According to Ichikawa's office, he passed away suddenly in the early hours of Sept 19. He collapsed during a late night meal after working on the editing of his latest film, Buy A Suit.
The news comes only one day after it was announced that the 47-minute self-produced film would have its world premiere at the 21st Tokyo International Film Festival, in the Japanese Eyes program.
Born in Fuchu City (Tokyo) in 1948, Ichikawa began his career as a TV commercial director for various well-known Japanese brands before making his feature film debut with high school drama Bu Su in 1987. He went on to direct twenty films including: Tsugumi; Dying At A Hospital; Ryoma's Wife, Her Husband and Her Lover; Osaka Story; and Tokyo Marigold.
Ichikawa is perhaps best known for 1997's Tokyo Lullaby, which won Best Director at the Montreal World Film Festival and 2004's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's short story Tony Takitani, which competed at the Locarno International Film Festival, winning the Special Jury Prize and FIPRESCI award.