Article: Top 10 Japanese Music Composers

Music is an emotion-filled tune that everyone understands despite the language barrier. People from different location, cultures, and background understand music and listens to it, no matter if the language is familiar to them or not. Presently social media and the internet have brought everyone so close. It's not difficult for people to explore and learn music from around the world. Every music composer and singer tries to develop a song that is loved by everyone for its feel and emotion more than its language. And there have been so many real-life examples in which people have appreciated a music piece despite it coming from another corner of the world. Similarly, many talented composers in Japan have made their name worldwide. Let's see some of them.

1. Joe Hisaishi

Mamoru Fujisawa, professionally known as Joe Hisaishi, is a Japanese music director and composer. On December 6, 1950, he was born in Nakano, Nagano, Japan. He has composed songs for more than 100 films and is also known for his skills on the piano. His music includes different genres including, Western classical, minimalist, Japanese classical, etc. At the mere age of four, he started playing the violin. He was keenly interested in movies, and from there, his interest in music got deeper. He went to Kunitachi College of Music, where he majored in Music Composition. He has won several accolades including, the Japanese Academy Awards for Best Music- 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2009, and 2011.

2. Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto is a Japanese singer, pianist, composer, and record producer. On January 17, 1950, he was born in Japan, Tokyo. He was a member of the Orchestra band called Yellow Music before starting his solo career. He has influenced and pioneered several electronic music genres with his bandmates Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi. He did his maters at Tokyo National University, where he majored in Fine Arts and Music. He has won several accolades in his career including, Bafta Award For Best Film Music for his music in Merry Christmas, Academy Awards for Best Original Score, Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, etc.

3. Yoko Kanno

Yoko Kanno is a Japanese Composer and musician. On March 18, 1963, she was born in Sendai, Japan. She is best known for giving soundtracks to anime films, video games, advertisements, and movies. She has written musical scores for Cowboy Bebop and its movie representation, Darker than Black, Macross Plus, Turn A Gundam, Kids on the Slope, The Vision of Escaflowne, and Wolf's Rain. She has also composed music for some pop artists like Kyoko Koizumi and Maaya Sakamoto.

4. Akira Yamaoka

Akira Yamaoka is a Japan-based music producer and composer. On February 6, 1968, he was born in Niigata, Japan. He is best known for composing music for several video games like the Silent Valley series. He has composed music for Silent Hill and its followed sequel. He has been the sound director at Grasshopper Manufacture since 2010. He went to Tokyo Art College, where he majored in Product Design and Interior Design. He intended to make a career in Design. But, fate had something else stored for him.

5. Nobuo Uematsu

Nobuo Uematsu is a Japanese keyboardist and composer. He is best known for composing the music for the Final Fantasy video game series. He never received any formal training in music. He has his own production company and music label called Dog Ear Records. Since then, he has worked as a freelancer and composed music for several other video games like Mistwalker. On March 21, 1959, he was born in Kochi, Prefecture, Japan.

6. Junichi Masuda

Junichi Masuda is a Japan-based composer, director, designer, director, producer, and programmer who pre-dominantly works for video game companies. He is widely known for his contribution to the Pokemon Franchise. On January 12, 1968, he was born in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. After composing for a while, he stepped up his career game by taking up new initiatives like producing and directing games, such as Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. He went to the Japan Electronics College in Tokyo, where he majored in Computer Graphics and the C Programming language using a DEC Professional.

7. Kenji Kawai

Kenji Kawai is the name of a Japanese music arranger and composer. On April 23, 1957, he was born in Shinagawa City, Tokyo, Japan. He is considered one of the most successful personalities in the musical industry. He has composed music for films, animes, and video games. Some of his works are Kamen Rider Heisei Generations Forever, Tsui Hark’s Seven Swords, Mobile Police Patlabor, Avalon, The Red Spectacles, etc.

8. Toshio Hosokawa

Toshio Hosokawa is a Japanese composer whose prime contribution is creating contemporary classical music. On 23 October 1955, he was born in Hiroshima, Japan. He went to the Berlin University of the Arts and has composed operas, instrumental music, and the Oratorio Voiceless Voice in Hiroshima. Toshio has received several accolades and honors including, Suntory Music Award, Irino Prize for young composers, Kyoto Prize, etc.

9. Somei Satoh

Somei Satoh is a Japan-based composer who mainly composes contemporary music. On January 19, 1947, he was born in Sendai, Japan. In the early 1970s, he went to Nihon University of Art. He has not taken any formal training in music composition, he is a self-taught artist. He has composed several soundtracks like Sumeru, Homa, Ruika, Toward the Night, Mantra, Tantra, etc. He has won many accolades and honors like Japan Arts Festival in 1980 and Asian Cultural Council in 1983.

10. Nozomi Aoki

Nozomi Aoki is a Japanese Composer. On March 2, 1931, he was born in Tokyo, Japan. He has composed several tunes like Galaxy Express, Planet Maetel, Love Song, Silent Survivor, etc.