Takamine made her debut as an actress in 1936; her early roles included films such as Shu to midori (Crimson and green) and Danryuu (A Warm Current) and she then branched out into singing, making her debut in 1938.
Takamine is perhaps best known for the song ĹKohan no yadoĺ (The Lakeside Inn) which was recorded in 1940. The song was officially banned at first because its sentimental melody and lyrics were considered inappropriate for the times. Nevertheless it became very popular among soldiers at the front.
Takamine had further hits, but retired from singing in 1954 due to problems with her voice. In 1968 she became the MC of a popular afternoon TV show ĹSanji no anataĺ and continued in that role for many years. In the 1980s she appeared with actor Ken Uehara in a well known series of TV ads promoting rail travel.
Takamine continued to be active in TV and film roles up to her death on 27 May 1990.
Mieko Takamine was one of the greatest actresses in Japanese cinema history. She started her career before World War 2 and she played leading roles from the beginning of her film career.
You can hear a sound clip of Mieko Takamine's voice as Buddha in the original Japanese version of Monkey (where Buddha calls Monkey to the Himalayas towards the end of episode 1) if you go to the Monkey Sounds page.
If you have any information about Mieko Takamine, please let me know using the Monkey Feedback page, and I'll put the information here.
[Many thanks to Chris Barlow for providing the information that enabled me to create this page]