Sei Ashina Dies: ‘Silk’ Actress Was 36
15th September 2020

Japanese actress Sei Ashina was found dead in her Tokyo apartment Monday. Her agency and Tokyo police confirmed to Japanese media that she died by suicide. Ashina was 36.

Beginning her career as a model, Ashina made her acting debut in TBS’ 2002 drama The Tail of Happiness (Shiawase no Shippo). In 2007, she was cast as the Japanese lead in François Girard’s Silk, a historical drama starring Michael Pitt and Keira Knightley as a 19th century French silkworm smuggler and his wife who journey to Japan.

Other credits include TV series Nanase: The Psychic Wanderers, Aibo: Tokyo Detective Duo, The Emperor’s Cook, Daisy Luck, Hand of God and this year’s Theseus no fune (Ship of Theseus) and the January theatrical release AI Hokai (AI Amok), among many others. She provided the voice for the character Emily Thorne in the Japanese-language version of the 2011 American series Revenge.

Ashina’s body was found Monday by her brother after the actress failed to return calls and messages. No note has been discovered.

If you or anyone you know in the U.S. is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to In other territories, please call your local suicide hotline.

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