Koichi Sugiyama, Japanese “Dragon Quest” Composer, Dies Aged 90


Koichi Sugiyama, a Japanese composer and conductor known for his music in the popular “Dragon Quest” video game franchise, died on September 30 of septic shock, his office said. He was 90 years old.

Sugiyama, who has composed the music for the hit video game franchise since its release in 1986, is considered to have played a key role in its rise and establishment of the game music genre with the release of CDs and associated orchestral concerts.

File photo shows Koichi Sugiyama (right) recognized by Guinness World Records in September 2016 as the oldest person to compose music for a video game. (Photo courtesy of Square Enix Co.) (Kyodo)

Music for the Dragon Quest series was performed during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics in July.

Born in Tokyo, Sugiyama first worked for radio production company Nippon Cultural Broadcasting Inc. before joining Fuji Television Network Inc., where he directed the music show “The Hit Parade”.

He left the TV station in 1965 to become a freelance composer, creating many hit songs with his familiar and catchy melodies.

Her hit songs include “Koi no Fuga” (Fugue of Love) by The Peanuts, a twin sister duo, and “Gakuseigai no Kissaten” (Student Street Cafe) by folk rock group Garo.

He has also composed marching bands for places such as the Tokyo Racecourse, the theme song for the superhero television series “The Return of Ultraman” and numerous pieces for cartoons and commercials.

Sugiyama has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest composer of video game music.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno offered condolences on his death, saying “many people must have been moved” when the music for Dragon Quest was performed at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics .

Famous Dragon Ball comic book series creator Akira Toriyama, who also worked on the character designs for Dragon Quest, posted his condolences on the game’s official website on Thursday, saying, “I am truly honored to have worked with you for so long! “

“I had thought of you as a wizard with eternal life. It is no exaggeration to say that the image of Dragon Quest was shaped by the wonderful and awesome songs of Mr. Sugiyama, who loved the game from the start.” , did he declare.

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