• Kyodo


Japanese costume designer Emi Wada, known for her Academy Award-winning work on a film by renowned director Akira Kurosawa, died on Nov. 13, her family said. She was 84.

A native of Kyoto, Wada began working on theatrical costumes when she was still a student at the Kyoto City University of Arts.

Japanese costume designer and winner of an Oscar and an Emmy, Emi Wada. | KYODO
Japanese costume designer and winner of an Oscar and an Emmy, Emi Wada. | KYODO

She won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in 1986 for her work on Kurosawa’s film “Ran” (“Chaos”) about a medieval warlord. Wada, whose birth name is Emiko, made the film’s costumes by weaving yarn she dyed herself to reflect the style of the story’s time period.

Among the many films from her career, Wada worked with Chinese film director Zhang Yimou in “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers” released in the early 2000s. She also designed costumes for “Love After Love,” which was directed by Ann Hui and set for release in Hong Kong on Thursday.

She worked internationally, designing costumes not only for movies but also for operas and the theater.

Wada also won the Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Costume Design for a variety or music program in 1993 for her work on the opera “Oedipus Rex,” which was conducted by Seiji Ozawa and aired in the United States.

The cause and location of her death were not disclosed.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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