Famous movie costume designer Emi Wada has died aged 84


Oscar-winning costume designer Emi Wada died on November 13 at the age of 84, her family announced.

A memorial service was held in the presence of relatives.

Wada has designed costumes for numerous theater, film and ballet productions for prominent artists around the world, which has earned him many prestigious awards.

She received the Oscar for Best Costume Design in 1986 for her work on “Ran”, a 1985 film directed by Akira Kurosawa.

Born in Kyoto, Wada began a career in costume design after participating in a theatrical production directed by her husband Ben Wada, who worked for Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK). She married Wada when she was a third year student at Kyoto City University of the Arts.

Other films by Japanese directors in which she has participated include “Rikyu” in 1989 by Hiroshi Teshigawara and “Gohatto” in 1999 by Nagisa Oshima.

She has also created costumes for films by renowned filmmakers outside of Japan, including “The Soong Sisters” (1997) by Mabel Cheung; “Hero” (2002) and “House of Flying Daggers” (2004) by Zhang Yimou; “The Books of Prospero” (1991); and “The Pillow Book” (1996) by Peter Greenaway.

Wada was picky about the fabrics she used to design costumes and how they could be dyed to best match the characters wearing them.

Despite her advanced age, she never slowed down on the grounds that she wanted to “pass on traditional crafts and handicrafts in danger of extinction to younger generations”.

When Wada was asked to design costumes for a production for the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, she used fabrics woven by artisans in Kyoto for the work.

One of his last works was “Love After Love,” a 2020 Chinese romantic drama directed by Ann Hui.


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