by Chris MaGee
57-year-old composer Ryuichi Sakamoto was on hand at the French Embassy in Tokyo Thursday to receive the France's most prestigious decoration, The National Order of the Legion of Honour. Many of you will know Sakamoto for his film score for and performance in Nagisa Oshima's 1983 film "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" as well as for Oshima's 1999 film "Gohatto" and Jun Ichikawa's "Tony Takitani". Sakamoto also won the Oscar for Best Original Score for Bernardo Bertolucci's 1987 film "The Last Emperor".
Sakamoto told the assembled guests and press of the influence of composer Claude Debussy and filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard on his work, stating that, "Through my music, I hope to repay the debt I owe [French culture]."
Congratulations goes out to Sakamoto, and to commemorate this auspicious occasion we leave you with his instantly recognizable theme from Oshima's "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence". Thanks to Japan Zone for the details on this story.