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Takano Etsuko

Ms. Takano Etsuko (高野悦子), 83, a theater administrator and film producer from Dashiqiao, Liaoning, China, passed away from bowel cancer at a hospital in Tōkyō.

映画プロデューサーの高野悦子氏が、大腸がんのため東京都内の病院で死去。中国遼寧省大石橋出身。享年83。
Takano Etsuko in November 2001


After graduating from Japan Women's University, she entered Toho and studied movie directing in Paris, France. She failed to be a film director, but her brother-in-law Mr. Iwanami Yūjirō assigned her to manage Iwanami Hall, a movie theater which he established in 1968. She was active in screening and distributing unprofitable but splendid foreign films since 1974.

She won the Kikuchi Kan Prize in 1981 and was recognized as a Person of Cultural Merit in 2004.

Source(s): The Asahi Shimbun, Kyodo Press, The Yomiuri Shimbun

Links to some professional obituaries:

OBITUARY: Pioneer art theater director Takano, 83

"Etsuko Takano, a pioneer of "mini theater" and driving force in bringing artistic foreign movies to Japan, died in Tokyo of cancer on Feb. 9, her family said. She was 83. Takano was born in northeast China, in what was then known as Manchuria, in 1929. She joined leading film company Toho Co. in 1952. In 1958, she was accepted into the Paris-based L'Institut des hautes etudes cinematographiques (institute for advanced cinematographic studies) to study filmmaking..."

Late Iwanami Hall chief pioneered independent movie theaters

"The late Etsuko Takano, general manager of Iwanami Hall, a Tokyo movie theater famous for screenings of foreign art films, played a pioneering role in bringing international masterpieces to the silver screen in Japan before the age of the Internet and cable television. Works brought to Japanese audiences at the hall by Takano include "The Travelling Players" from Greece, "Man of Marble" from Poland, "The Whales of August" from the United States and "Pather Panchali" from India..."

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