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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.

Machiko Kyō
Machiko Kyō 1959.jpg
Kyō in 1959
Native name
京 マチ子
Born(1924-03-25)March 25, 1924
Osaka, Japan
DiedMay 12, 2019(2019-05-12) (aged 95)
Years active1936–2006

Life and careerEdit

Kyō, an only child, was born Yano Motoko in Osaka in 1924. Her father left when she was five years old, 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 starred in many more Japanese productions, including 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 Lotus Blossom, the young geisha in The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956) opposite Marlon Brando and Glenn Ford, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.

Kyō continued to act through her 80s. 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.[1] 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.[2] She was 95.[3][4]

Selected filmographyEdit





  1. ^ "会長特別賞". Japan Academy Film Prize. Japan Academy Film Prize. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  2. ^ Sandomir, Richard, Machiko Kyo, Star of ‘Rashomon’ and Other Films, Dies at 95, The New York Times, May 17, 2019
  3. ^ 女優の京マチ子さん 心不全で死去 95歳 「羅生門」などに出演 (in Japanese). 14 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  4. ^

External linksEdit