Oscar-winning Japanese costume designer Wada dies aged 84

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Wada designed costumes for reputed film directors, as well as for theatre and opera.

Wada supported efforts to preserve the traditional craftsmanship of Kyoto, often the inspiration behind her gorgeous costumes.
Wada supported efforts to preserve the traditional craftsmanship of Kyoto, often the inspiration behind her gorgeous costumes.
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Emi Wada, the Japanese costume designer who won an Oscar for her work in Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran,” has died. 

Wada died on November 13 at the age of 84, Japanese media reported on Sunday, citing unidentified family sources and not giving the cause of death.

Wada was catapulted to stardom by the samurai costumes she created for the 1985 “Ran,” a striking portrayal of bloody intrigue and betrayal inspired by William Shakespeare’s “King Lear.”

Wada also designed costumes for other reputed film directors including Nagisa Oshima and Zhang Yimou, as well as for the theater and opera.

“I’ve never known anyone who pursued perfection and authenticity as much as you,” expressed Amon Miyamoto, a theater director who worked with Wada.

“To have been able to create something with you is an honor I will never forget for the rest of my life,” he added.

Wada’s beginnings 

Wada was born in the ancient capital of Kyoto, a city filled with bamboo, wooden structures and stone gardens that she said inspired her sense of beauty.

She made a point to emphasise the textures of the materials she used for her costumes. She considered her aesthetic Japanese, and supported efforts to preserve the traditional craftsmanship of Kyoto that was often behind her gorgeous costumes.

Her husband Ben Wada, a director whom she married when she was 20, helped her get her first costuming jobs. He died in 2011.

“Over the 60 years I’ve been doing this work, I’ve never gotten tired of it. I see myself as really lucky,” Wada said in a 2017 video message for the Tokyo International Film Festival.

In 2020, she created the costumes for Ann Hui’s “Love After Love,” which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival.

Funeral services were held with family and close friends, media reports said.

READ MORE: Japanese researchers introduce revolutionary smart clothing

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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