"As he fought his illness, he remained always positive, never lost his passion towards creation, and was strongly determined to recover and come back with fully-charged energy to see you again," a statement reads. "'Human energy is limitless' was his motto he would never let go, and he bravely kept challenging no matter hard the situation."
Yamamoto's work left a significant — and incredibly vivid — mark on Bowie's career. In 1971, Yamamoto become the first-ever Japanese designer to host a show at London Fashion Week, and he met Bowie a few years later in 1973. The pair struck a creative partnership that led Yamamoto to design the memorable costumes for both the Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane tours, among many others.
"My clothes became part of David, his songs and his music," Yamamoto told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. "They became part of the message he delivered to the world. He even wanted to go a bit crazier."
Among the craziest may have been the "Tokyo Pop" bodysuit, which found Bowie puffed up in billowing legs and red kabuki boots, as well as the silky white cape the musician famously wore covered in kanji.
It's no surprise then that it was Yamamoto's designs that filled much of the celebrated David Bowie Is exhibition, which travelled to Toronto back in 2013.
Besides working with Bowie, Yamamoto's clothing was also worn by the likes of Elton John, Stevie Wonder and John Lennon. Lady Gaga also wore Yamamoto designs in more recent years.
You can find various tributes to Yamamoto below, as well as the official statement on his passing.
English follows Japanese. 山本寛斎に関するご報告 かねてより病気療養中でありました山本寛斎が、急性骨髄性白血病のため、2020年7月21日に享年76歳にて永眠いたしました。 闘病中も、皆様にもう一度「元気」な山本寛斎の姿をお見せしたいという本人の強い意志のもと、前向きに治療に励む傍ら、クリエーションに対する熱い思いをスタッフに語っておりました。 『人間は、無尽蔵のエネルギーを持っている。』どんなに苦しい時であっても、その気持ちを忘れずに、果敢に挑戦し続けました。 長きにわたり、山本寛斎を応援して下さった皆様に、心より感謝を申し上げますとともに、謹んでお知らせいたします。 なお、7月31日に配信のオンラインイベント「日本元気プロジェクト2020 スーパーエネルギー‼」につきましては、予定通り開催いたします。 ともに当日を迎えることが出来なかったことはスタッフ一同、大変心残りではございますが、山本寛斎の思いがこもった作品を皆様にお届けしたいと思っております。 ----------------------- It is with immense sadness that we announce that Kansai Yamamoto has passed away on 21 July, 2020 due to acute myeloid leukemia. He was 76 years old. As he fought his illness, he remained always positive, never lost his passion towards creation, and was strongly determined to recover and come back with fully-charged energy to see you again. "Human energy is limitless" was his motto he would never let go, and he bravely kept challenging no matter hard the situation. We sincerely would like to thank you all for supporting Kansai for so many years. "Nippon Genki Project 2020 Super Energy", our first online streaming event planned on 31 July will be conducted as scheduled. We deeply regret that Kansai cannot join us on the day, but we would like to deliver his passion and dream in the best way possible. To all persons concerned, we apologise for any inconvenience caused by the sudden situation and ask for your kind understanding. Again, we would like to convey our sincere thanks for your warm support. Your thoughts and sympathies to the family and those who were close to him would be appreciated.
RIP Kansai Yamamoto - It is with much sorrow that we report the death of Japanese designer, @kansai_yamamoto, who passed away on 21st July, aged 76. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his family and those close to him at this sad time. #BowieKansai pic.twitter.com/6HUnBkOW7w— David Bowie Official (@DavidBowieReal) July 27, 2020
So sorry to hear about the passing of Kansai Yamamoto...He was a brilliant designer and his highly innovative costumes for Bowie's Ziggy Stardust incarnation are featured in many of my classic performance photos of the period. David loved his work. pic.twitter.com/bZ1vJoHizP— Mick Rock (@TheRealMickRock) July 27, 2020
"Unlike me, Bowie was quiet, shy, but on stage he flips a switch and becomes David Bowie,"— BowieBeckenhamOddity (@BowiesBecOddity) July 27, 2020
21st May 2018. ❤ pic.twitter.com/lWR1tUWfXK