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Junya Nakano
Born February 28, 1971 (1971-02-28) (age 38)
Kyoto, Japan
Genres Ambient
Occupations Composer
Instruments Piano, electronic organ
Years active 1992–present
Labels NTT Publishing
Square Enix

Junya Nakano (仲野 順也 Nakano Jun'ya ?, born February 28, 1971) is a Japanese video game composer who was employed at Square Enix from 1995 to 2009. He is best known for scoring Threads of Fate and co-composing Final Fantasy X. He has also worked as an arranger for Dawn of Mana and the Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy IV. Nakano has collaborated with his friend and fellow composer Masashi Hamauzu on several games.

He was introduced to music at the age of three when his parents offered him lessons in the electronic organ. After studying composition and arrangement at a vocational school, Nakano worked for Konami from 1991 to 1994, where he scored numerous arcade games. Nakano is noted for his ambient style and for using percussion, timbre, and rhythm in his compositions.



Junya Nakano was born in Kyoto, Japan.[1] His parents introduced him to music when he was three years old, offering him lessons in the electronic organ through the Yamaha Music Foundation; they also encouraged him to join some brass bands. After playing the 1979 arcade game Lunar Rescue, he developed an interest in video games and subsequently began to enjoy chiptune music. By frequently listening to the radio, he started composing MIDI music using the NEC PC-9801 in 1985. In 1987, he attended a vocational school to study composition and arrangement in hopes of entering the gaming industry. After graduation, he joined the Kobe branch of Konami in 1991, where he contributed music to eight arcade games with several collaborators over a three-year period. Deciding he wanted to create more original music and have a chance to receive individual recognition, Nakano left Konami after completing the score for Golfing Greats 2 in 1994.[2]

Nakano joined Square (now Square Enix) in 1995.[2] He created four pieces for the 1996 video game Front Mission: Gun Hazard, which featured composers Nobuo Uematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda, and Masashi Hamauzu.[3] His first solo project came about with Satellaview's Treasure Conflix the same year.[2] In 1996, Nakano joined several of Square's composers to create the soundtrack for the fighting game Tobal No. 1;[4] he contributed three compositions.[2] Hamauzu and Nakano became friends after working on Front Mission: Gun Hazard and Tobal No. 1, and they have later collaborated on several titles.[5] In 1997, Nakano served as synthesizer programmer for the score to Front Mission: Alternative.[2] Nakano composed the soundtrack for the Japan-only adventure game Another Mind,[6] which he was given a deadline of two months to complete.[2] His subsequent score to the 1999 title Threads of Fate (known as "Dewprism" in Japan) gave him worldwide recognition.[7][2]

Since scoring Threads of Fate, Nakano has collaborated with several composers on major projects instead of being the sole composer.[2] In 2001, Nakano and Hamauzu were chosen to assist Uematsu in the production of the score for the critically acclaimed Final Fantasy X,[8][9] based on their ability to create music that was different from Uematsu's style;[10] Nakano created 20 pieces.[2] One of his tracks from the game, "Guadosalam", was arranged for the piano and featured in the album Piano Collections Final Fantasy X (2002).[11] Following Final Fantasy X, Nakano co-composed the soundtracks to Asmik Ace Entertainment's flight simulators Lethal Skies Elite Pilot: Team SW (2001, known as "Lethal Skies" in Europe) and SideWinder V (2003). As a member of Uematsu's short-lived subsidiary Square Sounds, Nakano was allowed to score these non-Square games since members of Square Sounds could be licensed to create music for other companies if not busy on other projects.[2]

Back at Square Enix, he created the music for Musashi: Samurai Legend with Hamauzu and the duo Wavelink Zeal (Takayuki and Yuki Iwai) in 2004.[12] In 2006, Nakano created seven tracks for the Xbox 360 game Project Sylpheed, which also featured several other composers.[13] Later the same year, he arranged four pieces from the Mana series for Dawn of Mana (known as "Seiken Densetsu 4" in Japan).[2] He was also selected to arrange half of Final Fantasy IV's Nintendo DS remake under the supervision of Uematsu,[14] and composed the soundtrack to its 2008 sequel, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.[15] On December 31, 2009, Nakano confirmed that he had left Square Enix and joined his former mentor and collaborator Yuji Takenouchi's VGM Sound Creator's Alliance.[16]

Musical style and influences

Nakano is best known for creating ambient music with percussive, timbral, and rhythmic elements.[2] According to an interview conducted by the website, Nakano was composing music focusing on an instrument's tone and acoustics until 1995, while after that time, he slowly moved his focus toward studying the harmony and melody important to music as a whole.[17] After joining Square, he started focusing on rhythm and timbre which he implemented in titles like Front Mission: Gun Hazard, Treasure Conflix, and Tobal No. 1.[1] The music in Threads of Fate contains many different styles like ambient, jazz, and Spanish music;[18] the tracks have been described as "mellow" and "upbeat".[19] For Final Fantasy X, Nakano was responsible for most of the ambient-styled compositions, which featured percussion, timbre, and rhythm.[20][21] Nakano stated in the original soundtrack's liner notes that he wanted to create music with a "vibrant and dynamic feel" that tied together his years of experience with game music.[22]

