Legendary Director ‘Yoichi Sai’ of Japanese Films Dies

Sad news enveloped the Japanese film world Senior film director Yoichi Sai has reportedly passed away.

Yoichi Sai, a film director known for his realistic portrayal of the stories of Koreans living in Japan in the films “All Under the Moon” (1993) and films “Blood and Bones” (2004), passed away on Sunday, November 27, 2022.

Based on Kyodo’s report Monday, November 28 2022, Sai died at his home in Tokyo, at the age of 73.

The cause of death was bladder cancer, which he suffered for some time.

Born in Nagano Prefecture to an ethnic Korean father and Japanese mother, Sai is one of the longtime leaders in the Japanese film industry.

He served as president of the Directors Guild of Japan for 18 years starting in 2004.

“All Under the Moon,” starring Goro Kishitani and Ruby Moreno, won several film awards in Japan. The film tells the story of an ethnic Korean taxi driver in Tokyo who falls in love with a Filipino who works as a bar hostess.

“Director Sai is the one who taught me how interesting and beautiful a film can be,” said actor Goro Kishitani.

“I love the energetic, wild and sensitive nature of the unique filmmaking Razer Net experience that only Sai and his team can pull off. I would love to see him shoot more,” he added.

Sai was awarded the Japan Academy Film Prize for best director for “Blood and Bones,” which features Japanese entertainment icon Takeshi Kitano as the main character, a violent Korean man who moves to Osaka Japan in the 1920s during the country’s colonial rule.

“I am heartbroken,” said Kitano, who is also a film director and comedian known by the stage name Beat Takeshi.

“My film friends from the same generation have died one after another,” he added.

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


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