Iconic composer Ryuichi Sakamoto dies at 71

Ryuichi Sakamoto

We’ve learned some tragic news – famed composer Ryuichi Sakamoto has died at 71 after a long battle with cancer.

Japanese newspaper Sponichi confirmed Sakamoto actually passed away back on March 28th, and his funeral was attended only by his immediate family members.

Sakamoto’s management company also confirmed the news, noting the famed composer was devoted to his music until the very end of his days.

Ryuichi’s storied career had him involved with a number of iconic projects from making the startup sound for Sega Dreamcast to the score of Royal Space Force, and many more.

Sakamoto was also a member of the band Yellow Magic Orchestra and went on to win an Oscar for the soundtrack to The Last Emperor.

Sakamoto had been diagnosed with rectal cancer and was undergoing treatment, though it unfortunately spread to his lungs he remained dedicated to music in his home studio.

A full English message was posted by his management in mourning:

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of artist and musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto, on the 28th of March, 2023. He was 71 years old.

While undergoing treatment for cancer discovered in June 2020, Sakamoto continued to create works in his home studio whenever his health would allow.
He lived with music until the very end.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to his fans and all those who have supported his activities, as well as the medical professionals in Japan and the U.S. who did everything in their power to cure him.

In accordance with Sakamoto’s strong wishes, the funeral service was held among his close family members. Please understand that we are unable to accept any calls of condolences, offerings of incense or flowers, and the like.

Finally, we would like to share one of Sakamoto’s favorite quotes:

“Ars longa, vita brevis.”
Art is long, life is short.

While many will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.


Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic

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