Takashi Kokubo 小久保 隆

Kokubo Takashi


Takashi Kokubo  小久保こくぼ たかし

Born in 1956
An ambient music artist, acoustic environment designer, media producer, CEO of Studio Ion, and adjunct lecturer at the Open University of Japan

His fame as an acoustic environment designer is known through examples such as the earthquake warning buzzer for mobile phones, the sign tone for iD e-money, and the initial melody call tone for DoCoMo.
He was also involved in the ambient music for the Roppongi Hills Arena, and the acoustic environment design and time signal music in the Queen’s Square Yokohama Mall. In recent years he has worked on the attention sound in Fukuoka Canal City, and the introductory music for the Exile Special Mapping Show.
Renewed interest worldwide in Japanese ambient music of the 1980s has led to offers to re-release his works from the UK, Switzerland, and Denmark. A US compilation album containing tracks by Kokubo called Kankyo Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990 was nominated for the 2020 Grammy Awards (best historical album category).

He creates relaxation music to bring the healing powers of nature to the hearts of people in the modern world. Living in Tokyo while also producing at his private studio in the rich natural environment of Mukawa (Yamanashi Prefecture), he creates music using a Cyberphonic microphone of his own invention that is able to record stereophonic sounds, based on the theoretical background of high frequency noises that relax the brain, 1/f noise (pink noise), and measurement of brain waves. In recent years he has also put his hand to natural images, visiting over 50 countries and regions in order to make recordings. In 2014 he provided a track featuring natural sounds called “Interlude” to Exile Atsushi’s second solo album Music, and produced the video for “Sora no Kanata E ~ Endroll ~ ” on the third solo album Love Ballade.

While active as a sound designer of acoustic (musical) environments in public spaces like cities, offices, or museums, he also works as an artist providing relaxing music for private spaces.
He founded his own Ion label in 1999, which has released 23 titles so far. These include extremely popular ones like the long-sellers Kaze no Uta (Wind Poems) and Mizu no Uta (Water Poems), and the Ear Vacation Series (Columbia). In September 2007, he released Quiet Comfort, a greatest hits compilation covering 20 years of work. In 2009, he completed the tenth title in the Chikyu no Uta (Poems of the Earth) series containing recordings of natural sounds from various countries around the world.

He has further expanded his reach with releases on the Della label of relaxation and healing CDs, releasing Water Healing in 2013, Iyashi no Mori (Forest of Healing)~ Finland containing music and visuals produced by him in 2014, and Forest Healing in 2016.

In recent years he has also worked as a media producer, and on 360-degree panoramic works. Shizen Mandala~Chowa no Sekai (Natural Mandala~World of Harmony) received the judges special award in the short program contest of the 5th International Festival of Science Visualization in 2014.

He has also led the music production unit called G-rush to create game music evincing a world atmosphere for games such as Elemental Monster and Tengai Makyou: Ziria (Hudson Soft).

Cherry blossom viewing in full bloom from the sky with a drone
Cyberphonic COMFORT Channel

 At Trendy, we accept your work requests.

  1. Creation of sounds and music for use in exhibitions or buildings
         He specializes in acoustic environment design, combining visuals and sound with items on display in art galleries and museums.
  2. Creation of music, sound, and sign tones for corporate promotions
         Sound logos are recently gaining in popularity and can be trademarked in the same way as corporate logos.

Takashi Kokubo released ten titles in the Ion series of solo albums (Teichiku) from 1992 to 1993.
These CDs of ambient music are currently much in demand worldwide.
Ambient music’s fusion of music with every kind of sound, such as water flowing, the wind blowing, and birds singing, is clearly just what the current age wants.

Ambient music calls forth healing and nature to bring peaceful relaxation.

Click here for sales of Takashi Kokubo’s CDs
In future, Ion label works may be streamed or downloaded from various music distribution websites.

In Search of Natural Quiet, broadcast on YBS in January 2018, was selected for the excellence award by a nationwide panel of judges at the 2018 Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association Awards.

