Japanese leading man and character actor. After substantial training in the kabuki theatre as a boy, Ichikawa founded his own theatre company, the "Utaemon Ichikawa Theatrical Entourage," with which he toured Japan to considerable success. Signed by Makino studios in 1925, Ichikawa made a success in silent jidai-geki, period-warrior films. Two years later, he founded his own production company, Utaemon Ichikawa Film Production Co. Unlike many of his actor-manager colleagues, Ichikawa made a success of his company, primarily on the basis of a series of films he starred in between 1929 and 1963, the "Hatamoto Taikutsu Otoko" series. After he folded his company in 1936, Ichikawa worked successively and successfully for Nikkatsu, Daiei, and Toei studios, serving as a board member and director of production for the latter studio from its founding. He retired at the age of sixty after more than three hundred films. His son Kin'ya Kitaôji is also a well-known actor.
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