Kinuyo Yamashita

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Kinuyo Yamashita
Kinuyo Yamashita - 01.jpg
Local 山下 絹代 (やました きぬよ)
Born December 31, 1965
Birth Place Hyogo, Japan
Nationality Japanese   Japan.svg
Aliases James Banana, Kinuyo Ueda, Onigiri Yamako, Yamako, Charming Kinuyo
Website yamako.ciao.jp

Kinuyo Yamashita was born on 1965 December 31st, in Amagasaki, Hyogo, Japan. After she graduated college, Yamashita began her career as a video game music composer by being hired into Konami. Her first, and most notable, soundtrack is for the game Castlevania (NES). She wanted to compose music for Castlevania II, but her superior moved her onto other games. After composing several soundtracks for the company, she eventually left Konami at the end of the 1980s to produce music independently--citing the long hours Konami expected out of her as her reason for leaving. After Konami she started working freelance. She briefly considered a job with Taito, who she had already composed music for, but didn't want to move to Tokyo to work for them, so she stayed a freelance composer.

Yamashita's prefers the piano, alto saxophone, and the ukulele to play her favorite genres of music jazz, blues, bossa nova, soul, and R&B. Yamashita is also a vocalist, and used to sing and play piano in the American pop cover band, Honey Honey. She loves Chopin, and her favorite piece is Nocturne. She also loves intense Beethoven.

For the 8 bit games, Yamashita would compose her music on actual instruments, and then convert the notes into hex for the NES chip. She said that her inspiration for the game usually was given to her in the form of a brief story of the game and a couple screenshots. From that, she wrote her music. With modern games using digital audio, she has much more freedom, but finds that she sometimes needs help with arrangements because there is so much to choose from.

Yamashita says that she has played video games in the past, and was sometimes expected to do bug testing on the games she was composing music for, including Medabots (GB) which she beat several times to watch the ending.

Outside of music, Yamashita enjoys tennis, Japanese drama, movies, cooking, creating graphic icons, and learning English. Her favorite foods include bitter chocolate, chili sauce, as well as Thai and Italian food. She appreciates people who are honest and reliable, and dislikes people who are violent or smoke.

On August 15th, 1998 Yamashita suffered a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage while playing tennis, and then a second one while recovering. She spent a week in a coma and finally awoke with no memory and slight paralysis on the right side of her body. She gradually recovered and continues to work as a music composer and producer.

Yamashita currently lives in New Jersey, USA with her husband.

Gameography

Released Title Sample
1986-11-21 Burning Twinbee: Save Dr. Cinnamon! (FDS) (もえろツインビー シナモン博士を救え!)
1986-12-18 King Kong 2: Megaton Punch of Anger (FC) (キングコング2 怒りのメガトンパンチ)
1987-??-?? Gradius II (MSX)
1987-??-?? Knightmare 2: The Maze of Galious (MSX)
1987-??-?? Syaromu (MSX)
1987-??-?? Uşas (MSX)
1987-01-04 Bird of Fire (FC) (火の鳥)
1987-02-20 Esper Dream (FDS)
1987-05-?? Castlevania (NES)
1987-08-11 Arumana's Miracle (FDS) (アルマナの奇跡)
1987-09-?? Stinger (NES) Special Thanks
1991-03-?? Power Blade (NES)
1992-06-26 Esper Dream 2: Aratanaru Tatakai (FC) (エスパーの夢2:新たなる戦い)
1992-09-29 Power Blade II (NES)
1992-12-22 Pocky & Rocky (SNES)
1993-09-23 GS Mikami: Joreishi wa Nice Body (SFC) (GS 三上:Joreishi府ナイスバディ)
1994-09-?? Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (SNES)
1994-10-20 Mega Man: The Wily Wars (GEN)
1995-12-01 Mega Man X3 (SNES)
1997-11-28 Medabots (GB) (メダロット)
1999-04-23 Hole in One Golf (GBC) (ゴルフDEおはスタ)
1999-11-15 WWF Wrestlemania 2000 (GBA)
2000-08-11 Tokoro-san's Setagaya Country Club (GBC) (所さん世田谷カントリークラブ)
2001-01-31 Croc 2 (GBC)
2001-10-24 Monsters Inc. (GBA)
2003-06-11 Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Wrath of the Darkhul King (GBA)
2010-02-13 Stickvania (WEB)
2010-08-04 Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (X360)

Picture Gallery

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