Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Anime composer Takashi Miki, whose real name is Tadashi Watanabe, was born in Tokyo in 1945. Originally, Miki wanted to be a singer after he graduated from junior high school. However, he changed his mind and taught himself how to compose music instead. Miki made his professional debut as a composer in 1967.
In anime, Miki is best known for composing "Anpanman no March," the theme song for the Soreike! Anpanman franchise. Even though the song was originally written when the series premiered in 1988, "Anpanman no March" continues to used as the theme song for the franchise over 20 years later. Miki also wrote "Hoshi no Ojisama Petit Prince," the theme song from 1978's Little Prince anime series. Miki also composed music for director Gisaburo Sugii's 1974 anime film, Jack to Mama no Ki (Jack and the Beanstalk).
Outside of anime, Miki wrote songs for a number of artists in Japan, with songs ranging from enka to pop music. Miki wrote songs for such artists as Ruriko Asaoka, Ryoko Moriyama, Teresa Teng, Fuyumi Sakamoto, Hideki Saijo, Agnes Chan, Hiromi Iwasaki, Sayuri Ishikawa, and the female trio Warabe. Songs Miki composed include: "Tsugaru Kaikyo Fuyugeshiki," "Toki no Nagare ni Mi wo Makase," "Tsugunai," "Yozakura Oshichi," "Boomerang Street," and "Medaka no Kyodai." Miki also composed "Furimukuna Kimi wa Utsukushii," a theme song for the All Japan High School Soccer Tournament. He has also contributed compositions to musicals produced by the Shiki Theatre Company.
Back in the 1970s, Miki was part of a jury panel for a popular singer TV audition program that aired on Japanese television. Miki was recommended for the jury panel by lyricist Yu Aku. Miki and Aku also teamed up to write the song, "Tsugaru Kaikyo Fuyugeshiki." This song, which was sung by Sayuri Ishikawa, became a hit in 1977. Miki wrote "Toki no Nagare ni Mi wo Makase" in the 1980s, and it was sung by Taiwanese singer Teresa Teng.
In 2004, he served as the administrative director for the Japan Composer's Association. The following year, Miki was awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon for his works. In 2006, Miki underwent surgery for throat cancer; however, after the surgery, he returned to working on his compositions.
Sadly, Takashi Miki passed away on Monday, May 11, 2009 at 6:05 a.m. at a hospital in Okayama City. He was 64 at the time of his death. Takashi Miki is survived by his sister, a singer named Jun Mayuzumi, along with other relatives.