#12 – Kakazu Yumi

Before becoming a seiyuu, Kakazu worked as a small-time reporter in a period that she describes as ‘2 blank years’. After joining the Genki Project agency, she made her voice acting debut in Gundam X as Sala Tyrrell in 1996 and slowly built up her popularity through roles in Yu-Gi-Oh! (Mazaki Anzu), Houshin Engi (Dakki So), Initial D (Sayuki), Vandread (Dita Liebely) and Ayashi no Ceres (Mikage Aya).

Kakazu also started hosting a programme called Kakazu Yumi no Kagayake! Yamato Damashii on AM Kobe Radio in 2001 which then shifted to Yotsuya-shiki net radio hosting after the end of terrestrial broadcast in 2002. In 2003 the show was renamed Kakazu Yumi no Chou-Kagayake! Yamato Damashii!! and shifted from Anista.TV to Onsen.ag in 2004, where it remains hosted today with over 550 episodes broadcast.
The high point of Kakazu’s career came in 2005 when she was chosen from auditions for the role of Shizuka in a renewal of the beloved Doraemon series. She took over the character from Nomura Michiko, who had voiced Shizuka for 32 years (since 1973) and was herself a replacement for original seiyuu Ebisu Masako.

In June 2004 Kakazu announced that she had gotten married. Her husband was a former classmate, and in August 2005 she gave birth to their first son. The couple had a second child, also a son, in 2008. However, on what would have been their 9th wedding anniversary in 2013, Kakazu announced on Twitter that her husband had in fact passed away from a brain haemorrhage 3 & a 1/2 years earlier, but she assured fans she was doing well.

These days Kakazu is signed to the Atomic Monkey agency alongside the likes of her Doraemon co-star Seki Tomokazu and Orikasa Fumiko. She is also involved with a non-profit organization called Koe to Mirai that aims to provide child care support and develop human resources through the power of the voice; organizing mini concerts and family day events, picture book readings and providing lessons. The project is the brainchild of a group of entertainers who are also parents, led by veteran seiyuu Aikawa Rikako and her husband Iwata Mitsuo’s cousin, musician Takayanagi Chino. Other seiyuu involved include Nojima Kenji and Itou Miki.
Additionally, with fellow seiyuu friends Orikasa Fumiko, Ohara Sayaka, Toyoguchi Megumi, Asano Mayumi and Kikuchi Shiho, Kakazu has formed an informal ‘Kimono Club’ to extol the virtues and beauty of the Japanese traditional dress. Above, she is pictured in kimono with (from L to R) Mitsuishi Kotono, Kawamura Maria and Ginga Banjou.


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