Born as a daughter of a stationery store in Tokyo (Chikada Co., Ltd., a sales and wholesale company for office supplies). She had an older brother, but he died in the war. In 1949, while a student at the higher girls’ school decided to try out for new Toho when she went to visit the studio. She was recommended to Omura Kansan of production chief, and the actress entered the total arts professionally and dropped out of school.
The following January, in 1950, she transferred to Toho.
In 1953, Sugie Toshio was chosen to coach her, starring in “Escape Zone” as Rentaro Mikuni’s mistress.
From this work, the real name was changed from Yoshiko to Machiko Kitagawa. Since then, she has played a role that makes the most of her bewitching features and has been active as a mid-career actress of Toho.
In 1964, she married Kiyoshi Kodama, who was also an actor of Toho (Kodama became a son of the Kitagawa family) and soon retired from the actress business. She was given one son and one daughter. His son is Daisuke Kitagawa, and for a while, he was active as a talent under the real names of Daisuke Kodama and Daisuke Kitagawa, but later retired and became an office worker. The daughter was her husband’s manager until her death.