The revered stage performer passed away on Wednesday (05Dec12) after being struck down with acute respiratory distress syndrome. He had been battling esophageal cancer in the months before his death.
Nakamura - real name Noriaki Namino - was born into a family of famous performers of Japan's ancient kabuki theatre - renowned for its extravagant make-up and costumes, and all-male cast - and he became one of the art form's leading stars.
As well as kabuki, which he is credited with modernising and introducing to Western audiences, he appeared in a number of Japanese films and TV shows.
He underwent surgery to treat his esophageal cancer in July (12) but later fell ill with pneumonia.