Tai Kamiya Digimon
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Credit: Bandai/Toei Animation

Toshiko Fujita, prolific anime voice actor, known for playing Digimon's Tai Kamiya in Japan, passes away at 68

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Dec 29, 2018, 5:53 PM EST

Toshiko Fujita, the Japanese voice actor known for her prolific work in the world of anime, has died at the age of 68. According to Bleeding Cool, the cause of death came down to Fujita's battle with breast cancer.

Her passing was confirmed by Toei Animation, the production studio behind properties like Digimon Adventure, the beloved, Tamagotchi/Pokemon-inspired show on which Fujita voiced one of the main characters, Taichi Kamiya; she also played Toshiko Takenouchi and Gerbemon. This was, of course, for the version of the show in Japan. In America, where the show's title was changed to Digimon: Digital Monsters, Tai was dubbed in English by Joshua Seth.

"Deepest respects to the passing of the beautiful Toshiko Fujita, voice of Taichi Yagami from Digimon Adventure and many fantastic others. We love you and will never forget you. Rest in peace," wrote Toei in a Twitter post.

While from a Japanese family, Fujita was actually born in China on April 5, 1950. Her entertainment career began at the young age of 6 in Kiyoshi Saeki's film Yûhi to kenjû. Voiceover work proved to be her true calling, however, with Fujita's voice appearing in anime mainstays like Wicked CityDragon Ball GTInuyasha, One Piece, and Zatch Bell!

In addition, she dubbed American-made movies for theatrical release in Japan. One of her biggest dubs included Kala in Disney's Tarzan (voiced by Glenn Close in the U.S.). Kala is the female gorilla who adopts the titular character as her own child, upon finding him orphaned at the start of the movie. You can listen to Fujita sing the opening to Phil Collins' "You'll Be in My Heart" below:

Even with such an eclectic resume, Fujita continued to return to her Digimon roles over the years, playing Taichi Kamiya, Pipimon, Gerbemon, and Toshiko Takenouchi in movies, shorts, video games, and even revivals/sequels based on the original series.

(Biographical and career info via IMDb & Aoni Production talent agency)