23rd Special Achievement Award

YAMASHIRO Shoji

Composer / Brain Scientist

Profile

YAMASHIRO Shoji is the pseudonym of OHASHI Tsutomu, born in Tochigi Prefecture in 1933. He graduated with a PhD in Agriculture from the Department of Agricultural Chemistry in Tohoku University’s Faculty of Agriculture. After his tenure as a professor at the National Institute of Multimedia Education, and then as General Manager of the Kansei Behavioral and Brain Sciences Department’s ATR Human Information Processing Research Laboratories, he was appointed Chief of the Information Environment Institute at the Foundation for Advancement of International Science. He currently serves as Director of the Yamashiro Institute of Science and Culture. YAMASHIRO is credited for the discovery of the “hypersonic effect,” a phenomenon in which super high-frequency waves above the human audible range improve activity in the interbrain, midbrain, and prefrontal area, in addition to having a positive effect on one’s physiological and psychological state. He is the author of a variety of publications that includes Joho Kankyogaku (Asakura Publishing Co., Ltd., 1989), Oto to Bunmei Oto no Kankyogaku Kotohajime (Iwanami Shoten, Publishers, 2003), and Hypersonic Effect (Iwanami Shoten, Publishers, 2017). Still active as a composer, conductor and producer under his pseudonym, he established the Geinoh Yamashirogumi music group in 1974 and has served as its leader ever since. He has been honored with the Planning Award at the 21st Japan Record Awards ceremony, the Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Music at the 6th Japan Anime Awards, the Jury’s Special Award in the High Resolution Category at the 22nd Japan Professional Music Recording Awards in 2015, the Dharma Kusuma Award (bestowed for cultural achievements by the provincial government of Bali, Indonesia), among a list of others. The musical work he has created is extensive, and includes the soundtrack for the renowned 1988 anime film AKIRA, and the Landscape Opera Gaia for the International Garden and Greenery Exposition (EXPO’90).

Reason

Under his pseudonym as YAMASHIRO Shoji, musician and leader of Geinoh Yamashirogumi, the group that had a considerable impact around the world with its soundtrack of the 1988 anime film AKIRA, he is also a 21st century brain scientist as well as acoustical engineering scientist, who verified the so-called “hypersonic effect” and then built the foundation for establishing high-resolution music standards. At the root of all his production, which is developed in multimodal fashion and transcends the boundary between art and science, lies a certain global outlook. It features the ability of modern civilization to overcome difficulties through a re-interpretation of the information environment throughout the course of human history and, as such, has immeasurable pioneering significance in global media art history. (NAKAGAWA Daichi)