Nationality: Japanese. Born: Yoko Shoji in Sakai-minato City, 20 August 1934. Education: Studied home economics at the Kyoritsu Women's Junior College, was graduated in 1954. Family: Married Eisuke Aizawa, 1969. Career: 1954—secretary for Shin-Nihon Broadcast Company, Osaka; also a model; 1954—film debut in Kimi shinitamoukoto nakare ; then worked for Toho Studio; acted on television from the mid-1960s, and on stage from the mid-1970s. Awards: Japan Mainichi Eiga Concourse, Kinema Juappo Award, and Tokyo Blue Ribbon, all 1966. Address: 7–10-3 Seijo, Setagayaku, Tokyo, Japan.
Films as Actress:
Kimi shinitamoukoto nakare (Maruyama) (as Kumiko)
Tenka taihei ; Yuki no honoo ; Fumetsu no nekkyu (Suzuki); 33-go-sha oto nashi (Taniguchi); Oensan ; Hatsukoi san-nin masuko (Aoyagi); Ai no rekishi ; Meoto zenzai (Toyoda); Kuchizuke: Ni-wa, kaettekita wakadanna (Aoyogi)
Hesokuri shacho (Chiba); Hanayome kaigi (Aoyogi); Chiemi no hatsukoi chaccha musume (Aoyogi); Mogotona musume (Mizuho); Zoku hesokuri shacho (Chiba); Aoi me (Suzuki); Konyaku samba-garasu (Sugie); Gendai no yokubo ; Harikiri shacho (Watanabe); Aru to sono no baai (Mizuho); Ani to sono imoto (Matsubayashi); Nisshoku no natsu (Horikawa)
Bibo no miyako (Matsubayashi); Bokyaku no hanabira: Kanketsu-hen ; Kiken na eiyu (Suzuki); Sono yo no himegoto (Kimura); Daigaku no samuri-tachi (Aoyogi); Aoi sanmyaku: enpen (Matsubayashi); Zoku aoi sanmyaku (Matsubayashi)
Aijo no miyako (Sugie); Shacho sandai-ki (Matsubayashi); Zoku shacho sandai-ki (Matsubayashi); Tokyo no Kyujitsu ; Hana no bojo (Suzuki); Furyu onsen nikki (Matsubayashi); Iwashigumo ( Herringbone Clouds ) (Naruse); Mimizuku seppo (Hisamatsu)
Suzukake no sampo-michi (Horikawa); Hananoren (Toyoda); Aisai-ki (Hisamatsu); Daigaku no oneichan (Sugie); Aru kengo no shogai ( Samurai Saga ) (Inagaki) (as Chive Hime); Daigaku no nijuhachi-nin shu ; Sengoku gunto-den ( Saga of the Vagabonds ) (Sugie) (as Tazu); Wakai koibito-tachi ; Nippon tanjo (Inagaki)
Ankokugai no taiketsu ( The Last Gunfight ) (Okamoto); Hijotoshi (Suzuki); Aoi yaju ( The Blue Beast ) (Horikawa) (as Ayaka Eto); Yoru no nagare (Kawashima); Shin onna daigaku (Hisamatsu); Chino hate ni ikiru mono ( The Angry Sea ) (Hisamatsu); Akibiyori ( Late Autumn ) (Ozu) (as Ayako, the daughter); Sarariiman Chushingura (Matsubayashi)
Zoku sarariiman Chushingura (Matsubayashi); Wakarete ikiru toki mo ( Eternity of Love ) (Horikawa) (as Michi); Yojimbo ( The Bodyguard ) (Kurosawa) (as Nui); "Chosen" yoi: Ali to honoo to ( Challenge to Live ) (Sugawa) (as Saeko Sawada); Honkon no yoru ( A Night in Hong Kong ) (Chiba) (as Keiko Kimura); Kohayagawa-ke no aki ( The End of Summer ; Early Autumn ; Last of Summer ) (Ozu) (as Noriko)
Sarariiman Shimizu minato (Matsubayashi); Onna no za ( The Wiser Age ; Woman's Status ) (Naruse); Horoki ( Lonely Lane ) (Naruse); Sonoobasho no onna arite ; Zoku sarariiman Shimizu minato (Matsubayashi); Yoru no keisha (Uchikawa); Ekimae onsen ; Chushingura ( Loyal 47 Ronin ; 47 Samurai ) (Inagaki) (as Yozenin); Furyu onsen: banto nikki
Onna no tsuyokunaru kufu no kazukazu (Chiba); Tsuma to iu na no onnatachi ; Domburi-ike ; Warera sarariiman
Shacho shinshiroku (Matsubayashi); Zoku shacho shinshiroku (Matsubayashi); Tadaima shinsatsu-chu ; Tensai sagishi monogatari: Tanuki no hanamichi ; Nishi no taisho higashi no taisho (Furusawa); Gendai shinshi yaro ; Danchi nanatsuno taizai (Chiba and Kakehi)
