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Joe Hisaishi

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Joe Hisaishi


Mamoru Fujisawa (b. 6 December 1950, Nakano, Japan), known professionally as Joe Hisaishi, is a Japanese composer and musical director.

Hisaishi started to take violin lessons at the age of five, at which time he 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. During this period, he composed for Sasuga no Sarutobi (Academy of Ninja) and Futari Taka (A Full Throttle).

He has been associated with animator Hayao Miyazaki since 1984, having composed scores for all save The Castle of Cagliostro. He is also recognized for the soundtracks he has provided for filmmaker 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano, including A Scene at the Sea (1991), Sonatine (1993), Kids Return (1996), Hana-bi (1997), Kikujiro (1999), and Dolls (2002), as well for the video game series Ni no Kuni. He was a student of legendary anime composer Takeo Watanabe. Hisaishi's works have invited comparisons with American composer John Williams.

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 conductor.

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