ICHIKAWA UTAEMON (1904 - 1999) - After substantial training in the kabuki theatre as a boy, he joined the Kansai Kabuki Troupe and quickly rose to fame. Spotted by director Shozo Makino, who persuaded him to seek a career in film, he signed with Makino studios and made his lead debut in 1925.
Ichikawa soon became a celebrity in silent jidai-geki, period-warrior films. Two years later, he founded his own production company, he made a success of this company, primarily from a series of films he starred in between 1929 and 1963, the "CRESCENT SCARRED SAMURAI" series.
After closing his company, Ichikawa worked successively and successfully as both a leading man and character actor for Nikkatsu, Daiei, and Toei studios, and served as a board member and director of production for Toei from its founding.
He retired at the age of sixty after more than three hundred films.