Composer and musician SAKAMOTO Ryuichi has passed away on March 28 at the age of 71.
He was active as a member of Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) alongside Hosono Haruomi and Takahashi Yukihiro.
In 1983’s film Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence directed by Oshima Nagisa, Sakamoto created its theme music which became one of his representative works as well as appeared in the film as an actor. He also appeared in Bernardo Betrolucci’s The Last Emperor in 1988 and won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for the music he created with fellow musicians like David Byrne, becoming the first Japanese composer to receive the award.
He continued creating numerous scores for films in the following years, including The Sheltering Sky (1990, Bernardo Bertolucci), Little Buddha (1993, Bernardo Bertolucci), Gohatto (1999, Oshima Nagisa), The Revenant (2015, Alejandro G. Iñárritu), Love After Love (2020, Ann Hui), and the Kore-eda Hirokazu’ upcoming film Monster, which is set to be released in Japan in June 2023.
At the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) held in 2017, Sakamoto was awarded the SAMURAI Award, which commends achievements by veteran filmmakers and other creators who continue to contribute groundbreaking work that carves pathways to a new era in cinema, like a “samurai”. At the award ceremony, he attended a special talk which was held along with the screening of the documentary Ryuichi Sakamoto: CODA directed by Stephen Nomura Schible after following Sakamoto for five years.
We would like to express our sincere condolences and would like to convey our deepest sympathy.
Tokyo International Film Festival
At the 30th TIFF in 2017
Sakamoto Ryuichi Master Class: Composing Without Rules, Imbuing Films with the Power to Move Us (November 1, 2017)
SAMURAI Award Ceremony and “Ryuichi Sakamoto: CODA” Stage Appearance: In Pursuit of Sonic Blending, Both Chaotic and Unified (November 2, 2017)
“Ryuichi Sakamoto: CODA” / SAMURAI Award ceremony (2017)
For the 30th anniversary of TIFF (2017)