• Jiji


Longtime talent agency Ishihara International Productions Inc., established by late movie star and singer Yujiro Ishihara, will call it quits in January, it was learned Friday.

The agency, better known as Ishihara Promotion, produced many hit police dramas, including "Seibu Keisatsu" ("Western Police"), got its start 58 years ago, according to a notice issued in the name of Ishihara's widow, Makiko, 86, who heads the company.

Founded in 1963, the agency nurtured a stable of famous actors including Tetsuya Watari, 78, and Hiroshi Tachi, 70. After starting off in film, the company expanded into TV dramas. The actors who belong to the agency are dubbed "Ishihara Gundan," meaning members of the Ishihara brigade.

According to the notice, the decision to end talent agency operations was based on the will of the founder while taking Makiko Ishihara's declining physical strength into account.

Operations for managing Ishihara Promotion's copyrights will be transferred to a different company.

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