Ichikawa Ennosuke and his parents were discovered in their Tokyo home in May. One of Japan’s most popular kabuki actors has been arrested in connection to his parents’ deaths.
The arrest comes after Ennosuke and his parents were discovered at their Meguro Ward home on Thursday, May 18 in what is now believed to have been a suicide pact.
The Asahi Shimbun reported at the time that the actor was “found in a dazed state in his semi-basement room with a suicide-like note nearby.
His parents were found unconscious in the living room on the second floor of the home. His father was pronounced dead at the hospital, while his mother, Nobuko, was pronounced dead at the scene.
There were multiple suicide notes at the scene, according to The Mainichi.
Ennosuke allegedly told police, “My family had a discussion and attempted suicide. My parents took sleeping aids.” According to police, the actor allegedly gave his parents sleeping drugs between the afternoon of May 17 and the next morning, resulting in their deaths on May 18, Japan Today reported.
Traces of two types of sleeping medication, which Ennosuke had previously been prescribed, were found in his system and in his parents’ bodies.
Ennosuke allegedly told police that he and his parents decided “to go to the next world” after he told his parents about a magazine detailing his alleged involvement in bullying and sexual harassment toward actors and staff in his theater collective.
The article was published on the same day of the suicide attempt.
Ennosuke, who comes from a famous family, made his kabuki debut in 1980 and has since risen to be considered a driving force behind traditional and modern theater.
He is well-known for his Super Kabuki productions, including 2015’s One Piece, based on the titular manga series by Eiichiro Oda.
His other credits include Japanese broadcaster TBS’ Hanzawa Naoki. In 2012, at the age of 24, he became the fourth member of his family to assume the name Ennosuke.