Donald Richie | Expert on Japan, 88

Donald Richie
Donald Richie
Posted: February 26, 2013

Donald Richie, 88, an American expatriate who became a leading authority on Japanese film and culture, and whose many books explained Japan to the rest of the world, died Tuesday at a Tokyo hospital.

The Japan Times reported his death, but the cause was not immediately known. He had a heart attack in 2003.

Mr. Richie, who had lived in Japan almost continuously since 1947, was among the first Western writers to champion the artistry of such filmmakers as Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu. He wrote dozens of books about film and Japanese culture, as well as a highly regarded travel account, The Inland Sea (1971), a journey through the country's interior.

Mr. Richie first encountered Japan when he was hired as a civilian typist to assist U.S. occupation forces after World War II.

"I wasn't here two weeks when I realized I was in a place that fit me," he told the Japan Times in 1995. - Washington Post

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