Kohei Tsuka dies at 62 after struggle with Lung Cancer

Acclaimed playwright Kohei Tsuka passed away on the morning of July 10 at a hospital in Chiba. He was 62.

Tsuka had announced in January that he was diagnosed with lung cancer, and he had been undergoing treatment at the hospital for the past few months. Sources say that Tsuka’s illness turned critical at the start of June.

The playwright, responsible for works such as “Atami Satsujin Jiken” and “Kamata Koushinkyoku,” was hard at work up until his final days. Before his “Hiryuden 2010” opened in February, his assistant director filmed rehearsals so that Tsuka could continue delivering instructions over the phone from his hospital bed. His most recent work, “Shin Kamata Koushinkyoku,” will be opening on August 12.

Tsuka left Keio University in 1973, and he soon won the Kunio Kishida Drama Award for “Atami Satsujin Jiken.” In 1976 he won the Golden Arrow Award. Among his other awards, he received the prestigious Naoki Prize in 1982 for the novel version of “Kamata Koushinkyoku.”

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