When starting out in the field of music, he was influenced by brass bands he was involved with and electronic organ music; however, he could not think of a specific musician who influenced him. Nakano cites Hamauzu as the colleague he admires most at Square Enix, and is particularly interested in the sounds he creates. When asked about his thoughts of Uematsu and how he had influenced his work, Nakano replied: "He is a very youthful and active person, but he hasn't influenced my work."[17]


Video games
Year Title Role Co-worker
1992 Asterix Composition/arrangement several others
Lethal Enforcers Composition/arrangement several others
X-Men Composition/arrangement Seiichi Fukami and Yuji Takenouchi
Hexion Composition/arrangement Hidenori Iwasaki, Kenichiro Fukui, and Yasuhiro Yamanaka
1993 Martial Champion Composition DeepSleep Sugisawa
Mystic Warriors Composition/arrangement Yuji Takenouchi
Polygonet Commanders Composition/arrangement Yuji Takenouchi
1994 Golfing Greats 2 Composition/arrangement Yuji Takenouchi
1996 Front Mission: Gun Hazard Composition/arrangement Nobuo Uematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda, and Masashi Hamauzu
Treasure Conflix Composition/arrangement
Tobal No. 1 Composition/arrangement many others
1997 Front Mission Alternative Synthesizer programming
1998 Another Mind Composition/arrangement
1999 Threads of Fate Composition/arrangement
2001 Final Fantasy X Composition/arrangement Nobuo Uematsu and Masashi Hamauzu
Lethal Skies Elite Pilot: Team SW Composition/arrangement
2003 SideWinder V Composition/arrangement
2005 Musashi: Samurai Legend Composition/arrangement Masashi Hamauzu, Takayuki Iwai, and Yuki Iwai
2006 Project Sylpheed Composition/arrangement several others
Dawn of Mana Arrangement Tsuyoshi Sekito, Masayoshi Soken, and Hirosato Noda
2007 Final Fantasy IV (Nintendo DS) Arrangement Kenichiro Fukui
2008 Final Fantasy IV: The After Years Composition
2009 Final Fantasy XIII Arrangement several others
Other works
Year Title Role Co-worker
2009 Music for Art Composition many others


  1. ^ a b "Junya Nakano". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Chris. "Junya Nakano :: Biography". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2008-12-08.  
  3. ^ "Front Mission Gun Hazard Tech Info". GameSpot.;summary. Retrieved 2009-06-22.  
  4. ^ "Tobal No. 1 Tech Info". GameSpot.;summary. Retrieved 2009-06-22.  
  5. ^ Totz; Chris. "Masashi Hamauzu :: Biography". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2008-12-08.  
  6. ^ "Another Mind Tech Info". GameSpot.;summary. Retrieved 2009-06-22.  
  7. ^ "Threads of Fate Tech Info". GameSpot.;summary. Retrieved 2009-06-22.  
  8. ^ Smith, David (2001-12-18). "Final Fantasy X Review". IGN. Retrieved 2008-12-16.  
  9. ^ "Final Fantasy X (ps2: 2001): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-16.  
  10. ^ "Interview by". Retrieved 2009-06-22.  
  11. ^ Ongakusei. "Final Fantasy X Piano Collections :: Review by Ongakusei". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  12. ^ "Musashi: Samurai Legend Tech Info". GameSpot.;summary. Retrieved 2009-06-22.  
  13. ^ "Project Sylpheed Tech Info". GameSpot.;summary. Retrieved 2009-06-22.  
  14. ^ North, Dale (2007-11-14). "Nintendo DS Final Fantasy IV original soundtrack details". Destructoid. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  15. ^ "Final Fantasy IV: The After Years Release Information". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2009-11-22.  
  16. ^ Chris (2009-12-31). "Confirmed: Junya Nakano Leaves Square Enix". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2010-01-01.  
  17. ^ a b "Interview with Junya Nakano (RocketBaby - February 2002)". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2009-06-22.  
  18. ^ Z-Freak. "DewPrism Original Soundtrack :: Review by Z-Freak". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2009-08-08.  
  19. ^ Rzeminski, Lucy. "Dew Prism OST". RPGFan. Retrieved 2009-08-08.  
  20. ^ Schweitzer, Ben; Gann, Patrick. "Final Fantasy X OST". RPGFan. Retrieved 2009-08-08.  
  21. ^ Chris. "Final Fantasy X Original Soundtrack :: Review by Chris". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2009-08-08.  
  22. ^ Uematsu, Nobuo; Hamauzu, Masashi; Nakano, Junya. Final Fantasy X Original Soundtrack liner notes. DigiCube. 2001-08-01. SQEX-10013. transcript. Retrieved on 2009-08-08.

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