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HomeNewsYellow Magic Orchestra aka YMO's Yukihiro Takahashi Died At 70

Yellow Magic Orchestra aka YMO’s Yukihiro Takahashi Died At 70

A renowned Japanese musician Yukihiro Takahashi, a drummer and vocalist representing Japan and a member of the legendary band “Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO)” that caused a techno boom in the 1980s, has passed away, he was 70.

He has been suffering from intermittent headaches since the early summer of 2020, and an MRI examination in August of the same year revealed a brain tumor. The removal surgery was successful, and in October of the same year, he announced on Twitter that he had completed the entire process of hospitalization, and declared, “I have decided to return as Yukihiro Shin.” While he rested at his villa in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, he continued his outpatient treatment.

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However, he received a regular checkup in June 2021 and posted, “I have a bad feeling and will start another treatment.” He declined to give details of his treatment, although he said it was not a recurrence.

According to sources, Takahashi suffered from pneumonia at the beginning of the year in Karuizawa, where he was recuperating, and his condition worsened.

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The cause and date of his death have not been revealed.

Mr. Takahashi shocked the world not only with YMO’s music, but also with his unique fashion, such as red people’s clothes. His performance at the 50th anniversary of his professional debut was the driving force behind his fight against illness. It’s something he’s been envisioning for years, positioning it as the starting point for his 70-year-old self. He continued to look forward to setting the stage for his recovery, working hard on treatment and rehabilitation. The performance itself was held, but he couldn’t appear.

Born in Tokyo in 1952, Takahashi got his start as a drummer for the Japanese rock band Sadistic Mika Band in the early 1970s. After disbanding, some of the members went on to form the Sadistics. In 1977, Takahashi recorded his first solo album, Saravah. In 1978, he formed “YMO” with Ryuichi Sakamoto (70) and Haruomi Hosono (75). He sparked a tecno boom in the 80’s with his bold use of synthesizers. The popular song “Rydeen” released in 1980 was composed by Takahashi.

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They drew significant influence from Isao Tomita and Kraftwerk, Japanese traditional music, arcade games, funk, and disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder.  In 1978, their track “Computer Game” reached the UK Top 20 and sold 400,000 copies in the US.

His impact on the Japanese pop scene is immeasurable, and it was Takahashi who supported YMO with his precise rhythm and tight drumming.

Nobuhiro Hosoki
Nobuhiro Hosoki
Nobuhiro Hosoki grew up watching American films since he was a kid; he decided to go to the United States thanks to seeing the artistry of Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange.” After graduating from film school, he worked as an assistant director on TV Tokyo’s program called "Morning Satellite" at the New York branch office but he didn’t give up on his interest in cinema. He became a film reporter for via Yahoo Japan News. In that role, he writes news articles, picks out headliners for Yahoo News, as well as interviewing Hollywood film directors, actors, and producers working in the domestic circuit in the USA. He also does production interviews for Japanese distributors of American films and for in-theater on-sale programs. He is now the editor-in-chief of while continuing his work for Japan.


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