Todoroki Yukiko (轟夕起子)

Yukiko TODOROKI (September 11, 1917 - May 11, 1967) was the Japanese actress. Her real name was Tsuruko NISHIYAMA. Her stage name (轟夕起子) was also written as '轟夕紀子' in Chinese characters. She also performed female roles in Takarazuka Shojo Kagekidan (Takarazuka Girls Revue Company). Her nickname in Takarazuka Shojo Kagekidan was Toruko, a play on her real name Tsuruko. She came from Shinbori-cho Town, Azabu-ku Ward, Tokyo City. Film directors Masahiro MAKINO and Koji SHIMA were her ex-husbands. Masayuki MAKINO, the president of Okinawa Actors School Co., Ltd., is her son. Anna MAKINO (a former member of the J-pop group Super Monkeys) is her grandchild.

Biography and Personal Profile

In 1931, she dropped out of Kyoto Prefectural Suzaku Senior High School and joined Takarazuka Shojo Kagekidan. She was a member of the 19th class in Takarazuka Shojo Kagekidan together with Shidare ITOI and Tomiko HATTORI. She won popularity for her Japanese beauty and became a top star. In 1937 when she left Takarazuka, she made her film debut in the Nikkatsu title "Miyamoto Musashi: The Earth Chapter," playing the role of Otsu. Behind this background, the four existing movie companies (Shochiku, Nikkatsu, Shinko Kinema and Daito Eiga) tried to take revenge on Toho, who had lured away Kazuo HASEGAWA. She met Masahiro MAKINO (マキノ正博, later マキノ雅弘 in Chinese character), who was the Nikkatsu film director at that time, through her accident that might have caused her blindness during the filming of "Edo no Arawashi" (Wild Eagle in Edo, 1937) and married him in 1940. In the same year, her oldest son, Masayuki was born.

Due to the state's control of films, Nikkatsu's production division was absorbed by Daiei Motion Picture Co., Ltd. in 1942, but instead of joining Daiei, she moved to Toho where her husband Masahiro MAKINO belonged to. In 1943, she became popular for her role as Sayo, the heroine in "Sanshiro Sugata," the directorial debut of Akira KUROSAWA. In the same year, the theme song for 'Hanako-san,' 'Otsukai wa Jitensha ni Notte' (Running an Errand by Bicycle) became a hit. After the war, she became self-employed, but she divorced Makino (in 1950) and subsequently married (in 1953) and divorced (in 1965) Koji SHIMA, and her private life was unfortunate. After the war, she became overweight and was gradually relegated by new stars to minor roles, such as a role of the mother of Hideki TAKAHASHI (an actor) in Otoko no Monsho (Man's Crest) series (1963 - 1966). She died of obstructive jaundice at 5:15 p.m. on May 11, 1967 at Jikei University, Daisan Hospital in Komae-machi Town, Kitatama County (present-day Komae City). She died as young as 49.