Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke IV, real name Takahiko Kinoshi, was handed a three-year prison sentence on Friday, suspended for five years, in connection with his parents' suicide. The 47-year-old had been on trial for his role in a family suicide pact enacted at his Tokyo residence in May.
Prosecutors sought three years in prison, emphasizing Ennosuke's significant role in his parents' deaths. Presiding Judge Kenji Yasunaga acknowledged the short-sightedness of Ennosuke's actions but considered factors such as remorse and a commitment to avoid future crimes, leading to the suspended sentence.
The ruling revealed that Ennosuke gave his parents an excessive amount of sleeping pills, resulting in their deaths. The catalyst for this tragic incident was an article published on May 18, accusing Ennosuke of bullying and sexual harassment within his theater collective, leading him to contemplate suicide.
During the trial, Ennosuke candidly admitted to contemplating suicide after learning about the damning article. He confided in his parents about his plans, and when met with their reluctance to let him face this ordeal alone, he proceeded with the harrowing pact. Despite denying an explicit request for his parents' joint suicide, Ennosuke expressed deep remorse, attributing his actions to past struggles with depression and communication challenges.
In addition to his significant contributions to Kabuki, Ichikawa Ennosuke IV has showcased his talent on an international stage, captivating audiences in cities like London, Amsterdam, and Paris.