Haruomi Hosono

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Haruomi Hosono
Hosono at the Tokyo International Film Festival, 2019
Background information
Also known asHarry "The Crown" Hosono
Born (1947-07-09) July 9, 1947 (age 76)
Minato, Tokyo, Japan
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • Bass guitar
  • keyboards
  • guitar
  • vocals
Years active1969–present
Formerly of

Haruomi Hosono (細野 晴臣, Hosono Haruomi, born July 9, 1947), sometimes credited as Harry Hosono, is a Japanese musician, singer, songwriter and record producer. He is considered to be one of the most influential musicians in Japanese pop music history, credited with shaping the sound of Japanese pop for decades as well as pop music outside of Japan. He also inspired genres such as city pop and Shibuya-kei,[1] and as leader of Yellow Magic Orchestra, contributed to the development and pioneering of numerous electronic genres.[2]

The grandson of Titanic survivor Masabumi Hosono, Haruomi began his career with the psychedelic rock band Apryl Fool, before achieving recognition both nationally and internationally, as a founding member of the bands Happy End and Yellow Magic Orchestra.[1][3] Hosono has also released many solo albums covering a variety of styles, including film soundtracks and a variety of electronic ambient albums. As well as recording his own music, Hosono has done considerable production work for other artists such as Miharu Koshi, Sheena and the Roketts, Sandii & the Sunsetz, Chisato Moritaka and Seiko Matsuda. In 2003, Hosono was ranked by HMV Japan at number 44 on their list of the top 100 Japanese pop acts of all time.[4]


Hosono is the grandson of Masabumi Hosono, the only Japanese passenger and survivor of the sinking of RMS Titanic. Hosono first came to attention in Japan as the bass player of the psychedelic rock band Apryl Fool, alongside drummer Takashi Matsumoto, who released the album The Apryl Fool in 1969. Hosono and Matsumoto then formed the influential folk rock group Happy End with Eiichi Ohtaki and Shigeru Suzuki.[5] One of the songs he composed for Happy End, "Kaze wo Atsumete" (1971), later appeared in the American film Lost in Translation and on its soundtrack in 2003.[6] After Happy End disbanded around 1974, Hosono worked with Suzuki and a loose association of artists making "exotica"-style music under the title Tin Pan Alley.

His involvement in electronic music also dates back to the early 1970s, when he performed the electric bass for Inoue Yousui's folk pop rock album Ice World (1973) and Osamu Kitajima's progressive/psychedelic rock album Benzaiten (1974), both of which were electronic rock records utilizing synthesizers, electric guitars, and in the latter, electronic drums and rhythm machines.[7][8]

In 1977, Hosono invited Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi to work on his exotica-flavoured album Paraiso, which included electronic music produced using the Yamaha CS-80 polyphonic synthesizer and ARP Odyssey synthesizer. The band was named "Harry Hosono and the Yellow Magic Band" and, having been recorded in late 1977, Paraiso was released in early 1978.[9] The three worked together again for the 1978 electronic album Pacific, which included an early version of the song "Cosmic Surfin'".[10]

In 1978, he released an innovative electronic soundtrack for a fictional Bollywood film, Cochin Moon, together with artist Tadanori Yokoo and future YMO band members Ryuichi Sakamoto and Hideki Matsutake. Inspired by a trip to India and "the exotic, luxurious, and seemingly wonder-filled scenarios played out in Indian cinemas", it was an experimental "electro-exotica" album fusing exotic Indian music (reminiscent of Ravi Shankar and Bollywood music) with electronic music, including an early "synth raga" song entitled "Hum Ghar Sajan" (from a Guru Granth Sahib phrase).[11] The same year, he contributed to Sakamoto's song "1000 Knives" for his solo album, Thousand Knives, which experimented with fusing electronic music with traditional Japanese music in early 1978.[12]

He was one of the first producers to recognize the appeal of video game sounds and music. YMO's self-titled debut in 1978 contained substantial video game sounds and after YMO disbanded an early project was an album simply titled Video Game Music containing mixed and edited Namco arcade game music and sounds. Video Game Music was released in 1984 as an early example of a chiptune record[13] and the first video game music album.[14] That same year, he also produced the theme song for Hayao Miyazaki's popular anime film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, "Kaze no Tani no Naushika", with vocals by actress-singer Narumi Yasuda.[15] In the late 80s and early 90s, the influence of world music on his music deepened, and he worked with international singers and musicians such as Amina Annabi.

