Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan
Noriyuki Asakura (朝倉 紀行, born on February 11, 1954) is a Japanese music composer and vocalist. He is famous for composing the soundtracks to the anime series Rurouni Kenshin and the popular video game franchises Tenchu and Way of the Samurai. He is well-known for combining traditional Japanese music with elements of rock, jazz, and other world music.
He is a native of Itabashi, Tokyo, and entered the music industry in the early 80's, composing music for television programs and movies, as well as producing music for a number of Japanese pop stars during the 80's and early 90's. In 1995, he composed the soundtrack to Rurouni Kenshin, where, through the duration of the series, combined rock with a more traditional Japanese sound, giving it the spirit of classic Jidaigeki movies, but also incorporated modern elements—such as electric guitars and breakbeats--into the score, giving the soundtrack a contemporary feel to it. He was very noted for this achievement, and applied this style to his later works. His work has been released on numerous CDs, and has aspirations of composing music for a major Hollywood motion picture. Contrary to popular belief, "Add'ua", the theme song to the first Tenchu game was not sung in Japanese, but rather in the West African language of Hausa, at his wife's request. "Sadame", the theme song for Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven, and "Kurenai No Hana", the theme song for Tenchu: Fatal Shadows, were performed in Japanese.
Asakura lives in Tokyo and operates his own music studio, Mega-Alpha. He composes music for television programs, anime, and video games.