Ryuichi Sakamoto (Japan actor and musician who wrote for Hollywood hits like The Last Emperor and The Revenant) has passed away at the age of 71.
Avex, his recording company, said that Sakamoto had died while receiving treatment for throat cancer.
He was first diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2014.
In the late 1970s, electronic music was a new frontier. Mr Sakamoto founded the Yellow Magic Orchestra with Haruomi Takahashi and Yukihiro Takahashi.
According to an official statement, he still released a full-length album despite having been diagnosed with cancer.
He is a world-class musician and won the Oscar and Grammy for The Last Emperor in 1987.
He was also an actor and starred in the 1983 BAFTA-winning film Merry Christmas to Mr. Lawrence.
In recent years, he was based mainly in New York. However, he visited Japan frequently.
Sakamoto was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1952. He began studying music when he was 10 years old.
Avex stated that despite his illness, Avex continued to work in his home studio on his music when he felt relatively well. According to the firm’s statement, Avex lived with music until his last days.
In the statement, he expressed his gratitude to the doctors in Japan and the United States as well as all his fans.
It was a reference to Sakamoto’s words “Arslonga, vita brvis” which refers the longevity of art, regardless of how short a person’s life.
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As a pacifist, and environmental activist, Mr Sakamoto left his mark. After the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdowns, which were caused by an earthquake or tsunami, Sakamoto spoke out against nuclear energy.
He participated in rallies in Tokyo and gave speeches. He was also part of a group that included respected Japanese artists like Kenzaburo Oe (Nobel-winning novelist), who did not hesitate to take a controversial stand on political issues.
Avex stated that funeral services were held for close family members and friends.
Miu Sakamoto (a musician and daughter) is the only survivor of Mr Sakamoto.
She shared on Instagram the years that her father lived, from 17 January 1952 to 28 March 2023, and a photo with a broken, worn-out piano.
He had split from Akiko Yano, his ex-wife and singer/composer.