The Music of Pray For Japan

The film features an astonishingly beautiful and moving soundtrack, featuring the music of 3 talented artists. The original score was composed and recorded by Shinya Mizoguchi, in his stunning feature film debut. Traditional Japanese music is represented in previously recorded works by Tohoku (Miyagi) – based taiko group M’s Japan Orchestra. And, the emotional, intense theme song was written and performed for the film by Japanese rock star Okuda Tamio.

We will be introducing samples of this incredible music here in this section of the site, but while we prep everything, please enjoy a few treats from these wonderful artists.

shinmizoguchi_02_webShinya Mizoguchi

Pray For Japan is Mizoguchi’s first motion picture score. Mizoguchi records as starRo. Mizoguchi is a Composer, Producer, Guitarist, Keyboardist based in Los Angeles, CA, US. Mizoguchi was born and raised in a musical family where his parents are both jazz musicians, he naturally developed his interest in playing and composing music.

Living in many different countries like Japan, the US, Australia and Singapore, he was exposed to a wide variety of cultures which provided a strong influence on his genre-blurring music style. This piece is somewhat reminiscent of some of the work he did for us.

starRo official (SoundCloud site)

Here’s a sample of Shinya’s work (unrelated to Pray for Japan):

msjapanorchestraM’s Japan Orchestra

Founded by Mitsuaki Sato, a taiko veteran of 30+ years and composer of over 140 taiko pieces, 3D Factory is a group of taiko drum and traditional Japanese musicians who perform worldwide. The musicians team up in different configurations with unique group names including Senrai, Yakara, and of course M’s Japan Orchestra. M’s Japan Orchestra features a fusion of jazz, rock, modern Western classical and traditional Japanese music. This Tohoku (Miyagi)-based ensemble is part of one of our stories, the “Family” story of Kento Itoh, and their songs are featured on the soundtrack. Producer Shu Chiba is interviewed on-camera in the film and the group performs with Kento Itoh in the final scene of the film, shot by director Stu Levy on location May 5, 2011 (Children’s Day) in front of the Itoh family house ruins.

M’s Japan Orchestra official site
Translation of song lyrics

Here’s a piece that was a collaboration with famed film composer Kenji Kawai, (Ghost In The Shell) which is directly inspired from events depicted in our film: “Blue Koi-Nobori”

220pxOkuda001Okuda Tamio

Okuda Tamio is one of the most beloved artists in Japan. With his band Unicorn, his Beatles-esque pop was a mainstay of early ’90s Japanese rock music. After the band broke up, he started a solo career that continued to be quite fruitful, and perhaps gained his widest visibility as Puffy Ami Yumi’s first producer, responsible for their first Japan hit “Asia no Junshin” and many others. Unicorn re-formed in 2009 and their most recent album dropped in 2011. Okuda’s most recent solo album was released just this January.

On “jp”, the theme song from Pray for Japan, Okuda’s passionate lyrics and guitar work expresses his compassion and concern for the victims of Tohoku – and the future recovery.

Okuda Tamio official site
Unicorn official site
Translation of song lyrics

We now have the remarkable soundtrack for Pray For Japan available for streaming on Soundcloud.