Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤 守 Fujisawa Mamoru?), known professionally as Joe Hisaishi (久石 譲 Hisaishi Jō?, born December 6, 1950), is a composer and director known for over 100 film scores and solo albums dating back to 1981.
While possessing a stylistically distinct sound, Hisaishi's music has been known to explore and incorporate different genres, including minimalist, experimental electronic, European classical, and Japanese classical. Lesser known are the other musical roles he plays; he is also a typesetter, author, arranger, and head of an orchestra.
He is best known for his work with animator Hayao Miyazaki, having composed scores for many of his films including Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), Porco Rosso (1992), Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), Howl's Moving Castle (2004) and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008). He is also recognized for the soundtracks he has provided for filmmaker 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano, including Dolls (2002), Kikujiro (1999), Hana-bi (1997), Kids Return (1996) and Sonatine (1993).
Joe Hisaishi was born in Nakano, Nagano, Japan as Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤 守 Fujisawa Mamoru). When he started to take violin lessons at age five, Hisaishi discovered his passion for music. Realizing his love, he attended the Kunitachi College of Music in 1969 to major in music composition. Hisaishi collaborated with minimalist artists as a typesetter, furthering his experience in the musical world.
He enjoyed his first success of the business in 1974 when he composed music for a small animation called Gyatoruzu. This and other early works were created under his given name. During this period, he composed for Sasuga no Sarutobi (Academy of Ninja) and Futari Taka (A Full Throttle).
In the 1970s, Japanese popular music, electronic music, and new-age music flourished; those genres, as well as the Yellow Magic Orchestra (a Japanese electronic band in 1978–1983), influenced Hisaishi's compositions. He developed his music from minimalist ideas and expanded toward orchestral work. Around 1975, Hisaishi presented his first public performance, spreading his name around his community. His first album, MKWAJU, was released in 1981, with Information being released a year later.
As his works were becoming well known, Hisaishi formulated an alias inspired by Quincy Jones, an African-American musician and producer. Retranscribed in Japanese, "Quincy Jones" became "Joe Hisaishi." ("Quincy," pronounced "Kuishi" in Japanese, can be written using the same kanji in "Hisaishi"; "Joe" comes from "Jones.")
In 1983, with his new name, Hisaishi was recommended by a record company to create an album for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Hisaishi and the director of the animated film, Hayao Miyazaki, became great friends and would work together on many future projects. This big break led to Hisaishi's overwhelming success as a composer of film scores. In 1986, Laputa Castle in the Sky, and later, in the 1990s, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, were released. As Hisaishi strengthened his reputation as one of the budding anime industry's top musical contributors, his compositions (including eight theatrical films and one OAV) would proceed to become some of the very hallmarks of early anime in the 1980s and 1990s. Hisaishi also composed for such TV hits as Sasuga no Sarutobi, Two Down Full Base (both 1982), Sasrygar (1983), Futari Taka (1984) and Honō no Alpen Rose (1985). He also scored the sci-fi adventure Mospeada (1983), which was later reworked (without his music) into the third segment of Carl Macek's compilation, Robotech. Other films he scored included Arion, Totoro (1988), Venus Wars, Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), and Porco Rosso (1992).
As more exposure was given to Hisaishi and the anime industry, his career grew. He initiated a solo career, began to produce music, and created his own label (Wonder Land Inc.). A year later, the label released its first album, Pretender, in New York.
As a result of his work throughout the years, Hisaishi has won the Japanese Academy Award for Best Music six times—in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000 and 2009. He also received the 48th Newcomer Award in 1997 from the Ministry of Education (Public Entertainment Section) among numerous other awards, being recognized as an influential figure in the Japanese film industry.
In 1998, he provided the soundtrack to the 1998 Winter Paralympics. The following year, he composed the music for the third installment in a series of popular computer-animated educational films about the human body.
In 2001, Hisaishi produced music for Takeshi Kitano's film, Brother, and Hayao Miyazaki's masterpiece, Spirited Away. He also served as executive producer of the Night Fantasia 4 Movement at the Japan Expo in Fukushima 2001. On October 6, Hisaishi made his debut as a film director in Quartet, having also written both its music and script. The film received excellent reviews at the Montreal Film Festival. His first soundtrack for a foreign film, Le Petit Poucet, was released in the same year.