He has produced a number of short-term band projects as a band member. His first post-YMO band was Friends of Earth. As with most of his projects he combines musical styles he's interested in. F.O.E. seemed to be a combination of funk and techno, and included a collaboration with James Brown and Maceo Parker for a remake of the song "Sex Machine". Another notable band project was 1995's Love, Peace & Trance. Members were Mimori Yusa ("Love"), Miyako Koda ("Peace"), Haruomi Hosono ("&") and Mishio Ogawa ("Trance").

In the 1990s he started the Daisyworld label to release a wide range of experimental artists from Japan and the rest of the world. Hosono collaborated on many of the releases, such as World Standard, a trip into Americana; HAT, a supergroup (the acronym stands for Hosono, Atom Heart, Tetsu Inoue), and "Quiet Logic", by Mixmaster Morris and Jonah Sharp. The Orb also paid tribute with a series of remixes including the notorious "Hope You Choke on Your Whalemeat" remix of "Nanga Def".[16]

Hosono performing with YMO in 2008.

In 2002 Haruomi formed the duo Sketch Show with his YMO bandmate Yukihiro Takahashi. They have released two albums, one of which, Loophole, has received a UK release. When the third former YMO member, Ryuichi Sakamoto deepened his involvement it was decided to bill those collaborations as Human Audio Sponge.

In the spring of 2007, his fellow YMO members and other artist paid tribute to Haruomi with a 2-disc album titled Tribute to Haruomi. That same year, the animated film Appleseed Ex Machina was released featuring a soundtrack performed and supervised by Hosono.

In September 2010 he performed at the De La Fantasia festival and played songs from his upcoming album.

In February 2011 it was announced that his new album, entitled HoSoNoVa, was to be released on April 20. He also performed a special concert to celebrate its release.

In May 2018, Light in the Attic Records announced a CD and vinyl reissue of five of Hosono's albums—Hosono House, Cochin Moon, Paraiso, Philharmony and omni Sight Seeing—for release in August and September 2018. The former four albums had never been released outside of Japan previously. Coinciding was the announcement that Hosono would play his first UK concerts as a solo artist in June; the shows were scheduled as part of Sakamoto's MODE festival happening throughout England in June and July. The June 23 concert at the Barbican Centre in London featured an appearance by his YMO bandmates, with whom he performed his Solid State Survivor composition "Absolute Ego Dance".

2019 marked Hosono's 50th anniversary in the music industry. On March 6, he released Hochono House, a mostly electronic remake of his solo debut Hosono House that reversed the track listing. That spring, he performed his first solo shows in the U.S. This run included two sold-out shows at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City and a concert at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles. The second New York show saw an appearance by current NYC resident Akiko Yano, who collaborated with Hosono in Tin Pan Alley, as a live support member of YMO, and as a solo artist; she sang Hosono's "Ai Ai Gasa", which she covered on her 1977 album Iroha Ni Konpeitou. In LA, Canadian indie rock musician Mac DeMarco—whose vocal admiration of Hosono has spread to a portion of his own fanbase—appeared during the show to perform "Honey Moon" as a duet with Hosono; Light in the Attic had recently released a cover of the song on a 7" single record, backed with the original version.

In the autumn of 2019, an exhibition on Hosono's career—"Hosono Sightseeing"—was on display in Tokyo Sky View at the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower; along with other memorabilia, this featured many of the instruments associated with Hosono, such as the Roland TR-808, E-mu Emulator, and Prophet-5. A documentary film, No Smoking, was also released, including footage from the U.S. and UK shows; appearances include Sakamoto, Takahashi, Demarco, longtime friend Van Dyke Parks, and protégé Gen Hoshino.

