Unshō Ishizuka, a Japanese voice actor known for many anime and video game roles, has unfortunately passed away this week at the age of sixty-seven (or sixty-eight, based on traditional Japanese “age reckoning”). Ishizuka has passed away after a battle with esophageal cancer, for which he had reportedly been receiving treatment for a while.
Aoni Production, the talent agency that had represented Ishizuka, stated that Ishizuka’s family opted for a for a private wake and funeral, although a public farewell ceremony is in the works. Details for that have yet to be announced.
Ishizuka’s career dates all the way back to 1984 and has touched several classic works known around the world. Perhaps his most notable role is that of Jet Black in Cowboy Bebop. He also notably replaced Daisuke Gōri in the roles of Mr. Satan (Dragon Ball) and Heihachi Mishimi (Tekken) after he passed away from suicide in 2010. Other major roles included Professor Oak in the Pokemon anime, Joseph Joestar in the recent JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure adaptations, Ryotaro Dojima from Persona 4, and even being the go-to guy for Laurence Fishburne and Liam Neeson roles in Japanese dubs of Hollywood films.