Yoshitaka Hirota

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Yoshitaka Hirota
Born (1971-09-01) September 1, 1971 (age 47)
Kyoto, Japan
GenresVideo game music
  • Composer
  • musician
InstrumentsBass guitar
Years active1994–present
LabelsDog Ear Records

Yoshitaka Hirota (弘田佳孝, Hirota Yoshitaka, born September 1, 1971) is a Japanese video game composer and bass guitarist. His most notable works include the soundtracks to the Shadow Hearts series. Hirota was previously a sound effects programmer having worked on various Square titles. His first work as a video game composer was for the 1999 Nintendo 64 game Bomberman 64: The Second Attack.


Early works[edit]

As a teenager, Hirota's older brother would play covers of The Beatles and The Carpenters. Hirota composed his first song at the age of ten.[1] At the age of 20, unsure of his career path, Hirota was invited by composer Yasunori Mitsuda to work at Square, and was hired as a sound designer.[2]


Hirota has a friendship from childhood with fellow composer Yasunori Mitsuda who he has worked with on Bomberman 64: The Second Attack, Biohazard 2 Drama Albums, Shadow Hearts and Shadow Hearts II. Under the direction of Mitsuda, Street Fighter Alpha 3 was to have a "hard" sound, and Biohazard 2 was to have an "ominous sound".[3]

Shadow Hearts[edit]

Kyoko Kishikawa has worked with Hirota on Shadow Hearts, Shadow Hearts II (although not Shadow Hearts: From the New World) and Rogue Galaxy Premium Arrange, providing eerie female scat vocals for a number of his tracks. Ryo Fukuda has been the sound manipulator for Hirota on the Shadow Hearts games as well as composing and arranging a few tracks for all three games. He also co-composed with Hirota on Sonic Shuffle. Kenji Ito worked with Hirota on the soundtrack of Shadow Hearts II.

Live performance[edit]

Hirota has performed bass guitar for Ito's live performance of Culdcept music during the Extra Live Concert.[4] and for Ito's vocal song for Lux-Pain,[5] Hirota frequently performs bass guitar with Kishikawa's band.[6] He is currently a member of Nobuo Uematsu's band, the Earthbound Papas.

Musical style and influences[edit]

Hirota's Shadow Hearts music is notable for its fusion of cultural music with Hirota's personal Industrial style. Although Hirota is primarily a bass guitarist, he is capable of playing a variety of other instruments: the Biwa, the Syami, the Alter Ego Figaro, the Saw Wo, the Son, the Khene, the Old Drum, the Madaru, the Gong, the Suzu, and the Kalimba.[7]


Video games[edit]

Sound design

Other works[edit]

  • Talk While Asleep (1995) Co-remixer with Fumiya Tanaka
  • We are not alone ~Mou Hitori Ja Nai~ (1998) Co-composer with Kazumi Mitome
  • Biohazard 2 Drama Album: Chiisana Toubousha Sherry (1999) Co-Composer with Yasunori Mitsuda
  • Biohazard 2 Drama Album: Ikiteita Onna Spy Ada (1999) Co-Composer with Yasunori Mitsuda
  • Street Fighter Zero 3 Drama Album (1999) Co-Composer with Yasunori Mitsuda
  • near death experience, SHADOW HEARTS Arrangetracks (2005) Arranger of 5 Tracks
  • Angelic Vale Arrange Tracks (2005) Arranger of 2 Tracks
  • Tsuki no Uta (2005) (Debut Single of Saki Imozuki) Arranger of all tracks
  • Yoruoto Hyouhon (2005) (Debut Album of Noriko Mitose) Composer and arranger of 1 Track
  • Rogue Galaxy Premium Arrange (2006) Arranger of 1 Track
  • Kinema in the Hole (Rekka Katakiri Album) (2007) Composer and arranger of all tracks
  • Cotton (2007) (Noriko Mitose Album) Arranger of 1 Track
  • Hareyaka naru Sora no Yukue (2007) (Rekka Katakiri Album) Composer and Arranger of 1 Track
  • Struldbruggs ~Majin Kaikou~ (2007) Co-Composer
  • Istoria ~Musa~ (Akiko Shikata album) (2007) Composer and Arranger of 1 Track
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni (Akiko Shikata Single) (2008) Arranger of 1 Track
  • Collaboration Album "message" (2008) Composer and Arranger of 1 Track
  • Griotte no Nemuri Hime (Haruka Shimotsuki Album) (2009)
  • SUZUNO=MIYA Ar tonelico III hymmnos concert side. Red (2010) Composer and Arranger of 2 Tracks
  • Guwange Arrange Album + Original Soundtrack (2010) Arranger of 1 Track
  • yorlga (2010) (Noriko Mitose album) Composer and Arranger of all tracks


  1. ^ "Interview with Yoshitaka Hirota (RocketBaby - January 2002)". Rocketbaby.net. 2002-01-01. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
  2. ^ Jeriaska (2007-01-01). "Near Death Experience: an interview with Yoshitaka Hirota". Square Haven. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
  3. ^ Chris Greening, Harry Simons (2005-11-01). "Interview with Yoshitaka Hirota (November 2005)". Square Enix Music. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
  4. ^ "Concert Information". Extra: Hyper Game Music Event 2007. Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on July 22, 2015. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  5. ^ "Album Information". Lux-Pain Original Soundtrack. Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  6. ^ Jeriaska. "Interview with Darumaya". Takahiro Yamamoto (trans.). RPGFan. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  7. ^ "Instruments" (in French). Deep in Coma. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  8. ^ "かくりよの門 Original Soundtrack". iTunes. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  9. ^ Yoko Shimomura [@midiplex] (April 13, 2017). "というわけで、本日、私と弘田佳孝氏(@kulko_yh)で音楽を担当している『エグリア』リリースされました!是非是非遊んで頂けると嬉しいです〜(*´◡`*)" (Tweet) (in Japanese) – via Twitter.

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