Shinsuke Achiha: 1940-2007
ULTRA SEVEN actor takes own life
Author: Oki Miyano with Keith Aiken
Source: Sponichi Annex
Former actor Shinsuke Achiha has died of an apparent suicide. He was 67 years old.
In 1967, Achiha starred in Tsuburaya Productions’ classic television series ULTRA SEVEN (Urutora Sebun). He played Soga, the expert marksman of the Ultra Garrison who each week fought alongside Ultra Seven and his alter ego Dan Moroboshi (Koji Moritsugu).
Achiha was born in Shimane Prefecture on March 21, 1940. Prior to his work on ULTRA SEVEN, the actor was a regular on the Toho TV show IS THIS YOUTH? (Seisyun Towa Nanda, 1965), a high school drama starring Yosuke Natsuki (DOGORA, GHIDORAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER) and Yu Fujiki (ATRAGON, GODZILLA VS THE THING). He also appeared in THE HUMAN BULLET (Nikudan, 1968); the Toshiro Mifune films ADMIRAL YAMAMOTO (Rengo Kantai Shirei Chokan: Yamamoto Isoroku, 1968), RED LION (Akage, 1969), and THE AMBUSH: INCIDENT AT BLOOD PASS (Machibuse, 1970); and THE BATTLE OF OKINAWA (Gekido no Showashi: Okinawa Kessen, 1971).
After retiring from acting, Shinsuke Achiha founded the Actors Promotion talent agency in June 1980. Among his 15 clients were actresses Raita Ryu (BULLET TRAIN, G.I. SAMURAI), Yoko Akino (SHOGUN ASSASSINS), and Yumi Takigawa (BULLET TRAIN, VIRUS, DEATHQUAKE). Takigawa and Achiha were married in August of 1984 but divorced in 1997. Their eldest daughter, Hanako Takigawa, is an actress who appeared in the 2006 movie THE GIFTED JOURNEY: DEPARTURE AT MIDNIGHT (Tabi no Okurimono 0:00 Hatsu).
Achiha was reported missing by his wife on May 2. Two days later his body was found by the local police of Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu. Yesterday authorities announced that it appears Achiha jumped to his death at the Inukai no Taki waterfall. The location is a mystery because Achiha did not live in Kagoshima and had no obvious links to the area. However, the reason for the suicide may be connected to a stroke suffered in 2004. Achiha had been taking medication ever since and, according to a friend, had recently confessed that he was deteriorating both physically and mentally.