Juzo Itami

Famed Japanese director Juzo Itami took his own life Saturday by jumping from the roof of a building in Tokyo. He was 64.

In a suicide note, Itami blamed an upcoming report of an extramarital affair in a gossip magazine as contributing to his death.

Itami, who dominated the Japanese movie scene since his 1984 debut film “The Funeral” (Ososhiki), jumped from the roof of an eight-story apartment complex that housed his movie production company.

He was rushed to the hospital, where he died of massive internal injuries.

“My death is the only way to prove my innocence. There was no other way I could prove it,” Itami wrote in one of the suicide notes he left for the media. Other notes were addressed to his family.

The weekly Flash magazine was due to publish a report today alleging the director was having an affair with a 26-year-old woman.

Itami, a former actor, won national and international acclaim with his witty and piercing satires on modern Japanese society. All of his films starred his wife, Nobuko Miyamoto.

Some of Itami’s more famous films include “Tampopo” and “A Taxing Woman.”

Itami rose to fame with his 1984 debut feature film “The Funeral,” a black comedy about a dysfunctional family that reunites for the funeral of the clan’s patriarch.

Itami, whose real name was Yoshihiro Ikeuchi, earlier this year released his 10th film, “A Woman in Police Protection” (Marutai no Onna), to critical and moderate commercial success.

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