Ryuichi Sakamoto Is Thinking About Returning to Work


A year after he was diagnosed with throat cancer, legendary Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto says he is thinking about returning to work after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. In a rare posting to his website, Sakamoto, whose massive list of credits include membership in iconic ’70s electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra to acting and composing the 1983 film Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, recapped the past year that required him to pull out of all projects and focus on his health. He apologized for inconveniencing his fans and musical partners, adding that he “never felt more loved.”

“One year has passed since and thanks to everyone I am in great shape. I am thinking about returning to work,” he wrote. “For the time being I intend to prioritize composing work that I can do from home and so, for my first job, I will be responsible for the music of Haha to Kuraseba (Living With My Mother), a film by the great Japanese director Yoji Yamada. I will be refraining from performing live for now.”

“Forgive me if this sounds corny, but the illness brought me to a realization, which I am thankful for,” Sakamoto concluded. “It is truly a sign from nature or heaven. Taking this sign, I will make sure to avoid my old habits and treat my last days left with the utmost care.”