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Japanese actress Sei Ashina is found dead in her Tokyo apartment at age 36

The Japanese actress Sei Ashina was found dead at age 36 in her apartment in Tokyo on Monday.

Ashina’s death by suicide was confirmed by her management company and the Tokyo police, according to Variety.

The actress was best known for playing one of the lead roles in the 2007 historical drama Silk, an international co-production directed by François Girard. 

Tragic news: The Japanese actress Sei Ashina was found dead in her Tokyo apartment on Monday at age 36. Tokyo police and her management company have called her death a suicide; pictured in 2010 in Tokyo

Tragic news: The Japanese actress Sei Ashina was found dead in her Tokyo apartment on Monday at age 36. Tokyo police and her management company have called her death a suicide; pictured in 2010 in Tokyo

No motive is currently known for Ashina’s death, and she doesn’t appear to have left a note.

Her brother was the first to discover her body after she failed to return text messages and phone calls starting on Sunday.  

A statement from her representatives, HoriPro, called Ashina’s death ‘sad and unfortunate.’ 

‘The detailed situation is currently under investigation, but we would like to ask the media to consider the deep sorrow of their families and refrain from interviewing them,’ it read.

‘We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the kindness of Ashina during his lifetime and pray for the souls of all of you.’

Sad discovery: Ashina's body was discovered by her brother after she stopped responding to calls and messages on Sunday. No note was found; pictured in July 2019

Sad discovery: Ashina’s body was discovered by her brother after she stopped responding to calls and messages on Sunday. No note was found; pictured in July 2019

Showbiz dreams: Ashina, whose real name was Igarashi Aya, was born in 1983 in Fukushima Prefecture. She moved to Tokyo as a teen to pursue modeling, before her 2002 acting debut; still from Silk

Showbiz dreams: Ashina, whose real name was Igarashi Aya, was born in 1983 in Fukushima Prefecture. She moved to Tokyo as a teen to pursue modeling, before her 2002 acting debut; still from Silk

Ashina, whose real name was Igarashi Aya, was born in 1983 and grew up in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture.

Following a move to Tokyo when she was just a teenager, Ashina began a career as a model. 

Her onscreen acting debut came in the 2002 Tokyo Broadcast System drama series A Tale Of Happiness (Shiawase no Shippo).

Following more film and television projects, she scored her highest-profile film with Silk, an adaptation of the Italian author Alessandro Baricco novel of the same name. 








The big time: Following more film and television projects, she scored her highest-profile film with Silk, an adaptation of the Italian author Alessandro Baricco novel of the same name; still from Silk

The big time: Following more film and television projects, she scored her highest-profile film with Silk, an adaptation of the Italian author Alessandro Baricco novel of the same name; still from Silk

High-profile role: She starred as an unnamed Japanese concubine, whom Michael Pitt's character falls in love with, despite being married to a teacher (Keira Knightley); still from Silk

High-profile role: She starred as an unnamed Japanese concubine, whom Michael Pitt’s character falls in love with, despite being married to a teacher (Keira Knightley); still from Silk

The movie was directed by French–Canadian filmmaker François Girard, best known for helming the critically acclaimed drama The Red Violin. 

American actor Michael Pitt starred as a French silkworm smuggler and Keira Knightley as his wife.

Ashina played an unnamed Japanese concubine whom Pitt’s character falls in love with and corresponds with via a series of translated letters.

Ashina scored the role after beating out 800 actresses vying for the part.

TV star: The actress was recently featured on the Japanese series Aibo: Tokyo Detective Duo, in which she played a recurring role from 2017 through this year; shown in 2007

TV star: The actress was recently featured on the Japanese series Aibo: Tokyo Detective Duo, in which she played a recurring role from 2017 through this year; shown in 2007

The actress was recently featured on the Japanese series Aibo: Tokyo Detective Duo, in which she played a recurring role from 2017 through this year.

Earlier this year, she was featured in the film AI Amok. 

Ashina was also a popular voice actress, and she dubbed the the lead character on the American series Revenge, which ran on ABC for four seasons from 2011–2015.  

If you or anyone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, text ‘STRENGTH’ to the Crisis Text Line or click here

Multiple talents: Ashina was also a popular voice actress, and she dubbed the the lead character on the American series Revenge, which ran on ABC for four seasons from 2011–2015; pictured with Keira Knightly in 2007 at the Toronto International Film Festival

Multiple talents: Ashina was also a popular voice actress, and she dubbed the the lead character on the American series Revenge, which ran on ABC for four seasons from 2011–2015; pictured with Keira Knightly in 2007 at the Toronto International Film Festival

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