Bands and collaborations[edit]



  • Hosono House (1973)
  • Tropical Dandy (1975, as Haruomi "Hosono")
  • Bon Voyage co. (泰安洋行, Taian Yōkō) (1976, as Harry "The Crown" Hosono)
  • Paraiso (はらいそ, Haraiso) (1978, by "Harry Hosono and The Yellow Magic Band")
  • Cochin Moon (コチンの月, Kochin no Tsuki) (1978, by "Hosono & Yokoo")
  • Philharmony (1982)
  • Hana ni Mizu (花に水) (1984, cassette book)
  • Making of Non-Standard Music/Making of Monad Music (1984)
  • S-F-X (1984, by "Haruomi Hosono with Friends of Earth")
  • Mercuric Dance (1985)
  • Endless Talking (1985)
  • Omni Sight Seeing (1989)
  • Medicine Compilation (1993)
  • Mental Sports Mixes (1993)
  • Good Sport (1995)
  • Naga (1995)
  • N.D.E. ("Near Death Experience") (1995)
  • Interpieces Organization (1996, by Haruomi Hosono & Bill Laswell)
  • Road to Louisiana (ルイジアナ珍道中, Ruijiana Chindōchū) (1999, with Makoto Kubota as "Harry & Mac")
  • Flying Saucer 1947 (2007, by "Harry Hosono & The World Shyness")
  • HoSoNoVa (2011)
  • Heavenly Music (2013)
  • Vu Ja De (2017)
  • Hochono House (2019)
  • Hosono Haruomi Live in US 2019 (2021)

Soundtrack albums[edit]

  • Video Game Music (1984, songs from Namco games arranged and produced by Hosono)
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (風の谷のナウシカ, Kaze no Tani no Naushika) (1984, anime soundtrack, only produced theme song sung by Narumi Yasuda)[15]
  • Coincidental Music (1985, compilation of assorted background music/soundtrack commissions)
  • Night on the Galactic Railroad (銀河鉄道の夜, Ginga Tetsudō no Yoru) (1985, movie soundtrack)
  • Paradise View (1985, movie soundtrack)
  • The Tale of Genji (源氏物語, Genji Monogatari) (1987, movie soundtrack)
  • Why Dogs Don't Talk Anymore (だから犬はほえる, Dakara Inu wa Hoeru) (1996, background music for and included with the Taro Manabe picture book of the same name)
  • La Maison de Himiko (2005, movie soundtrack)
  • Ex Machina Original Soundtrack/Original Soundtrack Complete Edition (2007, soundtrack supervention, composition of some tracks)
  • Shoplifters (2018) Original Soundtrack

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Hosono Box 1969–2000 (2000, Daisyworld)
  • Harry Hosono Crown Years 1974–1977 (2007)
  • Music for Films 2020-2021 (2021)

Tribute albums[edit]

  • Tribute to Haruomi Hosono (2007, Commmons)
Featuring: Van Dyke Parks, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takako Minekawa, Miharu Koshi, Little Creatures, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Hiroshi Takano, Towa Tei, Akiko Yano, Rei Harakami, Yukihiro Takahashi, Cornelius, Jim O'Rourke, Kahimi Karie
  • Strange Song Book – Tribute to Haruomi Hosono 2 (2008, Commmons)
Featuring: Señor Coconut, Van Dyke Parks, Dr. John, Sheena & The Rokkets, Buffalo Daughter, Thurston Moore, Miu Sakamoto, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Fennesz


  • CBS/Sony Sound Image Series:
    • Pacific (with Shigeru Suzuki and Tatsuro Yamashita) (tracks 1, 4 and 8 composed and performed by Hosono) (1978)
    • The Aegean Sea (with Masataka Matsutoya and Takahiko Ishikawa) (tracks 3 and 4 composed and performed by Hosono) (1979)
    • Vol. 1 – Island Music (with Suzuki, Yamashita, Matsutoya, Ishikawa and Ryuichi Sakamoto) (tracks 1, 7, 9 and 10 composed and performed by Hosono) (1983)
    • Vol. 2 – Off Shore (Suzuki, Yamashita, Matsutoya, Sakamoto, Masaki Matsubara and Kazumasa Akiyama) (tracks 1 and 2 composed and performed by Hosono) (1983)
  • 3D Museum (1993)
  • Melon Brains (1994)
  • Goku (1995)
  • Love, Peace & Trance (1995)
  • Lattice (2000)

Composition work[edit]

