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The Bungakuza theater company announced on Friday that actor Tōru Watanabe passed away on Monday due to septicemia, or bacterial blood poisoning. Watanabe had symptoms of fever and stomachache on November 20, and he went to the hospital and was diagnosed with bacterial gastroenteritis. He was later diagnosed with septicemia. He was 61.

There will be a funeral for close family. Watanabe’s son and actor Yuta Watanabe will host the funeral. There will also be a memorial event at a later date.

Watanabe was born in Ibaraki prefecture on May 12, 1961. He starred as a new detective in the 1981 television drama Taiyo ni Hoero!. He became a member of the Bungakuza theater company in 1985 after debuting in the company’s Marius play in 1984. He has appeared in many plays and dramas since.

Watanabe played Aesop in the 1999 Aesop’s World anime and a teacher in the Children of the Sea anime film.

Sources: Bungakuza, The Mainichi, Oricon News

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