Nikkatsu reported today that Seijun Suzuki died on Monday, February 13 at the age of 93. The cause of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The funeral has since been held by his family.
Born in 1923 as Seitarou Suzuki, Seijun Suzuki debuted as a director for the movie Minato no Kanpai, Shouri wo Wagate ni (Victory Is Mine) in 1956. While predominantly known as an actor and live-action filmmaker—especially for yakuza B-movies—Suzuki also directed the TV anime Lupin III: Part II and anime movie Lupin III: Babylon No Ougon Densetsu. Zigeunerweisen, which Suzuki directed in 1980, received an Honorable Mention at the 31st Berlin International Film Festival.
Seijun Suzuki’s movies are known for having an avant-garde world view and unique color sense, referred to as “Suzuki Aesthetics.” His individual style has attracted fans from around the world, and influenced both local and international acclaimed filmmakers. Damien Chazelle, director of the 2016 award-winning film La La Land, recently stated in a press conference in Japan that the film was influenced by Suzuki’s Tokyo Nagaremono (Tokyo Drifter).