Ryuichi Sakamoto, a well-known Japanese actor and musician who provided the soundtrack for blockbusters like “The Last Emperor” and “The Revenant,” has passed away. He was 71.
Sakamoto passed away on March 28 while receiving cancer treatment, according to a statement released on Sunday by the Japanese record label Avex.
2014 saw his initial throat cancer diagnosis. A year after admitting to having rectal cancer, he stated in 2022 that he had terminal cancer.
Sakamoto, along with Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi, created the Yellow Magic Orchestra, popularly known as YMO, in the late 1970s.
In January, Takahashi passed away.
In spite of his fight with cancer, Sakamoto celebrated his 71st birthday in January and published a full-length album titled “12,” claiming that writing music had a “little healing effect on my injured body and soul.”
He was a legendary musician who received an Oscar and Grammy for the film “The Last Emperor” in 1987.
Sakamoto had a role in the 1983 BAFTA-winning movie “Happy Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” as an actor.
Although he frequently travelled to Japan, he spent the last several years primarily located in New York.
Sakamoto, a 1952 Tokyo native who was influenced by Debussy and the Beatles, began studying music at the age of 10 and was born in Tokyo.
According to the statement from Avex, he continued to work on his music at his home studio even while ill, when he was feeling somewhat better. It stated, “He lived with music to his very last days.”
In addition to thanking all of his admirers worldwide, the statement also extended thanks to the physicians who had treated him in Japan and the United States. It made reference to a phrase that He cherished: “Ars longa, vida brevis,” which means that art endures no matter how brief a person’s life may be.
Sakamoto made a name for himself as an environmentalist and pacifist as well. Following the meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant in March 2011 brought on by an earthquake and tsunami, he spoke out against nuclear power.
He participated in protests and gave speeches in Tokyo, and he belonged to a group of well-known Japanese artists who were not afraid to take an unpopular stance on political problems, including the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Kenzaburo Oe.
He stood up during a rally in July 2012 and spoke from notes on an iPhone, urging Japan not to endanger lives for power.