Reps Confirm ‘Silk’ Actress Sei Ashina’s ‘Unfortunate’ Death by Suicide at 36

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The Japanese actress, who was best known for starring as Hime in ‘Kamen Rider Hibiki’, was discovered dead in her Tokyo apartment on Monday, September 14.


Japanese actress Sei Ashina has passed away at 36 years old. The established actor, who was among one of the most-sought stars for TV dramas and films, was discovered dead in her Shinjuku, Tokyo apartment on Monday, September 14.

Both Tokyo police and her agency have confirmed that Ashina died by suicide. Her body was discovered by her brother who came to visit her place after she stopped answering messages and phone calls on September 13.

No note was found in Ashina’s apartment and no motive has been determined for her suicide. In a statement, her management company HoriPro called the news of her death “sad and unfortunate.”

The statement read, “The detailed situation is currently under investigation, but we would like to ask the media to consider the deep sorrow of their families and refrain from interviewing them.” It added, “We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the kindness of Ashina during his lifetime and pray for the souls of all of you.”

Ashina was born in 1983 in Fukushima Prefecture as Igarashi Aya. She came to Tokyo while she was still a teenager and began her career as a fashion model. She made her acting debut on the 2002 television series “The Tail of Happiness” (“Shiawase no Shippo”).

She was best known for starring as Hime in “Kamen Rider Hibiki”. She landed a role as The Girl, an unnamed concubine, in Francois Girard’s “Silk”, a historical drama starring Michael Pitt and Keira Knightley, after beating nearly 800 other contenders.

Ashina’s other acting credits included a lead role in the 2010 Kazuya Konaka drama “Nanase: The Psychic Wanderers” and a role on the popular TV Asahi series “Aibo: Tokyo Detective Duo”, on which she had starred since 2017 until the 19th season that will air in October.

Ashina’s death is the latest in a string of tragic passing of well-known Japanese artists by suicide after actor Haruma Miura‘s death in July and reality show star Hana Kimura‘s suicide in May.

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