Japanese composer. He was mainly self-taught and was initially influenced by Schoenberg, Messiaen, and musique concrète. Like other composers of his generation (such as Ligeti), he was interested in the treatment of texture. His use of the electronic medium is well exemplified in Relief statique (1955). He also wrote the music for over 100 films, including Kwaidan (1964) and The Rising Sun (1993).
He was born in Tokyo, and grew up in China. His family later returned to Japan and he served in the Japanese army in World War II. In 1951 he co-founded an experimental laboratory in Tokyo to examine oriental music and the best in Western techniques.
WorksOrchestralRequiem for strings (1957), Music of Trees for orchestra (1961), Textures for piano and orchestra (1964), The Dorian Horizon for 17 strings (1966), November Steps for biwa, shakuhachi, and orchestra (1967), Asterism for piano and orchestra (1968), Corona for 22 strings (1971), Cassiopea for percussion and orchestra (1971), Gemeaux for oboe, trombone, and two orchestras (1972), Bouquet of Songs for marimba and orchestra (1975), A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden for orchestra (1977), Dream Time for orchestra (1981; ballet version 1983), Rain Coming for chamber orchestra (1982), To the Edge of Dream for guitar and orchestra (1983), Star Isle for orchestra (1984); Orion and Pleiades for cello and orchestra (1984), riverrun for piano and orchestra (1984); I hear the water dreaming for flute and orchestra (1987); Tree Line for chamber orchestra (1988); A String Around Autumn for viola and orchestra (1989); Visions for orchestra (1990); My Way of Life for baritone, chorus, and orchestra (1990); From me flows what you call time for five percussion and orchestra (1990).
ChamberA Way Alone for string quartet (1981), series of works for instruments with title Stanza, Entre-temps for oboe and string quartet (1986); All in Twilight for guitar (1987); Itinerant for flute (1989); works for tape alone.