Yūjirō Ishihara

  (Redirected from Yujiro Ishihara)

Yūjirō Ishihara (石原 裕次郎, Ishihara Yūjirō, December 28, 1934 – July 17, 1987) was a Japanese actor and singer born in Kobe.[1] His elder brother is Shintaro Ishihara, an author, politician, and the Governor of Tokyo between 1999 and 2012. Yujiro's film debut was the 1956 film Season of the Sun, based on a novel written by his brother.[1] He was beloved by many fans as a representative youth star in the films of postwar Japan and subsequently as a macho movie hero. He was extravagantly mourned following his early death from liver cancer.[2]

Yūjirō Ishihara
Yūjirō Ishihara on the poster for Shori-sha (1957)
Born(1934-12-28)December 28, 1934
Kobe, Japan
DiedJuly 17, 1987(1987-07-17) (aged 52)
Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Occupationactor and singer
Years active1956-1982
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Spouse(s)Mie Kitahara (1960-1987) (his death)
Japanese name
Kanji石原 裕次郎
Hiraganaいしはら ゆうじろう

Life and careerEdit

Yūjirō grew up in Kobe, in Otaru, Hokkaidō, and in Zushi, Kanagawa.[1] His father, an employee of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, was from Ehime Prefecture, and his mother was from Miyajima, Hiroshima.[3] Yūjirō attended Otaru Fuji Kindergarten and then Otaru City Inaho Elementary School. During his elementary school years he participated in competitive swimming and skied on Mt. Tengu. He then attended Zushi City Zushi junior High School, where he began playing basketball.[2] He aimed to enter Keio Senior High School, but did not pass the entrance examination. He enrolled at Keio Shiki Boys' Senior High School, but in 1951 was admitted to Keio Senior High School. Afterward he entered the political science department of the school of law at Keio University, associated with the high school, but reportedly spent all his time playing around.

Wanting to become an actor, he auditioned at Toho, Daiei Film and Nikkatsu, but did not pass any of his auditions. However, in 1956, with help from producer Takiko Mizunoe and his brother Shintaro, he received a bit-part in the film adaptation of Shintaro's Akutagawa Prize-winning Season of the Sun, making his film debut. Afterwards he withdrew from Keio University to work for Nikkatsu, playing the lead in the film adaptation of Shintaro's novel Crazed Fruit.[2]

At the 1958 Blue Ribbon Awards Ishihara won the prize for best new actor for the 1957 films Washi to taka and Man Who Causes a Storm.[2] He would go on to become one of the representative stars of the Showa Era with his twin acting and singing career, but his life was one made harder by illness and injury.[2]

In 1960 he married actress Mie Kitahara, his co-star in a number of films beginning in 1956 with Crazed Fruit.[2]

Yūjirō, together with Akira Kobayashi, was the main male star at Nikkatsu on Nikkatsu's move into the Roman Porno soft porn market. Yūjirō founded the Ishihara Productions company to make films.[1] Kurobe's Sun which he produced was a great success but some movies he produced failed and he was forced to appear in the television dramas although he was reluctant to appear.[2]

Yūjirō survived a 1978 oral cancer of the tongue, and a 1981 aortic aneurysm, supported by friends, family and his legion of fans. However he was later diagnosed with liver cancer and died at Keio University Hospital in 1987 on July 17 at 4:26. He was 52 years old.[4] His final appearance as an actor was in the final episode of popular detective television drama Taiyō ni Hoero!. In Taiyō ni Hoero! Ishihara kept on playing the role of Shunsuke Todō for 14 years and gained new popularity.[5]

Throughout his life Yūjirō used alcohol and tobacco, and ate meals that were lacking in vegetables; this unhealthy lifestyle is generally acknowledged as contributing to his early death.[4]

Legacy and memorialsEdit

Yujiro Ishihara was called a Japanese Elvis Presley and his films and music are still followed by lovers of the Shōwa period. On the anniversary of his death, 17 July, his mourning ceremony is often rebroadcast on television.

His grave is a granite gorintō, at Sōji-ji temple in Tsurumi, Yokohama, Kanagawa. A memorial museum opened on June 21, 1991, in Otaru, Hokkaido.[4]

In 1996 his older brother, Shintaro, published a biography, Otōto (弟), (Younger Brother), that won the Mainichi Bungakusho Special Prize and became the basis of a drama broadcast by TV Asahi in 2004.

His image features on a 1997 Japanese postage stamp.[6]

Selected filmographyEdit


TV dramaEdit


Hit songsEdit

  • Arashi wo Yobu Otoko (1958)
  • Ginza no Koi no Monogatari (銀座の恋の物語) (1961)
  • Red handkerchief (1962)
  • Futari no Sekai (1965)
  • Yogiri yo Konyamo Arigatou (1967)
  • Brandy Glass (ブランデー グラス) (1977)
  • Waga Jinsei ni Kuiwanai (1987)
  • Kita no Tabibito (1987)


  1. ^ a b c d "石原裕次郎" (in Japanese). TEICHIKU RECORDS. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "石原裕次郎" (in Japanese). Ishihara Promotion. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  3. ^ Shinichi Sano;『てっぺん野郎─本人も知らなかった石原慎太郎』(Kodansha 2003)
  4. ^ a b c "石原裕次郎 1976-95" (in Japanese). Ishihara Promotion. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  5. ^ "太陽にほえろ! 1986" (in Japanese). Amazon. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
  6. ^ "平成9年特殊切手「戦後50年メモリアル第5集」". Post.japanpost.jp. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
  7. ^ "石原裕次郎". Jmdb.ne.jp. Retrieved 2013-10-19.

External linksEdit