Kenji Kawai

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Kenji Kawai
Kenji Kawai - 1.jpg
Local 川井 憲次 (かわい けんじ)
Born April 23, 1957
Birth Place Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan
Nationality Japanese   Japan.svg
Aliases K. Kawai, Kawai Kenji

Kenji Kawai is a Japanese musician who has been professionally involved with music for several decades. Kawai originally wanted to be an engineer, but ended up picking up a guitar, and once he found school for nuclear engineering too tough for him, he quit and focused on music. He later attended a music school, but still wasn't doing good in class. Kenji started to write his own music, which inspired him to start a band with his friends, who entered and won a music contest. The band was then about to be signed to a label before Kenji decided to quit to pursue his own solo career.

When in school, western music such as French pops was popular, as well as the Beatles, though Kenji preferred French music. Some of his influences include Raymond Lefebvre, Francis Lai, and Burt Bacharach. He also likes listening to movie soundtracks as well, and likes as he puts it "warm" music. As a result, he didn't have a lot in common with other musicians at the time. Kawai says to write music for media, he talks to the directors and producers to work out a common theme.

In the world of video games, Kenji is probably best known for scoring the soundtracks to the Sansara Naga series.

Kawai currently resides in Shinagawa, and spends most of his days in the studio.

Music Development


Kenji doesn't remember how he did the music for the NES, as it has been over 20 years. It is believed he sent compositions on some type of media such as MIDI, sheet music, or audio cassettes to the developers, who had their programmers/audio team convert his compositions into the game. All of the game's he worked on for the NES were only released in Japan.


Released Title Sample Notes
1988-07-21 Maison Ikkoku (FC) (めぞん一刻) Arranged by unknown.
1989-12-08 Shin Satomi Hakkenden: Hikari to Yami no Tatakai (FC) (新・里見八犬伝 光と闇の戦い) Arranged by unknown.
1990-03-23 Sansara Naga (FC) (サンサーラ・ナーガ)
Arranged by Osamu Kasai, Masaaki Harada, and Shinji Nakayama.
1990-10-19 Bloody Warriors: Shangou no Gyakushuu (FC) (ブラッディウォリアーズ シャンゴーの逆襲) Arranged by unknown.
1990-12-07 Ranma 1/2 (ROM2) Ending Theme "Ranma Da★RANMA"
1991-12-06 Ranma 1/2: Toraware no Hanayome (ROM2) Ending Theme "Chikyū no Hate, Koi no Hate?": Arrangement
1992-07-17 Sorcerian (ROM2) (ソーサリアン) With Yoshinori Nagumo and Tamotsu Fujiwara.
1993-09-30 Digital Comic - Patlabor: Chapter of Griffon (ROM2) Ending Theme "My Way My Pace"
1994-07-15 Sansara Naga 2 (SFC) (サンサーラ・ナーガ2) Arranged by Michiharu Hasuya.
1994-12-23 Team Innocent: The Point of No Return (PCFX)
1998-06-30 Deep Fear (SS)
2003-05-23 Silent Hill 3 (PS2)
2003-10-21 Silent Hill 3 (W32)
2004-08-19 Suikoden IV (PS2)
2007-06-21 Folklore (PS3) With Ayako Saso, Shinji Hosoe, and Hiroto Saito.
2014-03-06 Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star (PS3)


Picture Gallery