had attempted suicide with his parents, and moved to arrest him amid concern he might try to tamper with evidence or run away.

The reports said police are continuing investigations into the circumstances of Ichikawa’s father’s death.

Ichikawa, whose real name is Takahiko Kinoshi, made his kabuki debut in 1980 and went on to become one of the country’s most renowned performers.

He was once nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for dance performance, according to his website.

Source: Aljazeera