Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤 守 Fujisawa Mamoru, born December 6, 1950), known professionally as Joe Hisaishi (久石 譲 Hisaishi Jō), is a Japanese composer and musical director known for over 100 film scores and solo albums dating back to 1981. Hisaishi is also known for his piano scores.
While possessing a stylistically distinct sound, Hisaishi’s music has been known to explore and incorporate different genres, including minimalist, experimental electronic, European classical, and Japanese classical. Lesser known are the other musical roles he plays; he is also a typesetter, author, arranger, and conductor.
Joe Hisaishi’s name began to become well known after the anime works by cartoon artist Miyazaki Hayao. Joe wrote music for all of Miyazaki’s films including Ponyo (2008), Spirited Away (2001), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), Princess Mononoke (1997), My neighbor Totoro (1988), and Nausicaä of Wind Valley (1984). In addition, he wrote music for film producer Takeshi Kitano with films Dolls (2002), Kikujiro (1999), Hana-bi (1997), Kids Return (1996), Sonatine (1993).
Awards and recognition
As a result of his work throughout the years, Hisaishi has won the Japanese Academy Award for Best Music seven times—in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2009, and 2011. He also received the 48th Newcomer Award in 1997 from the Ministry of Education (Public Entertainment Section) among numerous other awards, being recognized as an influential figure in the Japanese film industry. In 1998 he won the Art Choice Award for New Artist (Popular Performing Arts Division). In 2005, he won the 31st Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Music Prize at “Howl’s Moving Castle. In 2008, he received the 10th International Film Music Critics Association Award for Television Division Best Original Score Award in the music of Korean drama Queen Shikigami.
In November 2009, he was awarded with a Medal of Honour with purple ribbon by the Government of Japan.