Hiroshi Yoshimura

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hiroshi Yoshimura
Hiroshi Yoshimura,Black And White.jpg
Background information
Birth nameHiroshi Yoshimura (Japanese:吉村弘)
Born(1940-10-22)October 22, 1940
Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
DiedOctober 23, 2003(2003-10-23) (aged 63)
  • Composer
  • songwriter
Instrument(s)Piano, keyboard, Yamaha DX7, Yamaha TX7, Yamaha FB-01 [1]
Years active1972–2003

Hiroshi Yoshimura (吉村弘, Yoshimura Hiroshi, 22 October 1940 – 23 October 2003) was a Japanese musician and composer. He is considered a pioneer of ambient music in Japan.[2][3] His music lies mostly in the minimalist genre of kankyō ongaku, or environment music—soft electronic melodies infused with the sounds of nature: babbling brooks, steady rain, and morning birds.[4] However, not all Yoshimura's work included nature sounds. His album Green (1986) only contained them in the United States release, as they were excluded in the Japanese version.

Early life[edit]

Hiroshi Yoshimura was born in Yokohama, Kanagawa in 1940.[3] He started to learn piano at the age of 5.[3] He graduated from Waseda School of Letters, Arts and Sciences II in 1964.[3] He was inspired by the Fluxus movement and the work of Harry Partch and Erik Satie.[3]


He started the computer music group "Anonyme" in 1972.[3] The 70's saw Yoshimura heavily inspired by Brian Eno, who had a similar minimalist ambient style.[3] In 1978, he was commissioned by the NHK to compose the piece "Alma's Cloud".

In addition to solo performances and improvisational music, he performed production performance and sound objects, environmental music containing graphic design and sound design, visual poetry, and worked on sound design business in collaboration with TOA.[3] He also made music for galleries, museums, building spaces and train stations. He was at the forefront of environmental music.[3]He worked as a part-time lecturer in the Industrial Design Department at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Chiba and at the Music Design Department of Kunitachi College of Music.[3] He held workshops on citizen participation in museums.


In 2017, Yoshimura, as well as other ambient Japanese musicians, received a resurgence due to the YouTube algorithm.[5] In 2019, the song "Blink", from Yoshimura's debut album, was selected for compilation album Kankyo Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990.[6] In 2020, Light in the Attic Records re-issued Green. [7]

His music has received much critical acclaim. In 2018, Crack Magazine selected his albums Green and Music For Nine Post Cards as the number 1 and number 7th most essential Japanese ambient albums, respectively.[8] Malcolm Standing for Demo Magazine referred to Yoshimura as "one of the most influential and prolific of the artists to come out of Japan’s ambient renaissance".[9] Tom Moon of NPR noted Yoshimura as "one of the revered pioneers of Japanese electronic music".[10]


  • Music For Nine Post Cards (1982)
  • Pier & Loft (1983)
  • A・I・R (Air In Resort) (1984)
  • Soundscape 1: Surround (1986)
  • Green (1986)
  • 静けさの本 (Static) (1988)
  • 吉村弘の耳 「音の島」 (Hiroshi Yoshimura's Ear "Sound Island") (1992)
  • Wet Land (1993)
  • Face Music (1994)
  • 環境演出音 (Environmental Sound) (1995)
  • Quiet Forest (クワイエット・フォレスト) (1998)
  • Four Post Cards (2004)
  • Soft Wave For Automatic Music Box (2005) (His early work, published after death)
  • Flora 1987 (2006) (Posthumous compilation album)


  1. ^ Olivas, Diego (14 October 2016). "Hiroshi Yoshimura: Green (1986)".
  2. ^ "7 Essential Japanese Ambient and New Age Records". Crack Magazine. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Allmusic bio
  4. ^ "How YouTube resurrected Hiroshi Yoshimura's 'environment music' — and made me an accidental fan". ABC News. 6 August 2019. Retrieved 20 December 2019.,
  5. ^ "How YouTube resurrected Hiroshi Yoshimura's 'environment music' — and made me an accidental fan". ABC News. 6 August 2019. Retrieved 20 December 2019.,
  6. ^ "Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980 1990". Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  7. ^ Torres, Eric (March 20, 2020). "Light in the Attic Announces Reissue of Hiroshi Yoshimura's GREEN". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  8. ^ "7 essential Japanese ambient and new age records". Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  9. ^ "A Beginner's Guide To Ambient Music". Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  10. ^ Moon, Tom (December 17, 2020). "The Best Reissues And Box Sets Of 2020". NPR. Retrieved 2021-06-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)