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Hiroshi Yoshimura

Music for Nine Post Cards
LP Black $20 $25
LP Clear $21 $27
  • First vinyl and digital reissue, made in cooperation with the artist’s estate
  • Remastered from original tapes
  • Full reproduction of the original LP jacket
  • Original liner notes by Hiroshi Yoshimura and Satoshi Ashikawa translated into English
  • Available in Black Vinyl and Clear Vinyl


Despite his status as a key figure in the history of Japanese ambient music, Hiroshi Yoshimura remains tragically underknown outside of his home country. Empire of Signs–a new imprint co-helmed by Maxwell August Croy and Spencer Doran–is proud to reissue Yoshimura’s debut, Music for Nine Post Cards, for the first time outside Japan in collaboration with Hiroshi’s widow, Yoko Yoshimura, with more reissues of Hiroshi’s works to follow in the future.

Working initially as a conceptual artist, the musical side of Yoshimura’s artistic practice came to prominence in the post-Fluxus scene of late-1970s Tokyo alongside Akio Suzuki and Takehisa Kosugi, taking many subsequent turns within Japan’s bubble economy afterward. His sound works took on many forms–commissioned fashion runway scores, soundtracking perfume, soundscapes for pre-fab houses, train station sound design–all existing not as side work but as logical extensions of his philosophy of sound. His work strived for serenity as an ideal, and this approach can be felt strongly on Music for Nine Post Cards.

Home recorded on a minimal setup of keyboard and Fender Rhodes, Music for Nine Post Cards was Yoshimura’s first concrete collection of music, initially a demo recording given to the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art to be played within the building’s architecture. This was not background music, in the prior Japanese “BGM” sense of the word, but “environmental music,” the literal translation of the Japanese term kankyō ongaku [環境音楽] given to Brian Eno’s “ambient” music when it arrived in late-70s Japan. Yoshimura, along with his musical co-traveler Satoshi Ashikawa, searched for a new dialog between sound and space: music not as an external absolute but as something that interlocks with a physical environment and shifts the listener’s experience within it. Erik Satie’s furniture music, R. Murray Schafer’s concept of the soundscape, and Eno’s ambience all greatly informed their work, but the specific form of tranquil stasis presented on releases like Nine Post Cards is still difficult to place within a specific tradition, remaining elusive and idiosyncratic despite the economy of its construction. This record offers the perfect introduction to Hiroshi’s unique and beautiful worldview: one that can be listened to–and lived in–endlessly.

Artist Bio

Barely known outside of his home country during his lifetime, the late Japanese ambient music pioneer Hiroshi Yoshimura has seen his global stature rise steadily in the past few years.

Known for his sound design and environmental music, Yoshimura worked on a number of commissions following the 1982 release of Music For Nine Post Cards, including works for museums, galleries, public spaces, TV shows, video art, fashion shows, and even a cosmetics company. His music has received much critical acclaim. In 2018, Crack Magazine selected his albums Green and Music For Nine Post Cards as the number 1 and number 7th most essential Japanese ambient albums, respectively. Malcolm Standing for Demo Magazine referred to Yoshimura as "one of the most influential and prolific of the artists to come out of Japan’s ambient renaissance." Tom Moon of NPR noted Yoshimura as "one of the revered pioneers of Japanese electronic music."

Preview Tracklist

  • 1 Water Copy
  • 2 Clouds
  • 3 Blink
  • 4 Dance PM
  • 5 Ice Copy
  • 6 Soto Wa Ame - Rain Out Of Window
  • 7 View From My Window
  • 8 Urban Snow
  • 9 Dream