Another Miyazaki film, Howl's Moving Castle, for which Hisaishi composed the score, was released on November 20, 2004 in Japan. From November 3 to November 29, 2004, Hisaishi embarked on his "Joe Hisaishi Freedom – Piano Stories 2004" tour with Canadian musicians. In 2005, he composed the soundtrack for the Korean film, Welcome to Dongmakgol (웰컴 투 동막골). He also partook in Korea's historically landmarked big budget drama series production by composing the soundtrack for Korea's MBC drama series, The Legend (태왕사신기 "The Story of the First King's Four Gods"), which released in 2007. Hisaishi has a large fan base in Korea due to the popularity of Miyazaki films.
In 2006, Hisaishi released a studio album, Asian X.T.C., the compositions of which demonstrated a significantly eclectic and contemporary Eastern style. The erhu player of the Chinese band 12 Girls Band Zhan Li Jun played in a live concert featuring music from that album. The following year, he composed and recorded the soundtrack for Frederic Lepage's film, Sunny and the Elephant and the Miyazaki film, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, both released in 2008, as well as the score for Jiang Wen's film, The Sun Also Rises.
In 2008, Hisaishi composed soundtracks for Academy Award-winning film Departures as well as for I'd Rather Be a Shellfish (私は貝になりたい Watashi wa Kai ni Naritai?), a post-World War II war crimes trial drama which is based on the 1959 Tetsutaro Kato novel and film currently being remade and directed by Katsuo Fukuzawa, starring Masahiro Nakai and Yukie Nakama.
Hisaishi also released a new solo album in early 2009 featuring tracks from Shellfish and Departures.
Hisaishi's full discography and list of projects may be accessed at his official website.
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|Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind||1983-11-25||Image Album|
|Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind||1984-02-25||Symphonic Album|
|Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind||1984-03-25||Soundtrack|
|Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind||1984-04-25||Drama Album|
|W's Tragedy (Wの悲劇 オリジナルサントラ)||1984-12-21|
|Early Spring Tale (早春物語)||1985-09-01|
|Soil 未来の記憶||1986||Syoko Solo Album|
|Castle in the Sky||1986-05-25||Image Album|
|Castle In the Sky||1986-09-25/1986-08-25?||Soundtrack|
|Mezon Ikkoku (めぞん一刻)||1986-10-25|
|Nausicaä Best Collection||1986-11-25||Soundtrack/Symphonic|
|Castle in the Sky||1987-01-25||Symphonic Album|
|My Neighbor Totoro||1987-11-25||Image Album|
|Carrying You||1988-03-25||from Castle in the Sky|
|My Neighbor Totoro||1988-05-01|
|Night City (シングル)||1988-08-21|
|My Neighbor Totoro||1988-09-25||Soundbook Album|
|Venus Wars||1988-12-21||Image Album|
|Castle In the Sky||1989-02-25||Drama Album|
|My Neighbor Totoro||1989-02-25||Drama Album|
|Kiki's Delivery Service||1989-04-10||Image Album|
|The Inners (はるかなる時間の 彼方へ)||1989-04-21|
|Kiki's Delivery Service||1989-08-25||Soundtrack|
|Kiki's Delivery Service||1989-09-25||Drama Album|
|Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind||1989-10-25||Hi-Tech|
|Castle In the Sky||1989-11-25||Hi-Tech|
|Kiki's Delivery Service Hi-Tech||1989-12-21||Hi-Tech|
|My Neighbor Totoro||1990-01-25||Hi-Tech|
|Universe Within: Special Issue
|My Lost City||1992-02-12|
|My Neighbor Totoro||1992-03-15||Piano Solo|
|Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind||1992-03-15||Piano Solo|
|Porco Rosso||1992-05-25||Image Album|
|Porco Rosso||1992-09-25||Drama Album|
|Symphonic Best Selection||1992-09-09|
|Universe Within I: Human Body I||1992-11-21|
|A Scene at the Sea||1992-11-25||Soundtrack|
|Kiki's Delivery Service||1992-11-25||Vocal|
|The Water Traveller, Samurai Kids||1993-08-04|
|Universe Within II: Brain & Mind II||1994-03-18|
