A Sampler for (another) Funeral

Well, here we are again. We kind of knew Sakamoto Ryuuichi was on his way out, but with Takahashi Yukihiro‘s recent death… There’s people posting a lot of his lesser known and/or harder to find work, so I’ll start with one of those. The rest will be some of my favorites that aren’t necessarily the first things to come up.

Time sure does seem pretty linear lately tho…

If I tried to post everything, I’d never finish – feel free to ask me for music recommendations over on my Twitch stream. Always happy to chat (and help people with keywords for searches).

Computers of Various Sizes

Once upon a time, Nokia paid Sakamoto a small fortune to compose custom ringtones and what not for their latest phone model. (This was around the N-Gage era, for those familiar.) A friend of mine was kind enough to help me get these after tracking down the original (very Flash heavy) website. However, someone else has helpfully compiled them in this video, as well as downloadable files in the comments below.

What I haven’t seen, though I’m sure somebody’s posted it, is these unused tracks he made for IE 4. Luckily someone has these up as well, because of course.


I had a number of music files tagged “BGM” so I could quickly pull up background music for my radio show airbreaks. This was one of my more frequent tracks. The fact that it’s the B-side to Computer Obaachan is a little odd, but I guess that’s par for the course as B-sides go.

Relatedly, this track isn’t really a deep cut, but it was on loop when I was trying to finish my doctoral dissertation. Luckily, it escaped being irrevocably associated with a very stressful time.

The most recent BGM I used was probably the ending track to Wings of Honneamise. (I always have to look up how to spell that. I have this strong image of an aioli-based condiment.)

A potential future BGM would have been these compositions for the “Pavilion of Electricity” at Expo ’90. World Expos are a constant source of excellent electronic music, and this is no exception.

Sakamoto on Film

Not sure how much this falls into the lesser known category – Thomas Dolby is a big name after all. But I’ve found a lot of people haven’t necessarily seen the little short film that is the music video for this track.

Field Work

Likewise, I know many fans of his that enjoyed stumbling across this choreographed performance of 過激な淑女

Sakamoto’s hair and makeup in the 1983 Budokan concert is his peak. I will not be debating this.


I highly recommend checking out compilations like these to track down the little bits and pieces of work Sakamoto did. Here is one of my favorites.

I forgot he was actually in this one…

This is one of the albums – I think I have it queued up to a track I particularly liked.


NHK Newswide Opening

The above is pretty self-explanatory. The program below, however, is pretty impressive. 

YOU was a teen-focused talk show helmed by 糸井重里 Itoi Shigesato, a name you might know. The ending was also good for background music. I found some episodes here and here in decently watchable quality, for anyone curious.


荻野目洋子 Oginome Youko is singing about a romance in “a country with white sands and a red moon”…at a ski resort. I guess Dancing Hero is a tough one to top, but yeesh.

飯島真理 Iijima Mari many know better as Lynn Minmay, but she was a big idol in general.

門あさ美 Kado Asami rounds out the list before we head on over to the new wave kids.

New Music/New Wave

I find that if people have gone down the rabbit hole, usually they’ve dug up the new music/new wave connections. It’s a long list, and I won’t attempt to type it out here. I find just going thru Sakamoto’s discogs page is actually helpful in terms of English language information. 

大貫妙子 Ohnuki Taeko is one of my favorites.

Ohnuki Taeko – Carnaval

Before Koshi Miharu got very weird (in a way I very much enjoy), she put out this jazzy pop debut.

山田邦子 Yamada Kuniko is technically a comedian, but sticking her here cuz why not. This track is all about how she likes certain food served. Stick around to the 23 minute mark to get the “Ohhh….there he is” moment.

A Big Ending

Some years back, I discovered a high quality video of the opening ceremony of the Barcelona Olympics. Relevant here because some mad genius on the planning committee paid who knows how much to have Sakamoto score a very interesting performance that occurs in the middle of it. (Warning: towards the end there is some fake blood action that was prolly not excessive given the distance of people viewing, but yeah.) There’s also a very interesting fashion show that happens at some point, that I haven’t been able to find much information about from casual searches. If anyone digs up some detailed info about the designers who participated, I’d be interested to know.

And a small epilogue

One of the few pieces of physical media I own. Listen to it here.

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