What famous Japanese actress Yoshiko Okada landed the GULAG

History 21/02/20 what famous Japanese actress Yoshiko Okada landed the GULAG

Yoshiko Okada – elegant and sophisticated beauty with a tough attitude, who escaped from Japan to the Soviet Union. The announcer on Moscow radio, the star of many films and performances, the idol of millions of viewers.

This extraordinary woman was born 14 APR 1902 in Hiroshima in the family of the journalist. From childhood, she dreamed of becoming an actress, so I graduated from women’s art College in Tokyo. In 17 years, Yoshiko made her debut in the theater.

the First role that brought fame

two years Later, the young actress played her first significant role: geisha by the name Maple leaf in a piece of Hyakujo Kurata’s “the Monk and his disciple.” This way brought her fame. After three years the great success of Yoshiko brought the role of a maid in love in the film directed by Murata “Street magician” at the Studio “Nikkatsu”. Her talent was noted by the journalists and critics, it climbed to a new pinnacle of popularity.

In 1927, Murat invited Okada to play the main character in the film based on the novel by Dumas “the lady of the camellias” – Parisian courtesan Marguerite Gautier, a young and romantic fell in love with Armand Duval. The role of the latter went to the nobleman Reiti Takeuchi. Between the main actors broke a whirlwind romance. Okada and Takeuchi were critical to the script, deeming it a failure, and he quarreled with the Director, just before the shooting, refusing to participate in them. In their place, Murat had to take a less gifted actors. In retaliation, the management of “Nikkatsu” is not only fired Okada and Takeuchi, but also achieved the consent of the other studios not to hire them.

Okada was married to Takeuchi, and they settled in his ancestral mansion. However, the energetic and ambitious girl did not want to abandon his vocation. She has created a “Troupe Okada Yoshiko”, which toured the country.

In 1936, Okada returned to the theater. In the New TEMtre she met and fell in love with the young Director Rekity Sugimoto, who was fond of politics, was a member of the banned Communist party of Japan and translated from Russian into Japanese socialist literature. The lovers decided to flee to the Soviet Union. Okada wanted to study theater arts at Meyerhold, and Sugimoto had a secret Commission from the Communist party of Japan is to establish contacts with the Comintern.

Escape to the Soviet Union

January 3, 1938, they arrived on Sakhalin, the southern part which at that time belonged to Japan, under the pretext that they are going to give Christmas presentation for border guards in the far outposts. Okada and Sugimoto traveled by horse-drawn sleigh rides, as a guide they were accompanied by a soldier on skis. Seizing the opportune moment, they turned the horse towards the border, broke away from escorting, which is trapped in deep snow, and… came to the country of their dreams. Here they were immediately captured and permanently separated. Sugimoto was accused of espionage and shot. On the basis of the case file which showed that the couple went to Meyerhold, was arrested 60-year-old Director. In 1940 he, too, was sentenced to death. Yoshiko for all her subsequent life was painfully conscious that she indirectly caused the death of his idol.

Yoshiko was sentenced to 10 years in the camps. While she was in custody, the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on her hometown of Hiroshima.

Working on radio and new love

In 1948, Yoshiko Okada was released and went to Moscow, where he became speaker of the radio Studio “Voice of Russia”, the program which was broadcast on Japan. Despite a 10-year absence, it remembered and loved. Lipman Levin – head of the Japanese Department of the Studio, said afterward: “Even after ten years, prominent Japanese politicians, presidents of major companies, actors and Directors whom I had to interview, respectfully inquired: “Do you have running itself Okada-San?” It gave me a reason to jokingly call her kamban of Musume – “girl sign” Moscow radio”.

Okada worked in remote partnership with another Japanese actor Shintaro Taniguchi. They were more familiar work in a New Theater in Japan: Shintaro in one of the productions he played the son of heroine Okada. When the war began, Takiguchi served in the Kwantung army soldier, private of 24th infantry battalion, was captured, and after his release decided to stay in the USSR and worked in the Khabarovsk branch of the Moscow radio. The actors are first copied, and in 1950 Shintaro was transferred to Moscow. They married, settled on the Krasnokholmskaya embankment to continue working together.

Transfer Yoshiko Okada was used in Japan great popularity not only because of her personal fame. Such a beautiful literature in Japanese, as she, after the war became a rarity in its homeland. For its broadcasts, she translated poems by Russian poets, talked about the works of Russian writers, actors and Directors.

New achievements

At the age of 57 Okada realized his dream: he graduated from the directing Department GITIS. On account of its several personal productions: “women’s Lives” by the book writer Seiichi morimura the “Ten thousand boys” together with Director Boris by Boneym. She helped in the work on Soviet-Japanese film directed by Jukichi UNO “the Little fugitive”. Okada played on the stage of the theater. Vladimir Mayakovsky Directors N. Okhlopkova A. Goncharov.

In 1971, Shintaro Taniguchi died from cirrhosis of the liver, and in the following year, the actress was invited to Japan by the Governor of Tokyo Rekity Him. November 13, 1972 she came down the ramp, carrying the box of ashes of her husband.

After fleeing to the USSR it’s been 34 years, it was decades of war and destruction. Surprisingly, for such a long period of Yoshiko Okada did not lose popularity in their homeland. The news of her arrival overshadowed even the return of the Prime Minister. Thereafter, Okada made several visits to Japan.Yu, where he staged performances and worked at the Studio. But “their” country, it has forever believed Russia.

In September 1976, Yoshiko Okada a direct link with Japan, with which the time difference was 6 hours. The actress was already 74 years old, but it is early in the morning came to the Ostankino TV Studio, dressed in a kimono, graceful and elegant. In the same year, she starred in the film “Tora-San”, which was recognized by Japanese critics as one of the best films of the year.

Yoshiko Okada took seriously the breakup of the USSR – the country where she gave her talent, has devoted many years of his creative life. She died February 10, 1992 – the day after the birthday of her idol Meyerhold. And on 11 February Japanese Newspapers came out with obituaries, memories, friends and pictures of the great actress. Ashes Yoshiko Okada was transported and buried at home. And in the foyer of theatre of a name of Mayakovsky was created area of memory of the actress.

Here’s what he said about it Yasuo Fugazi, the main speaker of the Japanese Department of the radio station “Voice of Russia”:
“Okada-San, with whom fate brought me to the slope of her years, seemed to be a Camellia flower blooming in the icy winter covered with snow garden. Clear, open eyes, elegance, dignity – these I remember a great actress. “Exquisite wonder” – a Japanese expression best defines her image.”

Galina Pogodina

© Russian Seven

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