Ryuichi Sakamoto Diagnosed With Cancer for a Second Time

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The beloved composer and giant of electronic music writes that he “will be living alongside cancer” but hopes to keep making music

Ryuichi Sakamoto in a suit
Ryuichi Sakamoto, photo by Isa Foltin/Getty Images

Ryuichi Sakamoto has been diagnosed with cancer for the second time in a decade, according to a note on the beloved composer’s website. Sakamoto writes that, while “the news was disheartening,” his initial surgery was a success and he will undergo further treatment. “From now on, I will be living alongside cancer,” the note reads. “But, I am hoping to make music for a little while longer.”

In 2014, Sakamoto was diagnosed with throat cancer. He said the following year that treatment had left him “in great shape”—it is now in remission—and in 2017, he returned with the landmark album async. In recent years, a flurry of reissues and film scores have cemented the Yellow Magic Orchestra co-founder’s legacy. In today’s note, Sakamoto concedes that his work rate will slow but pledged to do what he could as his treatment progressed. Read the note in full on his website

Read “Nine Essential Ryuichi Sakamoto Collaborations to Know” on the Pitch. 



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