Joe Hisaishi 久石 譲

  • Published on : 22/02/2019
  • by : S.V.
  • Rating :

The Animated Destiny of the Maestro

"Maestro Hisaishi, Join Me in Creating My Life's Final Work "; is the request made by Hayao Miyazaki when inviting the musician to create the musical theme for the last anime. A resident composer to the master of animation at Studio Ghibli for 35 years, Joe Hisaishi is a musician and conductor whose works and many film themes are acclaimed around the world!

The love of cinema


Over the years, this outstanding musician will build a unique bond with the world of cinema. A great cinephile since his early youth, Joe Hisaishi has so far signed more than 80 soundtracks for Japanese and international films.

Between 1991 and 2002, he participated in the work of actor and filmmaker Takeshi Kitano by signing the musical themes of all his films during this period: A Scene at the Sea (1991), Sonatine, mortal melody (1993), Getting Any? (1995), Kids Return (1996), Hana-Bi (1997), Summer of Kikujiro (1999), Aniki, my brother (2000), and Dolls (2002).



His passion for cinema led Joe Hisaishi to make his film in 2001, Quartet, for which he wrote all the music.

In 2004, he created the new soundtrack for a cinema monument, Le Mécano de la Général (1926) by Buster Keaton; a score played at the closing of the 57th Cannes Film Festival.


Kikujiro's Summer, a film by Takeshi Kitano



Quartet, film directed by Joe Hisaishi in 2001


The animation world


If he had already signed the credits of several anime in the 1970s such as that of Giatoruzu (1974) then the musical themes of two animated films of the Mobile Suit Gundam series in the early 1980s, Hisaishi did not fully penetrate the world of anime only in 1984 thanks to a decisive encounter; that of Hayao Miyazaki.



Their first collaboration is called: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984). From then on, Hisaishi composed the music for the various feature films directed by the co-founder of Studios Ghibli: The Castle in the Sky (1986), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), Porco Rosso (1992), Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), Howl's Moving Castle (2005), Ponyo on the Cliff (2008) and The Wind Rises (2013). For each of these anime, the two men have always worked together; from the first reading of the script to the final cut.

Poster Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, by Hayao Miyazaki.

Poster of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, by Hayao Miyazaki.


More than just music


In his compositions written for Miyazaki anime, Hisaishi mixes symphonic music, synthesizers, and traditional Japanese instruments with ease and great success. Much more than simple soundtracks, all this music has become hymns that can transport and move thousands of spectators.

Thanks to the success of the film Nausicaa, Hisaishi's career took on a new dimension. He created his recording studio "Wonder Station" and his own "Wonder Land Inc".


Studio Ghibli Anime Music Symphony Concert: My Neighbor Totoro


Hayao Miyazaki

The director is one of the founders of Studio Ghibli


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