According to Japanese media, the celebrity died of colon cancer and multiple organ failure at a hospital in Shibuya, Tokyo. Shimada began her acting career in 1970 with the play Osanazuma and has since acted in a number of films and television projects. In the 1980s drama series Shogun, she portrayed an aristocrat’s wife, which was her most recognizable part.
RIP to Yoko Shimada who played the Lady Mariko in the 1980 NBC Television Event SHOGUN. She was 69. #島田陽子 pic.twitter.com/eClqGXoS7p
— Patrick Macias (@Patrick_Macias) July 26, 2022
Yoko Shimada’s legendary role in Shogun
In the NBC miniseries Shogun, based on James Clavell’s 1975 novel of the same name, Yoko Shimada portrayed Mariko or Lady Toda Buntaro. In the series, which takes place around 1600, Mariko is portrayed as the daughter of a disgraced Catholic priest who assassinates Lord Goroda, a powerful daimyo in Japan. Then, she is compelled to marry Toda Buntaro, a samurai, with whom she moves to Shonai Province. Buntaro is often seen mistreating Mariko in their loveless marriage. However, she eventually refuses to live as his obedient wife.
Mariko was designated as a translator between an English navigator, John Blackthorne, and the Japanese since she spoke English well. As they spent more time together, their friendship developed into love. Since Mariko was already married at the time, Blackthorne unsuccessfully requested that Lord Yoshi Toranaga grant Mariko permission to divorce her husband and marry him. Mariko was slain while attempting to defend Blackthorne when the Osaka castle was invaded by attackers. After her cremation, Mariko’s will showed that she had given John money to construct a new ship after his last one was destroyed by fire.
Awards & Honor
In 1981, Yoko Shimada won her one and only Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama for her portrayal of Mariko. In the same year, she was also nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Special. Shimada, who was born on 17 May 1953, was married to Hitoshi Yoneyama from 1994 until 2019. In addition, she was featured in the 1974 film Castle of Sand, which was nominated for a Golden Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival.
Kamen Rider, We Are Youth, I Am a Cat, The Inugami Family, Dead Angle, Little Champion, Ritoru Champion, Hanazono no meikyu, Minamoto Yoshitsune, Crying Freeman, Hero Zheng Chengong, The Deep Red, God in Jail, etc. are among Yoko Shimada’s other credits. Her final film performance was in Kanon, a drama directed by Toshirô Saiga.