Some sad news from the geinokai earlier today. I read on the Net that actress Naomi Kawashima（川島なお美）passed away from complications due to bile duct cancer on the night of September 24th Japan Standard Time at the age of 54. Far too young for her to leave this mortal coil. A few weeks ago, there was mass media speculation when she appeared in public looking happy but very emaciated. I saw that appearance of her as well and a warning light went off in my head. I didn't think about cancer at the time but thought that she must have just gone through a major health scare. Unfortunately, that scare ended tragically.
There was an NHK news report on their morning program paying tribute to Kawashima and stating she had started her career as a singer. Her singing career began in 1979 with "Champagne No. 5". But during my years in Japan, I only knew her as an actress and an occasional guest on TV variety shows, and also commercials like the one above she did in the 90s.