Akira Ifukube

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Akira Ifukube
Akira Ifukube
Born May 31, 1914
Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan
Died February 8, 2006 (aged 91)
Meguro Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Occupation Musical composer
First work Snow Trail (1947)
Notable work Godzilla (1954)
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The Ainu, with their improvisational style of both composing music and dancing, greatly influenced me. I became very different from the other music students, who had been raised with European pieces, because of this. They had been taught that composition is very difficult, but to me, it seemed relatively easy because of the freedom allowed for by the improvisational style of the Ainu.

— Akira Ifukube, as quoted by David Milner and translated by Yoshihiko Shibata[1]

Unlike American film score composers, Japanese film score composers are given only three or four days in which to write the music for a movie. Because of this, I have almost always been very frustrated while writing a score. I therefore can't select any of my scores as favorites.

— Akira Ifukube, as quoted by David Milner and translated by Yoshihiko Shibata[1]

Akira Ifukube (伊福部 昭,   Ifukube Akira) was a Japanese musician who was born in 1914 and died in 2006. He is considered to be one of Japan's most revered classical composers.

During World War II, Ifukube was asked to compose nationalistic themes for the islands liberated by Japan. One such theme, Kishi Mai, played when Japan officially surrendered to the United States in 1945.[2] Starting in 1947 with the film Snow Trail, Ifukube became prominent in film composition. He worked on the first Godzilla in 1954, and went on to score 11 more Godzilla films as well as 13 of Toho's other sci-fi and fantasy films. His final Godzilla film was Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, and although he never composed the scores of any of the subsequent movies, his famous theme for Godzilla has been used countless times in the series, and many other pieces of his music were remixed in Godzilla Final Wars. He passed away on February 8th, 2006 from multiple organ failure, composing a total of 43 films during his lifetime.

Selected filmography


Music supervisor


Selected video games


External links


  1. Selected stock music from The Big Boss, Mothra vs. Godzilla, Battle in Outer Space, Will to Conquer, Destroy All Monsters, Atragon, Frankenstein vs. Baragon, Latitude Zero, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, King Kong Escapes, and the Expo '70 Mitsubishi Pavilion.
  2. Stock music from King Records' "Artistry of Akira Ifukube" CDs.
  3. "Godzilla Comes Ashore" and "Godzilla Title" from Godzilla (1954), "Battle in Outer Space" from Battle in Outer Space, "Return of Godzilla" from King Kong vs. Godzilla, "Main Title" from Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, "Main Title" from Invasion of Astro-Monster, "Godzilla Appears" from Terror of Mechagodzilla, "Main Title" from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II.
  4. The piece "Bio Wars" from Koichi Sugiyama's score incorporates portions of "Godzilla's Theme." "Godzilla Title," "Godzilla vs. the Tank Corps," and "Monster Zero March" are also taken from OSTINATO.
  5. "Monster Zero March" is taken from OSTINATO.


This is a list of references for Akira Ifukube. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Milner, David (December 1992). "Akira Ifukube Interview I". Kaiju Conversations. Archived from the original on 18 May 2021.
  2. Homenick, Erik. "Biography: Part IV - The War Years". AKIRAIFUKUBE.ORG. Archived from the original on 29 July 2018.


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