Isamu Tanonaka (田の中 勇, Tanonaka Isamu, born July 19, 1932 ~ died January 13, 2010) was a Japanese voice actor from Taitou, Tokyo.

He provided the voice of Medama-Oyaji in all 6 GeGeGe no Kitarō anime adaptations and most other media made during his lifetime, including live action films, commercials, theme park attractions, and variety show appearances.

Tanonaka also portrayed Youaltepuztli in Shigeru Mizuki's other series "Akuma-kun". He reprised the role for a guest appearance in the 2007 Kitarō anime.

Portraying Medama-Oyaji

Originally, the 1985 anime was to have an entirely new cast, unlike the 1971 anime which featured the same main cast as the first series (Masako Nozawa as Kitarō, Chikao Ōtsuka as Nezumi-Otoko, and Tanonaka). However, the audition for Medama-Oyaji fell short, and Tanonaka was asked to reprise the role. As a result he became the permanent voice of Medama-Oyaji until his death in 2010, reprising the role again for the 1996 and 2007 animes. He also reprised the role for Hakaba Kitarō, once again alongside Nozawa and Ōtsuka in their original roles as well. Following his death, the role of Medama-Oyaji was portrayed by Takeshi Aono and then Bin Shimada in various projects before Nozawa took over for the 2018 anime.

Selected filmography

GeGeGe no Kitarō characters

Other Shigeru Mizuki works

Other Notable Roles


Dub Roles

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