Yoichi Sai | KYODO
Yoichi Sai | KYODO

Yoichi Sai, a film director known for his realistic depictions of the stories of Koreans living in Japan in the 1993 film "All Under the Moon" and the 2004 film "Blood and Bones," died of bladder cancer at his home in Tokyo on Sunday, his family said. He was 73.

Born in Nagano Prefecture to an ethnic Korean father and a Japanese mother, Sai was a longtime leader in the Japanese film industry, having served as president of the Directors Guild of Japan for 18 years beginning in 2004.

"All Under the Moon," starring Goro Kishitani and Ruby Moreno, won a number of film awards in Japan. It revolves around an ethnic Korean taxi driver in Tokyo who falls in love with a Filipina working as a bar hostess.

Sai was awarded a Japan Academy Film Prize as best director for the "Blood and Bones," which featured Takeshi Kitano as the main character, a Korean man who moved to Japan's Osaka in the 1920s during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

In January, Sai announced that he was battling bladder cancer.