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Yoshitaka Hirota (弘田佳孝, Hirota Yoshitaka, born September 1, 1971) is a Japanese video game composer and bass guitarist. His most notable works include the soundtracks to the Shadow Hearts series. Hirota was previously a sound effects programmer having worked on various Square titles. His first work as a video game composer was for the 1999 Nintendo 64 game Bomberman 64: The Second Attack.

Yoshitaka Hirota
Born (1971-09-01) September 1, 1971 (age 48)
Kyoto, Japan
GenresVideo game music
  • Composer
  • musician
InstrumentsBass guitar
Years active1994–present
LabelsDog Ear Records


Early worksEdit

As a teenager, Hirota's older brother would play covers of The Beatles and The Carpenters. Hirota composed his first song at the age of ten.[1] At the age of 20, unsure of his career path, Hirota was invited by composer Yasunori Mitsuda to work at Square, and was hired as a sound designer.[2]


Hirota has a friendship from childhood with fellow composer Yasunori Mitsuda who he has worked with on Bomberman 64: The Second Attack, Biohazard 2 Drama Albums, Shadow Hearts and Shadow Hearts II. Under the direction of Mitsuda, Street Fighter Alpha 3 was to have a "hard" sound, and Biohazard 2 was to have an "ominous sound".[3]

Shadow HeartsEdit

Kyoko Kishikawa has worked with Hirota on Shadow Hearts, Shadow Hearts II (although not Shadow Hearts: From the New World) and Rogue Galaxy Premium Arrange, providing eerie female scat vocals for a number of his tracks. Ryo Fukuda has been the sound manipulator for Hirota on the Shadow Hearts games as well as composing and arranging a few tracks for all three games. He also co-composed with Hirota on Sonic Shuffle. Kenji Ito worked with Hirota on the soundtrack of Shadow Hearts II.

Live performanceEdit

Hirota has performed bass guitar for Ito's live performance of Culdcept music during the Extra Live Concert.[4] and for Ito's vocal song for Lux-Pain,[5] Hirota frequently performs bass guitar with Kishikawa's band.[6] He is currently a member of Nobuo Uematsu's band, the Earthbound Papas.

Musical style and influencesEdit

Hirota's Shadow Hearts music is notable for its fusion of cultural music with Hirota's personal Industrial style. Although Hirota is primarily a bass guitarist, he is capable of playing a variety of other instruments: the Biwa, the Syami, the Alter Ego Figaro, the Saw Wo, the Son, the Khene, the Old Drum, the Madaru, the Gong, the Suzu, and the Kalimba.[7]


Video gamesEdit

Sound design

Other worksEdit

  • Talk While Asleep (1995) Co-remixer with Fumiya Tanaka
  • We are not alone ~Mou Hitori Ja Nai~ (1998) Co-composer with Kazumi Mitome
  • Biohazard 2 Drama Album: Chiisana Toubousha Sherry (1999) Co-Composer with Yasunori Mitsuda
  • Biohazard 2 Drama Album: Ikiteita Onna Spy Ada (1999) Co-Composer with Yasunori Mitsuda
  • Street Fighter Zero 3 Drama Album (1999) Co-Composer with Yasunori Mitsuda
  • near death experience, SHADOW HEARTS Arrangetracks (2005) Arranger of 5 Tracks
  • Angelic Vale Arrange Tracks (2005) Arranger of 2 Tracks
  • Tsuki no Uta (2005) (Debut Single of Saki Imozuki) Arranger of all tracks
  • Yoruoto Hyouhon (2005) (Debut Album of Noriko Mitose) Composer and arranger of 1 Track
  • Rogue Galaxy Premium Arrange (2006) Arranger of 1 Track
  • Kinema in the Hole (Rekka Katakiri Album) (2007) Composer and arranger of all tracks
  • Cotton (2007) (Noriko Mitose Album) Arranger of 1 Track
  • Hareyaka naru Sora no Yukue (2007) (Rekka Katakiri Album) Composer and Arranger of 1 Track
  • Struldbruggs ~Majin Kaikou~ (2007) Co-Composer
  • Istoria ~Musa~ (Akiko Shikata album) (2007) Composer and Arranger of 1 Track
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni (Akiko Shikata Single) (2008) Arranger of 1 Track
  • Collaboration Album "message" (2008) Composer and Arranger of 1 Track
  • Griotte no Nemuri Hime (Haruka Shimotsuki Album) (2009)
  • SUZUNO=MIYA Ar tonelico III hymmnos concert side. Red (2010) Composer and Arranger of 2 Tracks
  • Guwange Arrange Album + Original Soundtrack (2010) Arranger of 1 Track
  • yorlga (2010) (Noriko Mitose album) Composer and Arranger of all tracks


  1. ^ "Interview with Yoshitaka Hirota (RocketBaby - January 2002)". 2002-01-01. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
  2. ^ Jeriaska (2007-01-01). "Near Death Experience: an interview with Yoshitaka Hirota". Square Haven. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
  3. ^ Chris Greening, Harry Simons (2005-11-01). "Interview with Yoshitaka Hirota (November 2005)". Square Enix Music. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
  4. ^ "Concert Information". Extra: Hyper Game Music Event 2007. Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on July 22, 2015. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  5. ^ "Album Information". Lux-Pain Original Soundtrack. Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  6. ^ Jeriaska. "Interview with Darumaya". Takahiro Yamamoto (trans.). RPGFan. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  7. ^ "Instruments" (in French). Deep in Coma. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  8. ^ "かくりよの門 Original Soundtrack". iTunes. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  9. ^ Yoko Shimomura [@midiplex] (April 13, 2017). "というわけで、本日、私と弘田佳孝氏(@kulko_yh)で音楽を担当している『エグリア』リリースされました!是非是非遊んで頂けると嬉しいです〜(*´◡`*)" (Tweet) (in Japanese) – via Twitter.

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