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, "Akira Ifukube Interview I", Kaiju Conversations (December 1992)

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, "Akira Ifukube Interview I", Kaiju Conversations (December 1992)

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.[1] Starting in 1947 with the film Snow Trail, Ifukube became prominent in film composition. In 1954, he worked on Godzilla. After that, he scored 11 more Godzilla films (and his themes were added to many others), as well as 13 other sci-fi/ fantasy films. In total, Ifukube scored 43 films in his entire career.

His final Godzilla film was Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, and although he never composed the scores of any of the subsequent movies, his most famous theme, Godzilla's theme, was used in some capacity in most of the subsequent films, and many other pieces of his music were remixed in Godzilla Final Wars.

He died on February 8th, 2006, from multiple organ failure. However, he left behind a legacy that will always be remembered in the form of his music.

Selected filmography[edit | edit source]

Composer[edit | edit source]

Interviewee[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Ifukube is credited as one of the composers of the score for Shin Godzilla, despite passing away a decade before the film's release.

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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. Homenick, Erik. Biography: Part IV - The War Years. AKIRAIFUKUBE.ORG. Archived from the original on 29 July 2018.
  2. Dougherty, Michael (25 July 2018). DECLASSIFIED. Welcome to MONARCH, @bearmccreary.. Twitter.


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