  • Imokin Trio (イモ欽トリオ):
High School Lullaby (ハイスクールララバイ) (1981)
Teardrop Tanteidan (ティアドロップ探偵団) (1982)
夢・恋・人 (1983)
春 Mon Amour
  • Yoshie Kashiwabara: Shiawase Ondo (しあわせ音頭) (1982)
  • Starbow: Heartbreak Taiyōzoku (ハートブレイク太陽族) (1982)
  • Kumiko Yamashita:
赤道小町ドキッ (1982)
Teenage Eagles (1983)
  • Kawakamisan to Nagashimasan: きたかチョーさんまってたドン (1983)
  • Miki Matsubara: Paradise Beach (Sophie's Theme) (パラダイス ビーチ(ソフィーのテーマ), Paradaisu Biichi (Sofii no Teema)) (1983)
  • Seiko Matsuda:
Tegoku no Kiss/Wagamama na Kataomoi (天国のキッス/わがままな片想い) (1983)
Glass no Ringo (ガラスの林檎) (1983)
Pink no Mozart (ピンクのモーツァルト) (1984)
New York Monogatari (紐育物語) (1983)
Whiskey Iro no Machi de (ウイスキー色の街で)
Getsusekai Ryokou (月世界旅行) (1984, Alfa)
Shinkuu Kiss (真空キッス) (1984, Alfa)
Miracle Light (ミラクルライト) (1997, zetima)
Kotoshi no Natsu wa More Better (今年の夏はモアベター, This Summer Will Be More Better) – Writing, Performance, Production (1998, zetima)
  • Chappie: Tanabata no Yoru, Kimi ni Aitai (七夕の夜、君に逢いたい) (1999)
  • Kuniko Yamada: Tetsugaku Shiyō (哲学しよう)
  • Masatō Ibu: Datte, Hormone Love (だって、ホルモンラブ)


  • Izakaya Chōji (1983)
  • A Y.M.O. Film Propaganda (1984)
  • Paradise view (1985)
  • Shigatsu no Sakana (1985)
  • Binetsu Shōnen (1987)
  • Norwegian Wood (2010): Record Shop Manager
  • Isle of Dogs (2018): Scrap (Japanese dub)[18]
  • They Say Nothing Stays the Same (2019)
  • Bullets, Bones and Blocked Noses (2021, TV miniseries): Barber[19]
Documentary appearance

Related books[edit]

  • Soichiro Suzuki (2015). Hosono Haruomi Rokuonjustu: Bokura wa Koushite Oto wo Tsukuttekita. DU BOOKS. ISBN 978-4-907583-69-9.


  1. ^ a b "Haruomi Hosono Is the Japanese Experimenter Who Changed Pop Music Forever". Noisey. October 10, 2018.
  2. ^ "Famous Japanese & Foreigners In Japan: Ryuichi Sakamoto". JapanVisitor. GoodsFromJapan KK. Archived from the original on February 1, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  3. ^ "The Essential... Yellow Magic Orchestra". FACT Magazine. January 22, 2015.
  4. ^ "Top 100 Japanese pops Artists - No.44". HMV Japan (in Japanese). October 18, 2003. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  5. ^ "Top 100 Japanese pops Artists – No.4". hmv.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  6. ^ "Bande originale : Lost in translation". EcranLarge. August 18, 2005. Retrieved March 23, 2008.
  7. ^ 井上陽水 – 氷の世界 at Discogs (Translation)
  8. ^ Osamu Kitajima – Benzaiten at Discogs
  9. ^ Harry Hosono and the Yellow Magic Band – Paraiso at Discogs
  10. ^ Pacific at Discogs
  11. ^ Dominique Leone (July 19, 2005). "Hosono & Yokoo: Cochin Moon". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  12. ^ Ryuichi Sakamoto – Thousand Knives Of at Discogs
  13. ^ Haruomi Hosono – Video Game Music at Discogs (list of releases)
  14. ^ Carlo Savorelli. "Xevious". Hardcore Gaming 101. p. 2. Archived from the original on July 31, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
  15. ^ a b "Kaze no Tani no Naushika (Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind): Credits, Figures & Other Information". Nausicaa.net. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
  16. ^ "YMO – Technodon Remixes II". Discogs. September 3, 1993. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  17. ^ "細野晴臣の音楽家としての奥深さ 『万引き家族』サウンドトラックを聴いて". Real Sound. July 11, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  18. ^ "犬ヶ島". Fox Japan. Archived from the original on August 8, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  19. ^ "オダギリジョー脚本・演出のドラマ「オリバーな犬」NHKで放送、主演は池松壮亮". Natalie. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  20. ^ "TOKYO MELODY: A FILM ABOUT RYUICHI SAKAMOTO". MUBI. Archived from the original on August 4, 2023. Retrieved August 4, 2023.
  21. ^ "NO SMOKING". Tokyo International Film Festival. Retrieved December 4, 2021.

External links[edit]