I only heard the news on NHK just half an hour ago, but kabuki actor Kanzaburo Nakamura XVIII passed away less than 6 hours previously in hospital. I was never a kabuki fan but his face and name were very well known to anyone who watches TV in Japan due to his fairly frequent appearances on talk shows and commercials. Of course, his stock in trade was on the stage portraying his various characters.
An acquaintance of mine back in Tokyo was his acupuncturist, and he told me that the actor had always been a very introspective deep thinker. The story of his death was the top story on NHK, and it looks like a lot of the commercial stations' morning shows were scrambling to get a fitting tribute story done for him. I was surprised to hear that he had passed since he was only 57 years old, although I knew that he had suffered from early stage esophagal cancer.