After composing the heartbreaking score for “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” and winning an Oscar for “The Last Emperor” in 1987, Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto passed away at the age of 71.
His administration revealed his passing to the public on March 28. In recent years, he endured cancer treatment.
One of Sakamoto’s favorite sayings is “Art is long, life is short,” which was quoted in a statement. Let’s look in detail, Who was Ryuichi Sakamoto and Ryuichi Sakamoto Death?
Who Was Ryuichi Sakamoto?
The composer, who was born in Tokyo in 1952, listened to both classical music by composers like Bach and the music of The Beatles growing up.
In 1978, he co-founded the groundbreaking electronic band Yellow Magic Orchestra, for which he played the keyboard. The band eventually found worldwide popularity, and their pioneering use of synthesizers is widely credited with helping to pave the way for new musical styles like house and techno.
Nonetheless, Sakamoto’s contributions to soundtracks earned him the most recognition.
In 1983’s “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence,” co-starred with David Bowie and composed the film’s score. Four years later, his score for “The Last Emperor” won him a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for best original composition.
His work, which included the score for “The Revenant” (2015), continued into his final years, and on May 5 an album of the composer’s music curated by “The Revenant” director Alejandro González Iárritu will be released.
Ryuichi Sakamoto Death
The Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who pioneered electronic pop and went on to write outstanding film compositions (including the Oscar-winning “The Last Emperor”) that fused Eastern and Western cultural elements, passed away on March 28 at the age of 71.
His website revealed the cause of death to be cancer, but additional information was unavailable at the time of the post. In 2014, he was treated for throat cancer; in 2021, he was treated for rectal cancer; in 2022, he said he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.
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Tributes to Ryuichi Sakamoto
The news of Sakamoto’s death was met with an outpouring of tributes from the artistic community and beyond across all social media platforms. His music has been called the “score of many of my life experiences” by American author Frederick Joseph, while Japanese actor Haruka Abe has tweeted that his music “shall live on forever.”
On a somber note, rest in peace Ryuichi Sakamoto. You will be greatly missed, and your music will live on forever
— Haruka Abe (@HarukaAbe) April 3, 2023
I’m pretty devastated by this Ryuichi Sakamoto news. His music has been the score of many of my life moments. A giant of our time. pic.twitter.com/Ce06oCvDiP
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) April 2, 2023
As this was happening, DJ and producer Tokimonsta, who has worked with Sakamoto before, sent a letter calling him “one of the most forward-thinking, nurturing supportive artists of his generation.”
— T᷈O᷈K᷈iM᷈O᷈N᷈S᷈T᷈A᷈ (@TOKiMONSTA) April 2, 2023
According to his management company, a private funeral service was performed for Sakamoto with his immediate family.
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