by Chris MaGee
The soundtrack to my introduction to Japanese film was the music of composer Joe Hisaishi. While I devoured the films of Takeshi Kitano and found myself spirited away (excuse the pun) by the fantasies of Hayao Miyazaki I was convinced for a time that all Japanese films must come with a lilting and instantly memorable score. Turns out I was wrong, but it also ended up that I became a huge fan of composer Joe Hisaishi, the man who contibuted the music to Kitano's films from "A Scene at the Sea" to "Dolls", and all of Miyazaki's features (as well as films like "When the Last Sword Is Drawn", "Parasite Eve" and "Departures", and so on and so forth). Now it looks as if Hisaishi has finally been honoured appropriately for this immense contribution to Japanese cinema. The Japanese Government made the announcement this past Monday that the 58-year-old Hisaishi would be amongst 678 people who will be honoured with the Medal of Honour with Purple Ribbon for his contributions to both music and cinema in a ceremony that will take place at the end of this week in Tokyo.
Congratulations to Hisaishi-san for this well-deserved honour (and thank you to Anime News Network for bringing this to our attention), and to mark the occasion I'd like to share one of my favorite Hisaishi compositions, "Feel" from Takeshi Kitano's 2002 film "Dolls". Enjoy!