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Obituaries

Japanese filmmaker Nobuhiko Obayashi dies at 82

Coming-of-age movies set in director's hometown were popular hits

Nobuhiko Obayashi, seen here in a 1996 photo, earned global recognition for his work including at the Berlin International Film Festival.   © Kyodo

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese film director Nobuhiko Obayashi, who produced a series of hit movies in the 1980s featuring youths in his native city of Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, died of lung cancer Friday, his film company said. He was 82.

Obayashi, who earned global recognition for his work including at the Berlin International Film Festival, revealed that he had stage-four lung cancer in August 2016, prior to shooting his film "Hanagatami."

He never stopped making new films even while battling the disease.

His latest work, "Umibeno Eigakan Kinemano Tamatebako" ("Labyrinth of Cinema"), was initially scheduled to come out on Friday, but the release had already been postponed because of the new coronavirus outbreak.

Obayashi died at his home in Tokyo on Friday evening.

After making his directorial debut with the surreal horror film "House" in 1977, he shot three works centered on adolescence against the scenic backdrop of Onomichi, which faces the Seto Inland Sea in western Japan and is full of narrow cobblestone streets and old houses.

The three works are "Tenkosei" ("Exchange Students"), "Tokio Kakeru Shojo" ("The Girl Who Leapt Through Time") and "Sabishinbo" ("Lonely Heart").

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