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.