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Nobuo Uematsu
"As we brought out a masterpiece to the world [...], we asked ourselves, "Can we really fight 24 hours?" And the answer was, "We will fight 8,760 hours! Huff, huff, huff, huff.""
—Nobuo Uematsu, Liner Notes of Final Fantasy V: Original Sound Version

Nobuo Uematsu (植松 伸夫) is a prolific composer of video game music, most well known for his work on the Final Fantasy series.


Nobuo Uematsu was born on March 21, 1959, in Kochi, Kochi Prefecture, Japan. He started to play music at the age of twelve when, inspired by Elton John, he taught himself how to play the piano. He started his professional career writing music for commercials after graduating from Kanagawa University. He joined Square Co., Ltd. in 1986 and began composing music for video games. He parted ways with Square, now Square Enix, in 2004. For those eighteen years Uematsu composed the music for over thirty games including, most notably, the Final Fantasy series, the first two SaGa games, and some of Chrono Trigger. In 2004, Uematsu founded Smile Please, Ltd. and still composes video game music, as well as organizes live performances of his work.

In addition to writing video game music, Uematsu has also written the theme song for the anime, "Oh My Goddess!" and for top Japanese singers Emiko Shiratori and Rikki. He also has written a column for Weekly Famitsu magazine called "Nobuo Uematsu no Minna Sounano?" for several years.

A young Uematsu.

It should be noted that the Final Fantasy VIII theme song, "Eyes on Me," which he wrote and produced for Hong Kong pop diva Faye Wong, sold a record breaking 400,000 copies. It also won "Song of the Year (Western Music)" at the 14th Annual Japan Gold Disc Awards in 1999. This was the first time a song from a video game had ever won the honor. He also received the honor of being named an "innovator" in Time Magazine's "Time 100: The Next Wave - Music".

Uematsu's Final Fantasy compositions were first performed live in 2003 by his own band, The Black Mages at the GC Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany. Since then, his music was featured in the 2004 tour known as "Tour de Japon: Music of Final Fantasy" which built upon the success of the "20020220 music from Final Fantasy" album. An American tour followed called "DEAR Friends: Music of Final Fantasy". Most recently, his music was performed at "VOICES: Music of Final Fantasy", which occurred in 2006 at the Pacifico Yokohama Conference and convention center. He has confirmed his participation in and wrote the opening song to the upcoming "PLAY! A Video Game Symphony" which will tour the world in 2006.

Uematsu's style can only be described as eclectic. From pop to opera to rock to classical to electronic music, he has drawn from many distinct musical genres. He has done much to establish video games as true art and is the most recognized name in video game music today.

Musical Works

This is a list of media for which Nobuo Uematsu has composed at least one music track.

  • Genesis (1985)
  • Cruise Chaser Blassty (1986)
  • Alpha (1986)
  • Suisho no Dragon (1986)
  • King's Knight special (1986)
  • King's Knight (1986)
  • ALIENS (1987)
  • Tobidase Daisakusen (1987)
  • 3D World Runner (1987)
  • Jumpin' Jack (1987)
  • Apple Town Monogatari (1987)
  • Cleopatra no Mahou (1987)
  • Freeway Star (1987)
  • Square's Tom Sawyer (1987)
  • Rad Racer (1987)
  • Final Fantasy (1987)
  • Nakayama Miho no Tokitoki High School
  • Hanjuku Eiyuu (NES)
  • Final Fantasy II (1988) — Restored for the WonderSwan Color and PlayStation versions (2000, 2002)
  • The Final Fantasy Legend (1989)
  • Final Fantasy III (1990)
  • Final Fantasy Legend II (1991)
  • Final Fantasy IV (1991)
  • Final Fantasy V (1992)
  • Romancing SaGa 2 (1993) — With Kenji Ito
  • Final Fantasy VI (1994)
  • Chrono Trigger (1995) — With Yasunori Mitsuda and Noriko Matsueda
  • DynamiTracer (1995)
  • Front Mission: Gun Hazard (1996) — With Yasunori Mitsuda, Masashi Hamauzu, and Junya Nakano
  • Final Fantasy VII (1997)
  • Final Fantasy VIII (1999)
  • Final Fantasy IX (2000)
  • Final Fantasy X (2001) — With Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano
  • Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies (2001)
  • Hanjuku Eiyuu Tai 3D (2002)
  • Final Fantasy XI (2002) — With Naoshi Mizuta and Kumi Tanioka
  • Hanjuku Eiyuu 4 (2005) — With Kenichiro Fukui, Hirosato Noda, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Naoshi Mizuta, Kenichi Mikoshiba, Ai Yamashita, and Kenji Ito
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005)
  • Final Fantasy XII (2006) — With Hitoshi Sakimoto
  • Blue Dragon (2006)
  • Lost Odyssey (2007)
  • Cry On (TBD) (canceled)
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008)
  • Blue Dragon 2 (TBA)
  • Away ~Tsuresarareta Hitobito~
  • Final Fantasy XIV (TBA 2010)

External Links

  • A Day in the Life of Nobuo Uematsu
  • Nobuo Uematsu's Official Website (English)
  • Nobuo Uematsu's Official Website (Japanese)
  • Smile Please Co., Ltd Official Website (Japanese)
  • Lost Odyssey's Main Theme performed live for the first time, in Florence

This article uses material from the "Nobuo Uematsu" article on the Final Fantasy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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