Born in Kyoto, Emi Wada graduated from the Kyoto City College of Arts.
She has won prestigious awards, including: the Oscar for the costumes of the film Ran
by Akira Kurosawa, the Emmy Award for the costumes of the opera Oedipus Rex
directed by Julie Taymor, and for no less than three times running she was assigned the Hong Kong Film Award for the creation of the costumes for The Bride with white hair,
directed by Ronny Yu, The Soong sisters,
directed by Maybel Chueng and Hero
, directed by Zhang Yimou.
In the opera field she has designed the costumes for Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex
, for Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea
(which was also filmed in high definition by Dutch TV), Christopher Columnus
by Darius Milhaud, Gluck’s Alceste
, Louis Andriessen’s Writing to Vermeer
, Britten’s Curlew River
, Vangelis’ Mythodea
, Verdi’s Macbeth
, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly
, and Tan Dun’s The First Emperor
For the theatre, she created the costumes for King Lear
, Anthony and Cleopatra
and Timon of Athens
by Shakespeare, La Marie vison
by Shuji Terayama, L’Aigle á deux têtes
by Cocteau, Yurei wa kokoni iru
by Kobo Abe, The Good Woman of Setzuan
, Caucasian chalk circle
and Mother Courage and her children
by Brecht, Oil
by Hideki Noda, and Ronin-Gai
by Nozomi Makino.
She has been the guest at important theatres and festivals, such as the New York Metropolitan, the Lincoln Center Festival of New York, the Berlin Deutsche Staatsoper, the Salzburger Festspiele in Austria, the Saito Kine Festival, the Nederlandse Opera, the Tokyo Parco Theatre, the New National Theater in Japan, the Verona Arena, the Aoyama Theater of Tokyo, the Setagaya Public Theater of Tokyo, the New National Theater of Tokyo, the Theater Ginza of Tokyo, and The Akasaka Act Theater of Tokyo.
She has created the costumes for many successful films, such as (in addition to those already mentioned) Prospero’s book
, The Pillow book
, 8 ½ women
by Peter Greenaway, Gohatto
by Nagisa Oshima, House of Flying daggers
by Zhang Yimou, The Go master
and The Warrior and the wolf
by Tian Zhuang Zhuang.
She has also designed the costumes for dance performances (Carmen
, with the choreography of Karine Saporta), musicals (Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific overtures
, Joh Hisaishi’s Turandot
) and for the ballet The Peony pavilion
by Guo Wenjing.
Her exhibitions include: Emi Wada’s costume world
in Tokyo, Wada Emi works in Hikone Castle
, Emi Wada Works
in Kagoshima City.
She created the costumes for the Japanese television production Satomi Hakkenden
She designed the trophy for the 70th Kinema Junpo Awardand the dragon Seiryu-e
and the costumes for the Kiyomizudera temple in Kyoto.
She is also the authoress of the book entitled Emi Wada: my life in the making.