Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator

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Respected artist Noriyoshi Ohrai died earlier today, reports the Japanese media. You might not know his name, but you should know his work.

Born in 1939, Ohrai illustrated a wide variety of works—from pulp fiction covers and history books to Hollywood blockbusters and video games.

He first really made a name for himself with his art for the international Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back poster.

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Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator

[Image: Film On Paper via io9]

And this 1982 re-release of Star Wars Episode IV:

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator

[Image: Film On Paper]

Via the Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition Facebook page, here are more of his Star Wars illustrations:

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

He also did one of the posters for The Goonies.

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image via Branded in the 80s]

And for eight Godzilla movies.

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Film On Paper]

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Film On Paper]

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

I have to agree with Film On Paper that Ohrai was truly one of the greatest movie poster illustrators of all time.

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Ohrai also lent his talents to Koei.

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

Among other game makers.

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Ohrai left us with a varied, impressive body of work.

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image via Cryptic Corridor]

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

For that, we thank him. May he rest in peace.

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

Illustration for article titled Today, We Lost a Great Japanese Illustrator
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[Image: Noriyoshi Ohrai Exhibition]

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter@Brian_Ashcraft.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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DISCUSSION

DanDussault

I got his Green Universe book just two days ago! His compositions are amazing. He will go down as a legend.

I wish the book had more large images of his movie posters. Many are like, drafts (the empire strikes back poster for example) or are from obscure films (the hell is “Nico”?). His Mad Max 2 poster is incredible. Hes one of my idols.