Excellence Award: In Search of Natural Quiet– A commemorative program for YBS Radio FM
YBS Broadcast
Performer: Takashi Kokubo Narration: Unno Kie Planning: Ishikawa Osamu Concept/Direction: Okubo Tatsuro

 Takashi Kokubo, an ambient musician ambient based in Mukawa Town (Hokuto City), has released a work composed of only sounds found in natural, with no artificial elements, to create Natural Quiet. The music works contained herein from Kokubo’s entire career back to his early years, are composed of Natural Quiet gathered from all over the world, showing the beauty of the world of sound we usually ignore.
 This program achieves a high level of perfection, blending themes ideal for the radio with superb pieces of sound edited to remove all unnecessary elements.

Reissued for sale by a UK label

A Dream Sails Out To Sea (Get at the Wave), an album released in 1987, will be re-released as analog record by a UK label on Monday July 23, 2018.

A Dream Sails Out To Sea~ was released as a promotion record for consumer electronics manufacturer SANYO. It contains ambient tracks and sounds of waves and birdsong recorded from real life.

TV program description

NHK WORLD DESIGN TALKS plus “Signage Design”

“Signage Design” was broadcast on NHK WORLD DESIGN TALKS plus.
If you missed it the first time around, you could view it on the website.

Program details
Our world is filled with sign designs, like road signs, center lines, symbols of restrooms, or guidance inside facilities. Sign design has steadily changed to keep pace with the times.
As the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games draw close, particular attention is being focused on sign designs that visitors from abroad can understand.
This program will explore the world of sign designs essential to our daily life, with guest and graphic designer Hiromura Masaaki!

Presenters: Andrea Pompilio, Shaula
Performer: Graphic designer Hiromura Masaaki
Narration: Hideshima Fumika

Broadcasting station: NHK WORLD
Program name: DESIGN TALKS plus

more details


2016Release on Della of Forest Healing
2013Release on Della of combined music and visual works Iyashi no Mori (Forest of Healing)~Finland and Kusuri Irazu no Ongaku~Fumin Kaisho (A Musical Cure for Insomnia)
Visual work Shizen Mandala~Chowa no Sekai (Natural Mandala~World of Harmony) received the judges special award at the 5th International Festival of Science Visualization
2009Release on Della of Water Healing~Beauty Treatment Music
Completed 10 titles in the Chikyu no Uta (Poems of the Earth) series of natural sound CDs on sale on the Ion label
2007Release on Ion of the Quiet Comfort greatest hits compilation
2006Created the payment tone for iD mobile payment
Created the Area Mail earthquake warning buzzer and initial melody call for NTT DoCoMo
2003Created ambient music for the Roppongi Hills Arena in Tokyo
1999Established the Ion label, released Daichi no Uta (Songs of the Land), GAIA, and Tori no Shi (Bird Poems)
1998Received the ’98 Display Industry excellence award and ’98 Display Design excellence award for Otogi no Sato for Honkawane Town, Shizuoka Prefecture
1997Created music and acoustic environment design for Queen’s Square Yokohama Mall in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture
1996~1998Released six titles in the Mineral Sound Music series of solo albums (Columbia)
1994Received the ’94 Display Industry special award and ’94 Display Design encouragement award for Hikari to Oto no Fantasia (A Fantasia of Light and Sound) for Nagoya E.T.
1993Received a ’93 Display Design award for Experience based showroom X’mas na Idenshi (Genes of Xmas) (Relaxium)
1992~1993Released ten titles in the Ion series of solo albums (Teichiku)
1990Received a ’90 Display Design award for the Mirai e no Shinsho (Image of the Future) monument in front of Oimachi Station.
Received an award in the outdoor category at the ’90 SP Dentsu Advertising Awards, and received an excellence award at the ’90 Tokyo Outdoor Advertising Association Competition, for the Hachiko Family time signal music in front of Shibuya Station in Tokyo
1988Received the grand prix at the ’88 Institute of Environmental Art and Design Awards for the environmental program called Imaginard
1987Received the grand prix at the ’87 International Music and Video Awards for the video-audio work called Image Feedback
1986Founded Studio Ion Co., Ltd.
1985Released a solo album called Bauhaus no Shiji-tachi (The Poets of Bauhaus) (King).
1980Released a solo album called Digital Bach (King)
From the late
Active in music with the Bach Revolution, Stomu Yamashita, Shingetsu, Ryuichi Sakamoto, etc.
1956Born in Tokyo.


