The Japanese Composer, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Is Down with Cancer

The popular Japanese composer and pop musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto, has been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

He disclosed this in a statement on his website, where he said: “the news was disheartening, but thanks to the excellent doctors I met, the surgery I underwent was a success. I am now undergoing treatment.

Oscar-winning Japanese musician informed that despite the disease, he will continue to produce music for a little while longer but his live performances has been reduced.

Due to these circumstances, traveling long distances for work will be difficult. Still, I will continue to work as much as I can during treatment … From now on, I will be living alongside cancer. But, I am hoping to make music for a little while longer,” – he said.

In the late 1970s, Sakamoto became very popular in Japan with the Yellow Magic Orchestra. Sakamoto remains one of Japan’s most illustrious musicians.

He had a successful concurrent solo career, releasing 19 solo studio albums so far, and has collaborated with western musicians including Brian Wilson, Iggy Pop and David Byrne.

He had starred alongside David Bowie in the 1983 film Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence and composed his famous theme tune.

The music composer has written many film scores for some directors like Pedro Almodóvar, Oliver Stone and Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Sakamoto won Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy awards for scoring Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1987 film The Last Emperor.

In 2014, he was diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer, and took a year off to focus on treatment. He explained: “I had the most harsh, physically painful time in my life. I almost couldn’t eat, or I almost couldn’t swallow my own saliva.”

In 2015, after his recovery, he said: “Right now I’m good. I feel better. Much, much better. I feel energy inside, but you never know. The cancer might come back in three years, five years, maybe 10 years. Also the radiation makes your immune system really low. It means I’m very susceptible to another cancer in my body.”


Tags : JapanMusicRyuichi SakamotoYellow Magic Orchestra
Tayo Balogun

The author Tayo Balogun

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