Veteran noh actor Kanze Hideo, who was also a professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design, died of colon cancer at a Tokyo hospital Friday, his family said. He was 79.
Kanze, whose father was Kanze Tetsunojo VII, was known as one of Japan’s leading “shite” actors in noh, the country’s centuries-old traditional musical drama.
Shite refers to the primary role in noh. The Kanze family is one of the five schools of shite acting in noh.
Kanze withdrew from the noh world in 1958 and performed in TV dramas and movies and as a dancer before returning to the stage in 1979.
Kanze was arrested on suspicion of negligence after a car he was driving hit a road divider on May 2 on the Chuo Expressway in Hachioji, western Tokyo, resulting in the death of his manager, who was in the car. Also sustaining light injuries, Kanze was released hours later from police detention for health reasons.