Ryuichi Sakamoto diagnosed with throat cancer, will take time off to regain health

Ryuichi Sakamoto diagnosed with throat cancer, will take time off to regain health

Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto posted some sad news to his website earlier today: he’s been diagnosed with throat cancer, and he’s taking time away from his work in order to focus on his health.

The 62-year-old Sakamoto, one of the founding members of Yellow Magic Orchestra, has collaborated with everyone from David Byrne to Fennesz (the two released three albums between 2005 and 2011), and in 1987 received an Academy Award for his score to The Last Emperor. He’s also participated in protests against the Japanese government’s decisions regarding nuclear power. “Keeping silent after Fukushima is barbaric,” he said in an article for a Japanese newspaper.

Sakamoto has canceled all of his upcoming performances and appearances, noting that he will not be able to attend the first-ever Sapporo International Art Festival in his role as guest director, a project that he has spent “the past two painstaking years in preparation for.” Sakamoto worked on an art exhibition called “Forest Symphony in Moerenuma” for the festival, which will also feature works by Anselm Kiefer and performance artist Fuyuki Yamakawa. Sakamoto was also scheduled to perform live.

Sakamoto promises that the festival’s programming will still be of the “highest quality” and asks for everyone to “enjoy the festival in [his] place.”

“Please bare with me while I regain my health,” he writes. “I promise to return after a full recovery. Thank you very much.”

Get well soon, Ryuichi!

• Ryuichi Sakamoto: http://sitesakamoto.com

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