Sakamoto Bows Out

The Japanese composer announces what he thinks may well be his last public performance

Ryuichi Sakamoto has announced a live stream event for 11 December which, he says, may be his last performance. The pianist and co-architect of Japan’s electronic music boom, thanks to his pioneering band Yellow Magic Orchestra, was diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer in 2014. In 2021 he had surgery for rectal cancer and for cancer that had spread to his lungs.

“I don’t have the energy to do live concerts… This might be the last time that you will see me perform in this manner,” he announced on his website. The statement went on: “Perhaps he has accepted and sat with the reality that he is currently unable to do things that he once used to. Planting himself firmly on the ground of this new reality necessitated by his physical condition, Sakamoto seems to have found a new drive and positivity.”

The concert was recorded at the NHK Studio 509 in Shibuya, Tokyo, which Sakamoto describes as the best in Japan, and was pieced together from a series of shorter performances recorded over a week in September.

For more details about the live stream and ticket sales, visit 

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