|Universe Within I: Human Body II||1994-03-21|
|Joe's Project (ぴあの)||1994-06-01|
|オリジナルサントラ ぴあの Vol.1||1994-06-25|
|Universe Within II: Brain & Mind Best||1994-07-21|
|Earthly Paradise (地上の楽園)||1994-07-27|
|Joe's Project 2 (ぴあの / 純名里沙)||1994-08-10|
|オリジナルサントラ ぴあの Vol.2||1994-08-25|
|MELODY Blvd. (メロディブルーバ ード)||1995-01-25|
|Nokto De La Galaksia Fervojo (銀河鉄道の夜)||1996-07-20|
|Princess Mononoke||1996-07-22||Image Album|
|Piano Stories II: The Wind of Life||1996-10-25|
|Asian Dream Song (旅立ちの時)||1997-09-10||From Piano Stories II|
|Hope: Nagano Paralympics 1998 Tribute||1998-02-25|
|Princess Mononoke||1998-07-08||Symphonic Suite|
|Nostalgia: Piano Stories III||1998-10-14|
|Tree of Early Winter Rains (時雨の記)||1998-10-31|
|Universe Within I: Human Body I & II||1999-04-28|
|Universe Within II: Brain & Mind I & II||1999-04-28|
|Universe Within III: Gene I||1999-04-28|
|Universe Within III: Gene II||1999-08-04|
|My Neighbor Totoro||1999-12-01||Song & Karaoke Album|
|Joe Hisaishi Best Selection||1999-12-22||Compilation|
|First Love (Hatsu-koi)||2000-03-28|
|Como los Flujos del río||2000-04-29|
|Shoot the violista (ヴィオリストを撃て)||2000-05-17|
|Spirited Away||2001-04-04||Image Album|
|Joe Hisaishi Meets Kitano Films||2001-06-21||Recopilación|
|Le Petit Poucet||2001-10-15|
|Super Night Orchestra, 2001||2002-07-26|
|Castillo en el Cielo||2002-10-02||Soundtrack (versión americana)|
|Mei and the Catbus||2002-10-02|
|My Neighbor Totoro||2002-10-23||Orchestral|
|(Kaze no Bonの風盆から)||2002-11-23|
|Curvada Music II||2003-01-29|
|Howl's Moving Castle||2004-01-21||Image Album|
|Le Mécano de la General||2004-09-06||Soundtrack|
|Howl's Moving Castle||2004-11-19||Soundtrack|
|Libertad Piano Stories 4||2005-01-26|
|Obras III'||2005-07-27||Compilation/ Studio Album|
|Welcome to Dongmakgol (웰컴 투 동막골)||2005-08-04||Soundtrack|
|A Chinese Tall Story (情癫大圣)||2005-12-22|
|Asia X.T.C.'||2006-10-04||Studio Album|
|Tae Wang Sa Shin Gi (태왕 사 신기)||2007-09-11||Soundtrack|
|Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea||2008-03-08||Image Album|
|Piano Stories Best '88-'08||2008-04-16||Recopilación|
|Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea||2008-07-16||Soundtrack|
|I'd Rather Be marisco de las Naciones Unidas||2008-11-19||Soundtrack|
|Otras historias Piano - El Fin del Mundo||2009-02-18||Studio Album|
|The 19th Step||2010||Studio Album|
|A Wish to the Moon - Joe Hisaishi & 9 Cellos 2003 Etude/Encore Tour||2003-06-25|
|W.D.O. (Joe Hisaishi and New Japan Philharmonic World Dream Orchestra)||2006-12-20|
|Joe Hisaishi in Budokan - 25 years with the Animations of Hayao Miyazaki||2009-07-03|
|Joe Hisaishi in Budokan - 25 years with the Animations of Hayao Miyazaki||2009-07-03|
(released by Zen-On Music Company Ltd.)
|Orchestra Stories: Tonari no TOTORO (Original Edition)|
|ENCORE (Original Edition)|
|A String Quartet: "QUARTET"|
|Asian X.T.C. (Original Edition)|
|FREEDOM (Original Edition)|
|Etudes ~A Wish to the Moon~|
There are also numerous television and cinema soundtracks created by Joe Hisaishi which were never released for sale.
- http://www.japan-academy-prize.jp/allprizes/1992/index.html[dead link]
- http://www.japan-academy-prize.jp/allprizes/1993/index.html[dead link]
- http://www.japan-academy-prize.jp/allprizes/1994/index.html[dead link]
- http://www.japan-academy-prize.jp/allprizes/1999/index.html[dead link]
- http://www.japan-academy-prize.jp/allprizes/2000/index.html[dead link]
- http://www.japan-academy-prize.jp/allprizes/2009/index.html[dead link]
- "678 individuals, 24 groups awarded Medals of Honor,"[dead link] Mainichi Shimbun. November 3, 2009; "Ghibli Composer Joe Hisaishi Awarded Medal of Honour," Anime News Network. November 3, 2009.
- Team Ghiblink. "Discography of Joe Hisaishi". Nausicaa.net. Retrieved 2008-01-19.