Ichikawa Jun (1948-2008)

Roland Domenig roland.domenig at univie.ac.at
Fri Sep 19 05:48:27 EDT 2008

The News reported today that director Ichikawa Jun passed away this morning at age 59.
Born in Tokyo in 1948 Ichikawa began his career as director  of TV commercials. In the 1980s his hit TV-commercials earned him several awards among them a Golden Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival in 1985. In 1987 he moved into filmmaking with BU.SU, which was critically acclaimed and voted one of the top ten films of 1987 by the Kinema Jumpo jury. Since then, Ichikawa has continued to make a new feature films every other year. The stylishness of his films won him a high reputation in Japan as well as internationally. Among his best known films are Tsugumi (1990), Tokiwa - The Manga Apartment (Tokiwaso no seishun, 1996), Tokyo Lullaby (Tokyo yakyoku, 1997) Osaka Story (Osaka monogatari, 1999) and Tony Takitani (2004). Personally I especially like his early films Memories of You (Kaisha monogatari, 1988) and No Life King (1989). Ichikawa's most recent film Buy a suit (Sutsu o kau) will be premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival next month.
Although Ichikawa never rose to "stardom" he nevertheless was one of the most reliable Japanese film directors of the past two decades and his untimely dead is a great loss for Japanese cinema.

Roland Domenig

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