One of the few figures in contemporary Japanese popular music to have found an international audience, firstly with the successful Yellow Magic Orchestra. Ryuichi began composing for films in 1983 wit...
Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto is taking time off from his music career after be was diagnosed with throat cancer. The world-renowned musician announced on Thursday (10Jul14) that he was given the news he has oropharyngeal cancer last month (Jun14), and has decided to cancel all his upcoming appearances and concerts to focus on his health.
Sakamoto says in a statement, "After much thought and consideration, I have decided to take time off of work in order to concentrate on treating it. I promise to return after a full recovery."
The 62 year old did not reveal the current stage of his cancer, but he has axed planned gigs in Japan later this month (Jul14), and also stepped down as one of the directors of the Sapporo International Art Festival, which is scheduled to begin next week (begs14Jul14).
With a career spanning three decades, Sakamoto has been a pioneer of the electric pop genre, and even won the Best Original Score Oscar in 1987 for Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor, and has also earned trophies from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), the Grammys and Golden Globes for his compositions.
Scored the film "Gohatto/Taboo", directed by Oshima
Founding member of Yellow Magic Orchestra
Contributed to the award-winning score of Bernardo Bertolucci's epic "The Last Emperor"
First film as composer, Nagisa Oshima's "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" (also acted)
Began studying piano at age three and composing at ten
After disbanding Yellow Magic Orchestra, pursued solo recording career
One of the few figures in contemporary Japanese popular music to have found an international audience, firstly with the successful Yellow Magic Orchestra. Ryuichi began composing for films in 1983 with "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence", in which he also portrayed Captain Yonoi, and won an Oscar for the haunting score of "The Last Emperor" (1987), co-written with David Byrne and Cong Su.