Ryuichi Sakamoto

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In this Japanese name, the family name is Sakamoto.
Ryuichi Sakamoto
坂本 龍一
Sakamoto in 2008
Born(1952-01-17)January 17, 1952
DiedMarch 28, 2023(2023-03-28) (aged 71)
Tokyo, Japan
EducationTokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (B.A., M.A.)
  • Musician
  • record producer
  • actor
  • activist
Years active1975–2023
  • Natsuko Sakamoto
    (m. 1972; div. 1982)
  • Akiko Yano
    (m. 1982; div. 2006)
Children4,[a] including Miu
Musical career
  • Keyboard
  • piano
  • synthesizer
  • vocals
Formerly of
Japanese name
Kanji坂本 龍一
Hiraganaさかもと りゅういち

Ryuichi Sakamoto (坂本 龍一, Sakamoto Ryūichi, 17 January 1952 – 28 March 2023) was a Japanese musician, composer, music producer, pianist, keyboardist, and actor. His nickname is Kyoju, which means Professor in Japanese.

Early life[change | change source]

He was from Tokyo. He was born there on 17 January 1952. He learned music at Tokyo University of the Arts and Tokyo University of Arts graduate school.

Career[change | change source]

Musician[change | change source]

He was one of the founders of the music group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO). YMO is an English acronym. YMO stands for "Yellow Magic Orchestra", which he formed with Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi in the late 1970s. The group gained success and became famous at home and abroad. In addition, he released music solo parallel to his work as a member of YMO.

Other than his own music, Sakamoto has offered musical pieces to other artists and composed soundtracks. The soundtrack of "The Last Emperor" shown in 1987 was evaluated and won an Academy Award for Original Music Score by a Japanese artist for the first time.

Actor[change | change source]

Sakamoto has also acted in several movies: His most notable roles were as the conflicted antagonist Captain Yonoi in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, alongside Takeshi Kitano and English rock singer David Bowie, and as the evil antagonist Masahiko Amakasu (a real-life Japanese officer, murderer and movie boss) in The Last Emperor. He also appeared as a music director in Madonna's "Rain" music video.

Sports work[change | change source]

In 1994, Japan Football Association asked Ryuichi Sakamoto to compose the instrumental song "Japanese Soccer Anthem".[1]

This instrumental song played at the beginning of Japan Football Association-sponsored events, such as Emperor's Cup matches.

Activist[change | change source]

In late years he has often spoken about the issues of environmental problems, including against nuclear reactors after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and peace, including against nuclear weapons, in the media.[2]

Personal life[change | change source]

Sakamoto's first of three marriages occurred in 1972, but ended in divorce in 1974—Sakamoto had a daughter from this relationship. Sakamoto then married popular Japanese pianist and singer Akiko Yano in 1982, following several musical collaborations with her, including touring work with the Yellow Magic Orchestra. Sakamoto's second marriage ended in August 2006, 14 years after a mutual decision to live separately—Yano and Sakamoto raised one daughter, J-pop singer Miu Sakamoto.[3] He has lived with his manager and wife Norika Sora since around 1990 until his death and has two children with her.

On 10 July 2014, Sakamoto released a statement and said that he had been diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer in late June. He announced that he was taking a break from his work while he went through treatment and recovery.[4]

Sakamoto died as a result of his ongoing battle with rectal cancer on 28 March 28 2023 in Tokyo, which was discovered in 2021. His death was announced on April 2 through his website, after his funeral was held that included family members and close friends.[5][6]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. During his marriage to Akiko Yano, he adopted her son. However, it is unknown if this was terminated upon their divorce.

References[change | change source]

  1. "財団法人日本サッカー協会 平成18年度第1回理事会 報告事項" (PDF). 日本サッカー協会. 13 April 2006. p. 6. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  2. Smith, Steve. "Sylvan Sounds, Meant to Be Seen," New York Times. 19 October 2010; excerpt, "... a skillful keyboardist, he is a pop-culture hero in his native Japan, a composer of film scores and symphonic works, a record producer and entrepreneur, an actor and, most recently, an environmental activist"; retrieved 7 June 2012.
  3. "坂本龍一、矢野顕子が仮面夫婦の関係に終止符". e-entertainment.info. 29 November 2006. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011. Translation
  4. "Ryuichi Sakamoto diagnosed with throat cancer". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  5. "Ryuichi Sakamoto: Japanese electronic music maestro dies". BBC News. 2 April 2023. Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  6. "siteSakamoto - siteSakamoto". web.archive.org. 2 April 2023. Archived from the original on 2 April 2023. Retrieved 2 April 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

Further reading[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]