Feature on Kashiwa Daisuke

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Today we are doing a forward feature on KASHIWA Daisuke originally done by Toco Toco TV.

Toco Toco is a program where Japanese artists and creators introduce places in Japan that inspire them. Every episode showcases a different guest, from all creative fields. From musicians and artists to tea ceremony masters and traditional confectioners, they cover a wide field of profiles.

The show is aired on the French tv channel “Nolife” since 2011 and Youtube (with English and french subs) since 2015.

Without any scripted text or guidance, guests speak naturally and are free to choose any place they like. The first thing you will love about the show is how comfortable the atmosphere of the entire episode is.

Toco Toco is the onomatopoeia to describe the sound of footsteps in Japanese, for the walks we go on together with our guests.

KASHIWA Daisuke is well noted for his work as the Music Director in Makoto Shinkai’s Garden of Words.

He was born in Hiroshima, and currently lives in Tokyo.

He started off as the composer and guitarist of post-rock band Yodaka in 2001. Being inspired by the band’s psychedelic sound due to a post-rock approach, and by Maurizio Bianchi, he started a solo project in 2004.

As a solo artist his idea is to create not only acoustic, but also electronic soundscapes and atmospheres, by melting together a variety of classic instruments, spoken word snippets, and crisp beats. With a proper amount of ambient music, all of these form an exquisite sound experience.

You can listen to his other noted works on Last.fm.

In the episode by Toco Toco TV, we first head to Hino, located in the Tokyo suburbs to the big temple complex known as Takahata Fudo-son Kongo-ji.


He notes – “I feel that there are very few silent places in Tokyo, being in a calm place allows me to find more inspiration or to think about my music.”


Kashiwa Daisuke san, having lived just behind the complex for a few years, used to often come here to have a walk alone or with his kids, to pray or find inspiration for his music looking at the buildings and nature.


A few minutes away from there, we head to Fureai bridge, which also was a regular stroll for him.


While he was struggling with composition on his album « 88 », Daisuke-san mentions he would come to look at the river and think about his approach to music.


While watching the river, he would think about how he should be composing and what kind of music he should be making.


A few years ago, the animation movie director Makoto Shinkai liked this same album and asked him to rearrange it as the soundtrack of the movie « The Garden of Words ».


In the second part of the episode, we head to Yoshida Fish Farms, a shop that specializes in Japanese goldfishes and koi carps, as well as tropical fishes and plants.


Since he was little, Daisuke-san loved to build aquariums, but rather than just enjoying the fishes themselves, he would like to create miniature garden-like  spaces with them which he mentions as “small worlds”. He compares this to his way to make music by assembling various elements and to create such worlds in his work.


I always wanted to be able to create universes through my music. I have listened to a lot of music in my life, but I still feel that I haven’t yet heard  the ideal music I am pursuing. One of my dreams is to be able
to compose that ideal music myself.

Even though I released seven albums, I still feel that I am not quite there yet. Which is why I am trying to reach that goal, not for somebody, not for being listened to or to sell albums. But for myself,
in order to create something that I want to listen to; it is one of the biggest tasks I could accomplish in my life.


With this, we conclude this feature shared with us by the Director of Toco Toco TV.  You can subscribe to watch their features on their Youtube Channel – toco toco tv.

Here is the Complete Episode with English Subtitles. (Turn on CC , Closed Captions)


We hope this was a pleasant read for our readers, and we promise you will absolutely enjoy watching the episode.


Daryl (pseudonym), Senior Editor & Co-founder at Nihonden. Working behind the curtain mostly; doing quality checks and editing articles, but his efficacy at writing full-blown research pieces cannot be veiled.