Machiko Kyō

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京 マチ子
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Kyō Machiko
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Machiko Kyō (Japanese: 京 マチ子 Hepburn: Kyō Machiko, March 25, 1924 – May 12, 2019) was a Japanese actress who was active primarily in the 1950s.

Life and career

Kyō, an only child, was born Yano Motoko in Osaka in 1924. Her father left when she was 5 and she was raised by her mother and grandmother. She adopted Machiko Kyō as her stage name when she entered the Osaka Shochiku Kagekidan in 1936 at age 12. She trained as a revue dancer before entering the film industry through Daiei in 1949. Two years later, she achieved international fame as the female lead in Akira Kurosawa's film Rashomon, which won first prize at the Venice Film Festival and stunned audiences with its nonlinear narrative.[1] She went on to star in many more Japanese productions, most notably Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu (1953), Teinosuke Kinugasa's Gate of Hell (1953), Kon Ichikawa's Odd Obsession(1959), and Yasujirō Ozu's Floating Weeds (1959).

Her sole role in a non-Japanese film was as the young geisha Lotus Blossom in The Teahouse of the August Moon opposite Marlon Brando and Glenn Ford, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.

Kyō continued to act through her 80's. Her final role was as "Matsuura Shino" in the NHK television drama series Haregi Koko Ichiban in 2000. In 2017 she was presented with an award of merit at the 40th Japanese Academy Awards. After retiring from film, she moved back to Osaka, where she resided until her death.

Kyō never married, although her romantic relationship with Daiei's president Masaichi Nagata was well-publicized in her native country.

Kyō died from heart failure on May 12, 2019. She was 95.

Selected filmography

  • Rashomon (1950)
  • Ugetsu (1953)
  • Older Brother, Younger Sister (1953)
  • Gate of Hell (1953)
  • The Princess Sen (1954)
  • Princess Yang Kwei-Fei (1955)
  • Tōjūrō no Koi (1955)
  • Street of Shame (1956)
  • The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956)
  • The Hole (1957)
  • Yūrakuchō de Aimashō (1957)
  • The Loyal 47 Ronin (1958)
  • Sorrow Is Only for Women (1958)
  • Floating Weeds (1959)
  • Odd Obsession (1959)
  • Onna to Kaizoku (1959)
  • Jokyo (1960)
  • Black Lizard (1962)
  • The Face of Another (1966)
  • Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director (1975)
  • Tora's Pure Love (1976)
  • Hissatsu Shimainin (1981)
  • Shin Hissatsu Shimainin (1982)
  • Hissatsu Shikirinin (1984)
  • Hana no Ran (1994), Hino Shigeko
  • Genroku Ryōran (1999), Keishō'in


  • Medal with Purple Ribbon (1987)
  • Order of the Precious Crown, 4th Class, Wisteria (1994)


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        Each year is something different and remembered by some significant events. Please recall and write down the MEMORIES section of the most important in your opinion. We will try to generalize this. Writing a history together !!!

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