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Famed voice actor Masako Nozawa announced when she would retire. Thankfully for fans of hers, it’s in 100 years.

Image via Aoni Pro

The prolific voice actor Masako Nozawa was awarded the prestigious Kikuchi Kan Prize on December 1. Awarded by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Literature, the annual award is given to those who have earned achievements in Japanese cinema, broadcasting, literature, and other fields of literary endeavors. In its 71-year history, this is the first time a voice actor has won the award. It really is no wonder why Nozawa is the first voice actor to do so as well. With a long career beginning in 1963 voicing a minor character in Osamu Tezuka‘s anime Astro Boy, she has since gone on to voice characters from various anime series at a yearly pace. However, Nozawa is most well known for voicing Son Goku, Son Gohan, and Son Goten from the Dragon Ball franchise – roles she still actively portrays. For anime fans, though, her award acceptance speech sparked much interest.

Among the 71st #菊池寛賞 (Kikuchi Kan Prize) award winners, Masako Nozawa is the first voice actor to receive the award and Hideki Kuriyama is the second baseball manager to receive the award. The first [baseball] manager to win the award was Osamu Mihara (9th award, 1961), whom Kuriyama considers to be his mentor.

Nozawa’s acceptance speech for the Kikuchi Kan Prize was rather short. During it, she spoke about her first-grade teacher instilling the importance of proper enunciation in her. And while Nozawa joked about not always enunciating correctly, she would continue to do her best at it.

It was her final remarks that were stunning to say the least. Nozawa announced her retirement. Thankfully, fans of hers around the world won’t have to fret. She plans to continue voice acting until she is 182 years old. This isn’t some random number either as for Nozawa — it holds a special meaning. Unfortunately, she did not elaborate as to why 182 is important to her. Nozawa did emphasize, though, that voice acting until she is 182 is not a hope, but rather she would live to 182 and keep correctly enunciating the words as written in the scripts for anime fans.

Nozawa’s acceptance speech for the Kikuchi Kan Prize is available on YouTube. However, there are no English subtitles.

While Masako Nozawa‘s career may be slowing down, she is still active enough to keep on portraying at least one role a year. In fact, she recently reprised her role of Sanae Yukishiro from the first Pretty Cure television anime in the ongoing Power of Hope: Precure Full Bloom anime, and was just cast in the The Foolish Angel Dances with the Devil anime. She even joked in 2019 that she could take over the role of One Piece‘s Luffy if anything ever happened to Mayumi Tanaka (who is currently 68).

Who knows, Nozawa might even achieve her goal and keep entertaining us until she is 182. But we won’t know for sure as that’s still 95 years off.

Sources: The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Literature’s Twitter account, Oricon’s YouTube channel, Livedoor via Otakomu

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87-year-old Masako Nozawa Aims to Voice-Act for Another 100 Years – Interest