a principio um consagrado compositor de jingles de televisão
e de publicidade, até que com sua mudança para a Grã-Bretanha
em 1971 entrou em contato com o folk britânico e o rock psicodélico.
Grava então um álbum solo com o nome que adotou ,“Justin
Heathcliff", obra que tornou-se cultuada por um círculo
de colecionadores que admiravam sua “idiossincrasia”
Dr. Osamu Kitajima, 1972
álbum abandonou o pseudônimo e lançou “Benzaiten”
com o próprio nome; Segundo críticos era um álbum
“de música eletrônica instrumental, melodicamente
rica, que podia ser definida como uma mescla de rock progressivo
e música oriental"
Em 1991 Kitajima
joga no mercado dos EUA o aclamado disco “Behind The Light”.
Elemento da Nova Era e sons de koto e shakuhachi.
& Koto by Utagawa Kunisada, 1848
explorar o mundo em expansão da música eletrônica
juntou-se ao instrumentista/compositor e produtor Chris Mancinelli.
E durante a década de 90 produziram álbuns de muitos
artistas das grandes gravadoras para o mercado asiático.
Know What I Mean" foi incluída no volume asiático
da série de compilações. “Love, Peace
and Poetry” de 1999, desde então tem sido relançada
em CD. Atualmente o músico está mais associado a música
New Age, trabalhando e residindo em Los Angeles.
Osamu Kitajima (February 3, 1949) was born and raised in the beach
town of Chigasaki (Kanagawa Prefecture), as a young man he studied
classical guitar and piano; his first band the Launchers, was led
by pop idol and actor Yuzo Kayama, the group disbanded in the late
60’s, after Kitajima began to work on his own.
After graduating from Keio University, and already a successful
composer of TV and advertising jingles, he moved for one year to
the UK in 1971, which brought him in to contact with British folk
and psychedelia. Inspired by The Beatles, T. Rex and Syd Barrett,
he dubbed himself Justin Heathcliff and issued a lone eponymous
His first solo album in 1974, Benzaiten, was a mix of modern pop
and traditional Japanese music, and was well received in Japan and
later released abroad (Antilles label in U.S.) where it received
some underground radio airplay and sold moderately. Also in 1974
Kitajima relocated to the Los Angeles area and later opened East
Quest Studios; the late 70’s and 80’s saw the establishment
of its career, with more than a dozen Lp’s, he has become
one of Japan’s biggest selling artist internationally!
During the decades, Osamu Kitajima expanded his work to include
commercial and soundtrack work, he provided part of the music to
the blockbuster mini-series Shogun and contributed to the soundtrack
of Sharkey’s Machine. He also arranged the scores for PBS
documentaries on Japan, Chinese/Japanese film Mandala and produced
a number of artists. Nowadays, inside East Quest Records, he continues
to release his own albums (new and re-issues), as well as works
by countless artists.
Osamu Kitajima Masterless Samurai
This is truly a melting pot of Western rock and Japanese traditional
music, very few have pulled it off so well as Kitajima does here.
Either they usually fall prey to new age sappiness, or move towards
amateurish exploitation, fortunately it does not happen here, a
real serious work, the type of rock influenced world music that
still hasn’t been much explored at all. The album also featured
Haruomi Hosono and it utilized various electronics: synthesizer,
rhythm machine, and electronic drums.
A bit different from our previous entry Buddha Meet Rock, this
is a more elaborate record, with brilliant musicians and cinematic
feelings, being a cornerstone of japanese folklore, be enlightened
by Kitajima’s masterful work and Bono Trinus!