Today, the Studio Ghibli fandom is paying respect to one of its own. A new report from Japan has gone live confirming the death of actor Yousuke Saitou. The man passed away over the weekend at the age of 69.
According to the report, Saitou died following a battle with pharyngeal cancer. The actor was allegedly in good health until his condition took a turn on September 19. After dinner that evening, Saitou was taken to the hospital, and he passed away while receiving treatment on Saturday, September 19. His family will hold a private service to honor the actor's life and career.
For fans who do not know Saitou by name, the actor made his acting debut in Sharin no Ippo back in 1979. He amassed a slew of roles in shows such as Otoko-tachi no Tabiji as well as Ningen Shikkaku. However, Saitou also enjoyed work within the anime industry given his time with Studio Ghibli.
Saitou was cast as Toto in The Cat Returns, so a great many fans will know the actor from there. He was also cast in the live-action film adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin. Saitou played Chief Uramura in the trilogy's first film.
Our thoughts are with Saitou's loved ones during this difficult time. May the actor rest in peace.