An actor died in the mid-summer of 1987, His death became an event far more momentous in Japan than that of any other actors. Thousands of people from all over the country crowded to his funeral. The newspapers and magazines issued special numbers, and TV stations released special programs about him. They generally discussed his daily life in exhaustive detail.
His real life has been elevated to a mythology. One of the reasons for this is that the characters he played in most of his films symbolized the youthful ardors of the Post-War generation in Japan or its desire for the ideal youth. Besides this, there is a simple confusion between the characters he played and the character as he is.