BORN 15 Jul 1913, Tokyo - DIED 18 May 1988, München|
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Friedhof Heerstrasse, Trahkener Allee 1, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf (Feld 16-G-29 (Ehrengrab))
Michiko Tanaka came from a family of painters. She was educated in Hiroshima. Her uncle was Ambassador in Austria and in 1929 she moved to Vienna to study violin, music and singing. Maria Ivogün was one of her teachers. She married Julius Meinl and debuted in 1930 in "Die Geisha", which was an instant succes. Together with Richard Tauber she appeared in Madame Butterfly.
She gave concerts in Berlin, London, Paris, Vienna, Tokyo and other cities, performing in different languages. She also appeared at the Festspiele in Salzburg and from 1935 onwards she had parts in several movies. She lived in Paris for several years and missed the part of the Chinese character O-Lan in "The Good Earth", because there was a protest against the idea of a Japanese woman playing the part. The Austrian actress Luise Rainer got the part and promptly won the Oscar for Best Actress.
In Paris she met the actor Viktor de Kowa and she married him in 1939. Julius Meinl was the best man for the wedding. After the war she continued her career in Germany and during the 1950s she lived at the Wacholderweg 7b in Berlin with De Kowa. After he died in 1973 she worked as a music professor in Berlin. After her retirement she lived in Munich.
Husband: Kowa, Victor de (1939-1973)