Noriyuki Asakura (kanji: 朝倉紀行) (February 11, 1954) is a Japanese music composer. He is famous for composing the soundtracks to the anime series Rurouni Kenshin and the popular video game franchises Tenchu and Way of the Samurai. He is well-known for combining traditional Japanese music with elements of rock, jazz, electronica and other world music.
He is a native of Tokyo, and entered the music industry in the early 80s, composing music for television programs and movies, as well as producing music for a number of Japanese pop stars during the 80's and early 90s. In 1995, he composed the soundtrack to Rurouni Kenshin, where, through the duration of the series, changed his style from rock to a more traditional sound for the second season, giving it the spirit of classic samurai movies, but also incorporated modern elements–such as electric guitars and breakbeats–into the score, giving the soundtrack a contemporary feel to it. He was very noted for this achievement, and applied this style to his later works. His work has been released on numerous CDs, and has aspirations of composing music for a major Hollywood motion picture.
Contrary to popular belief, "Add'ua", the theme song to the first Tenchu game was not sung in Japanese, but rather in the West African language of Hausa, at his wife's request. "Sadame", the theme song for Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven, and "Kurenai No Hana", the theme song for Tenchu: Fatal Shadows, were performed in Japanese.
Noriyuki Asakura lives in Tokyo and operates his own music studio. He continues to compose music for television programs, cartoons, and video games.
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