Japanese Actress Sei Ashina Dies at 36

Sei Ashina

Japanese actress Sei Ashina, star of the historical arthouse drama Silk and the cult television series Kamen Rider Hibiki, has died. She was 36.

She was found dead in her Tokyo apartment on Monday, according to local news reports. Ashina’s agency and Tokyo police confirmed that the actress died by suicide.

Ashina, real name Igarashi Aya, was born in Fukushima in 1983. As a teenager, she moved to Tokyo and worked as a model. Acting roles quickly followed and she made her TV debut in 2002. In 2005, she starred in the superhero television series Kamen Rider Hibiki and the film Kamen Rider Hibiki & The Seven Senki which was released the same year.

Ashina’s other notable television credits include Bloody Monday, Untouchable and Specialist. Her feature film credits include Yasuo Tsuruhashi’s The Tale of Genji: A Thousand Year Enigma (2011) and Kenji Shibayama’s Perfect World (2018).

In 2007, Ashina’s starred as an unnamed concubine in Francois Girard’s historical drama Silk, a Japanese-European arthouse adaptation of Alessandro Baricco’s 1996 novel of the same name. The film co-starred Michael Pitt and Keira Knightley.

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Ashina’s death marks the latest in a string of suicides in the Japanese entertainment industry. In May, reality star Hana Kimura and in July actor Haruma Miura both died by suicide.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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