Music, film stars pay tribute to Ryuichi Sakamoto
Tokyo, Apr 3 (EFE).- Influential names from the film and music industries paid tribute on Monday to renowned Japanese composer and pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto, who died at the age of 71.
“Teacher, I hope the long journey is peaceful,” South Korean boy band BTS member Suga wrote in an Instagram story hours after Sakamoto’s agency announced that he had passed away on Mar. 28.
Others in the music industry also posted messages in honor of Sakamoto, including Yojiro Noda from the Japanese rock group Radwimps, who said on Instagram that he had the opportunity to see the composer twice and that he still remembers his “gentle way of speaking.”
Japanese director Shunji Iwai, known for productions such as “Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?” (1993) and “Hana & Alice” (2004), thanked the composer for his help “in public and private.”
“’Mr. Iwai, please continue to play an active role! I’ll be watching over you.’ At the end of last year, these warm words I received in the mail were the last. The impact it has had is immeasurable. Rest in peace,” Iwai wrote on Twitter.
Sakamoto’s partner in the Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) trio Haruomi Hosono also mourned his death by posting a gray square on his Instagram page, the same gesture Sakamoto made on Jan. 11, when YMO’s third member Yukihiro Takahashi died at the age of 70.
Sakamoto, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014 from which he recovered, disclosed in early 2021 that he had been diagnosed with rectal cancer, which spread to other organs and limited his public appearances, concerts and interviews in recent years.
Awarded an Oscar in 1987 for Best Original Score for “The Last Emperor,” Sakamoto underwent several surgeries last year.
The composer was one of the most international Japanese creators of his time, with a complex body of work made up of several stages, from his first successful group, the experimental YMO, to film scores.
Sakamoto also won a BAFTA, a Grammy, and two Golden Globe Awards, and wrote the music for hit films such as “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” (1983), in which he also acted as the commander of a Japanese prisoner of war camp alongside David Bowie, as well as “The Last Emperor” and “The Revenant” (2015).
Bowie’s official Twitter account also paid tribute to the composer, posting pictures of the pair in Japan in 1983 and in a poster for “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence.”
Sakamoto’s last concert was on Dec. 11 and broadcast online so that his fans from across the world could watch him, many fearing it could be for the last time. EFE