Sawamura Sadako (沢村貞子)

Sadako SAWAMURA (November 11, 1908 - August 16, 1996) was an actress and essayist. She was born in Asakusa Ward, Tokyo City. Her real name was Teiko OHASHI.

Biography and personal profile
Sadako SAWAMURA was born as the second daughter of Denzo TAKESHIBA (his real name was Dentaro KATO), the Kabuki playwright. His older brother was Kunitaro SAWAMURA and younger brother was Daisuke KATO. Kunitaro SAWAMURA's sons (Sadako's nephews) are Hiroyuki NAGATO and Masahiko TSUGAWA, both of whom are actors. The actor, Kamatari FUJIWARA was her former husband.

After graduating from Kyoto Prefectural First Girls' High School (present Tokyo Metropolitan Hakuo Senior High School), she was dropped out of the Japan Women's University Normal Department of Home Economics and entered the New Tsukiji Theater Company while attending school. It was during this time that she was arrested in violation of the Peace Preservation Law and was sent to prison. She later went on to enter Nikkatsu Uzumasa's contemporary drama department. She was successful as a well-known supporting actress in films directed by Yasujiro OZU and was cast in over 100 films throughout her life. In 1956, she received the award for the best supporting actress at the Mainichi Film Awards for a film entitled 'Akasen Chitai' (Street of Shame) (directed by Kenji MIZOGUCHI). She received the Special Award from the Chairman at the Japan Academy Awards in 1996.

She published many works as the essayist. In particular, her autobiographical essay "My Asakusa" published in 1977 was highly praised as a masterpiece that vividly portrays the flavor of downtown Tokyo. This work won the 25th Japan Essayist Club Award, and the basis of both the book "Kai no Uta" and the morning drama series "Otei-chan."

She retired an actress because of weakness felt when standing up. She retired in Yokosuka City. Every day, she would watch the sea of Shonan with a telescope.

She died due to heart failure on August 16, 1996. She died at the age of 87. In accordance with her will, the placing of body in the coffin and cremation were conducted with only her family present. Her ashes were later scattered with the ashes of her husband Yasuhiko OHASHI, who died before her, in Sagami bay.