Zatoichi soundtrack

Aaron Gerow gerow
Sun Jun 11 21:37:31 EDT 2000

Ifukube Akira, most famous for composing the music to Godzilla, is one of 
the most respected film composers in Japan.  He was born in Kushiro, 
Hokkaido, in 1914, and some argue his contacts with Ainu music left a 
lasting impression on his work.  While at Hokkaido University, he formed 
with Hayasaka Fumio (composer for many of Kurosawa's films) the "Shin 
ongaku renmei" and began composing music, winning both domestic and 
international awards in the late 1930s, even though his first job was in 
the forestry bureau.  It was Hayasaka who invited him to come to Tokyo 
and compose for the cinema.  While starting to teach at the Tokyo Ongaku 
Gakko (his pupils included Mayuzimi Toshiro and Akutagawa Hiroshi (son of 
the famous novelist)), he wrote his first film score in 1947.  Other than 
Godzilla and Zatoichi, he composed scores for over 200 films, including 
Harp of Burma, Quite Duel, many of Yoshimura Kozaburo's films, many of 
the Toho SF movies, etc.  He became a professor at the Tokyo Music 
University in 1974 and from 1976 served for 11 years as president.  He is 
currently (I believe) head of that university's Center for Ethnic Music.  
He has won dozens of awards.  There are dozens of CDs of his work for 
film and not for film and a number of books (that Roland mentioned).

One notable web site on him in Japanese is:

On a personal note, given my youth of watching Godzilla films on Saturday 
afternoons, Ifukube's music is still very close to my heart.

Aaron Gerow
Yokohama National University
KineJapan list owner
For list commands: send "information kinejapan" to 
listserver at
Kinema Club:

More information about the KineJapan mailing list