Shacho ninpo-cho ( Five Gents' Trick Book ) (Matsubayashi) (as Kyoko Ishikawa); Daikon to ninjin ( Twilight Path ) (as Haruko); Zoku shacho ninpo-cho (Matsubayashi); Urakaidan ; Kokokara hajimaru (Tsuboshima)
Shacho gyojo-ki (Matsubayashi); Zoku shacho gyogo-ki ( Five Gents on the Spot ) (Matsubayashi); Hikinige ( Moment of Terror ) (Naruse); Kinokawa: Hana-no maki, Fumio-no maki ( The River Ki ) (Nakamura) (as Mayaka); Jinchoge ( The Daphne ) (Chiba) (as the second daughter)
Shacho sen-ichiya (Matsubayashi); Sasaki Kojiro ( Kojiro ) (Inagaki) (as Okinawa Princess); Joi-uchi ( Rebellion ; Hairyozuma shimatsu-ki ) (Kobayashi) (as Ichi Sasahara); Zoku shacho sen-ichiya (Matsubayashi); Midaregumo ( Two in the Shadow ; Scattered Clouds ) (Naruse) (as Yumiko)
Haru ranman (Chiba); Shacho hanjo-ki (Matsubayashi); Zoku shacho hanjo-ki (Matsubayashi); Yamamoto Isoroku ( Admiral Yamamoto ) (Maruyama)
Shacho enma-cho (Matsubayashi); Nippon-kai dai-kaisen ( Battle of the Japan Sea ) (Maruyama); Zoku shacho enma-cho (Matsubayashi); Goyokin (Gosha) (as Shino)
Shinsen-gumi ( Band of Assassins ) (Sawashima); Shachogaku ABC (Matsubayashi); Zoku shacho-gaku ABC (Matsubayashi); Nihon ichi no yakuza otoko
Yomigaeru daichi ; Tochan no po ga kikoeru
Nagare no fu: Doran, Yoake (Sadanaga); Nostoradamusu no daiyogen ( Prophecies of Nostradamus ; Castrophe 1999 ) (Masuda)
Gokumon-to ( The Devil's Island ; Island of Horrors ) (Ichikawa) (as the mother)
Joobachi (Ichikawa) (as the maid); Zansho
* * *
Yoko Tsukasa began her career as an actress specializing in the role of the beautiful and sympathetic bourgeois girl so common in the Toho Studio's productions. Cast opposite such popular stars as Ryo Ikebe, Akira Takarada, and Koji Tsuruta, she soon became the most popular Toho melodrama actress of the late 1950s. She projected an air of refined upper-class beauty so successfully that it resulted in her being typecast; nevertheless, she gradually became more ambitious and tried to expand her ability.
She attracted some attention with her enthusiastic performances as the wife of a poor novelist in Hisamatsu's Aisai-ki and as the wealthy daughter who is used by the ambitious hero in Horikawa's The Blue Beast . Finally, her roles as kindhearted daughters in Ozu's two films, Late Autumn and The End of Summer brought her real recognition. In both films Tsukasa's soft and natural personality matched Ozu's sensitive portrayal of the serenity of bourgeois family life. A critic pointed out that her character was unusually believable in contrast to the overly dramatized feeling projected by many other actors of that period.
Aside from her contribution to the countless studio comedy series and melodramas through the 1960s, Tsukasa's next important step was the collaboration with Naruse. In Moment of Terror she played the dramatic role of a company president's wife who causes a car accident, and in Two in the Shadow , by contrast, she played the wife of a car accident victim. Her sensitive performance in the latter, a psychologically complex role in which she is gradually attracted to the man who caused the accident, won her much acclaim.
Although she was also called upon by other directors, such as Kurosawa, Kobayashi, and Ichikawa, her most famous role was as the heroine in Nakamura's The River Ki . Here, she gave perhaps her most powerful, yet restrained performance, as she portrayed the life of a woman in a traditional local family.