Iconic Japanese costume designer Emi Wada, who won an Academy Award for her work on legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's Ran in 1985, has died. The celebrated customer's family told Japanese media that she passed away on November 13, 2021, but did not reveal the cause or the place of her demise. Wada garnered immense praise for her meticulous detailing in the hand-dyed costumes for Ran, which earned her several accolades, including an Oscar and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). A few other important awards she won included a Prime Time Emmy for her work in the British TV show Oedipus Rex (1993) and a Hong Kong Film Award for her costume designs on Zhang Yimou’s acclaimed martial arts fantasy Hero

Born in Kyoto, Wada graduated from the Kyoto City University of Arts and eventually went on to have an extraordinary career spanning several decades that included her designing costumes for both the stage and big screen productions. She gained international stardom in her collaboration with legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa on his Ran, which was derived from King Lear and set in medieval Japan. She went on to win an Oscar for her work on Ran and was the solitary win for the film from its four nominations that year.

Emi Wada continued to work in Japanese films, while also taking on significant roles in international productions like the Zhang Yimou epic pair Hero and House Of Flying Daggers. She was also a part of the English-language Prospero’s Books under Peter Greenaway's direction. Wada tasted massive success in the 80s and published a number of books on her craft. Wada had been married to Ben Wada, who passed away in 2011.