If you had any passing experience with Japanese film, Donald Richie likely touched you. If you ever watched Kagemusha, or watched the films of Yasujiro Ozu, you have him to thank. If you read any meaningful literature on Japanese film, they likely referenced Richie's volume of essays.
The man wrote much about Japan, from his initial visit in 1947, to when he moved there permanently thereafter, and up through the 2000s. He had suffered from illness for several years, but finally passed due to heart failure earlier today. The New York Times has a good obituary that summarizes his life, and I want to add a few works of his for you to read:
His work is well worth reading. As someone intimately involved with Japan, there's no better person to educate yourself from. Go and read his works, celebrate his life. It's sad that he has passed, but we can remember him for generations to come.
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