THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
November 21, 2021 at 13:55 JST
Academy Award-winning costume designer Emi Wada died Nov. 13 at the age of 84, her family announced.
A memorial service was held with close relatives in attendance.
Wada designed costumes for numerous theater, movie and ballet productions for distinguished artists around the world, earning her a host of prestigious prizes.
She received the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in 1986 for her work on “Ran,” a 1985 movie directed by Akira Kurosawa.
Born in Kyoto, Wada began pursuing a career in costume design after helping out in a theater 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 Arts.
Other films by Japanese moviemakers she was involved in include “Rikyu” in 1989 by Hiroshi Teshigawara and “Gohatto” in 1999 by Nagisa Oshima.
She also created costumes for films by renowned moviemakers outside Japan, including “The Soong Sisters” (1997) by Mabel Cheung; “Hero” (2002) and “House of Flying Daggers” (2004) by Zhang Yimou; “Prospero’s Books” (1991); and “The Pillow Book” (1996) by Peter Greenaway.
Wada was fastidious about the fabrics she used in designing costumes and how they could be dyed to best match the characters who wore them.
Despite her advancing years, she never slowed down on grounds she wanted to “pass down traditional crafts and craftsmanship on the verge of extinction to younger generations.”
When Wada was asked to design costumes for a production for the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, she used fabrics woven by Kyoto craftsmen for the work.
One of her latest works was “Love After Love,” a 2020 Chinese romance drama directed by Ann Hui.
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