2014Forest Healing ~Stress Reset” (Della)
Kusuri Irazu no Ongaku~Fumin Kaisho (A Musical Cure for Insomnia)” (Della)
2013Water Healing ~Beauty Treatment Music” (Della)
Anata no Oheya ga Uchu Kukan ni (Bringing the sounds of the cosmos to your room.)” (Seikodo)
2012Quiet Japan ~Japan” (Seikodo)
2009The Wild Earth ~AfricaSound of the Earth series recorded with only natural sounds(Ion label)
2008Sound Trekking ~OceaniaSound of the Earth series recorded with only natural sounds(Ion label)
Paradise Islands ~Hawaii” “Rain Forest ~BorneoSound of the Earth series recorded with only natural sounds(Ion label)
2007greatest hits compilation “KOKUBO TAKASHI HEALING COLLECTION Quiet Comfort” (Ion label)
Asian Resort ~Asia” “Beach in Heaven ~New CaledoniaSound of the Earth series recorded with only natural sounds(Ion label)
Great Amazon ~Peru” “Sound Impressionism ~FranceSound of the Earth series recorded with only natural sounds(Ion label)
2006Quiet Japan ~Japan” “Wave Paradise ~Jamaica & FijiSound of the Earth series recorded with only natural sounds(Ion label)
Special 2-disc edition “SERENITY” “GAIA” “FOREST” “WINDS” “WATER” (Ion label)
ETERNITY” (Ion label)
2001Smile of Water” Vocal: MINEHAHA (Ion label)
WATER” “WINDS” (Ion label) (Released in Taiwan in April 2015 by JINGO Records)
2000Traveler of Miracles” (Ion label)
1999SERENITY” “GAIA” “FOREST” (Ion label)
1998Mineral Sound Music series (COLUMBIA)
Fukai Midori, Aoi Umi (Deep Blue Sea)” “Mitsurin no Soloist (Soloist of the Forest)” “300 no Hoseki (300 Gems)
1996Mineral Sound Music series (COLUMBIA)
Tachinoboru Seirei (Rising of the Spirits)” “Kamigami no Kyusoku (The Gods at Rest)” “Taiko no Genso (Old Reverie)” Message from Oasis(Teichiku) * Ion Series new format
Ion no Mori (The Woods of Ion)” “Aurora no Shimpi (Mysterious Aurora)” “Gaudi no Yume (The Dream of Gaudi)” “Kamigami no Tawamure (The Gods at Play)” “So’on no Umibe (A Beach of Sounds)” “Mori to Mizu to Monogatari (Stories of Woods and Water)” “Nami to Hikari to Daichi (The Waves, the Light, the Land)” “Yume no Ato (After the Dream)” “Koto no Asamoya (Morning Mist of the Ancient Capital)” “Niji wo Mita Hi (The Day of Rainbow)
1994LAKEHILL STORY FOREST” (Wine Lake Hill Hotel)
1993Ion Series (Teichiku)
Kaze no Oasis (The Oasis of Wind)・ ~Mori to Mizu to Monogatari (Stories of Woods and Water)~” “Jamaica ~Nami to Hikari to Daichi (The Waves, the Light, the Land)~” “Loire no Kojo~Chusei no Yume~ (Châteaux de la Loire~The Dream of the Middle Ages)” “Kyoto ~Mangetsu no Kokage (Tree Shadows at Full Moon)~” “Niji wo Mita Hi (The Day of Rainbow) ~elegant harp ~” “Mori no Megumi (The Blessings of the Forest)” (Matsushita Electric Industrial Labor Union)
1992Ion Series (Teichiku)
Kaze no Oasis (The Oasis of Wind) ~Ion no Mori (The Woods of Ion) ~” “Taiyofu (Solar Wind) ~Aurora no Shimpi (Mysterious Aurora) ~” “Barcelona ~Gaudi no Yume (The Dream of Gaudi) ~” “Bali ~Kamigami no Tawamure (The Gods at Play) ~” “Tokyo ~So’on Bigaku (The Beauty of Noise)~
1991Kaze no Oasis (The Oasis of Wind)” (Tokyo P/N)
1990GAIA” (Hachiman Books)
1985Bauhaus no Shijin-tachi (The Poets of Bauhaus)” (King)
1980Digital Bach” (King)