The news was announced by the Toho Corporation, the company that released many of Ichikawa’s films. Chizuko Wagatsuma, a Toho spokesperson, told reporters that Ichikawa died of pneumonia after a brief hospitalization.
Known as much for his technique as for his catholic tastes, Ichikawa won a number of awards during his long career, including a Cannes jury prize for 1960’s Kagi and a 2001 lifetime achievement award from the World Film Festival of Montreal. Japanese film critic Tadao Sato released a statement praising Ichikawa’s work, excerpted below:
“Ichikawa surely stands alongside Akira Kurosawa and Keisuke Miyashita as one of Japan’s great directors. He made not just art films, but also melodramas, documentaries, mysteries and others … and he brought to all of them a technique and craft that showed he took the works seriously no matter the subject. Even his light entertainments had class.”
Ichikawa is survived by two sons.
Source: Associated Press