Yasuoka Rikiya dies from heart failure

16 Apr – Japanese actor Yasuoka Rikiya has died from heart failure at a Tokyo hospital on 8 April, according to Tokyo Hive.

Rikiya, who has been suffering from liver cancer, had been having complications to his health despite his eldest son donating a liver to him in 2010. Rikiya passed at the age of 65.

Best known for playing villainous character, Rikiya began his acting career in 1964 in "Jidonsha Dorobo". He continued to appear in the "Furyo Bancho" movie series in the 70s, alongside Umemiya Tatsuo and is well known for his yakuza character in "Tanpopo" in 1985.

But the menacing actor had a different side to him, as he not only appeared as "Hotateman" that was loved by children in Fuji TV's popular variety programme "Oretachi Hyokin Zoku" in the 1980s, he also had his own segment in "Downtown no Gottsu Ee Kanji" for the same station.

Rikiya was also the vocalist for the rock band Sharp Hawks.

A private funeral service would be held for close relatives and another service is expected to be held that will be opened to friends and colleagues.

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