Toshi Ichiyanagi

Japanese composer

Toshi Ichiyanagi (一柳 慧, Ichiyanagi Toshi, born 4 February 1933) is a Japanese composer of avant-garde music.

Toshi Ichiyanagi
Toshi Ichiyanagi.jpg
Ichiyanagi in 1960
Ichiyanagi Toshi (柳 慧)

(1933-02-04) February 4, 1933 (age 88)
Yoko Ono
(m. 1956; div. 1962)

Ichiyanagi was born in Kobe, Japan.

One of his best known works is the 1960 composition Kaiki, which combined Japanese instruments, shō and koto, and western instruments, harmonica and saxophone.

Another work, Distance (1961), required the performers to play from a distance of three meters from their instruments. Anima 7 (1964) stated that chosen action should be performed "as slowly as possible".

Ichiyanagi was married to Yoko Ono from 1956 to 1963.[1]

Ichiyanagi won the the 33rd Suntory Music Award (2001). He has been honored with Japan's Order of Culture.[2]


  1. Japan, An Illustrated Encyclopedia, Kodansha International, Tokyo, 1993, p. 1155 mentions that she married him in 1956, but does not say until when they were married.
  2. "Donald Keene, 7 others win Order of Culture," Yomiuri Shimbun. October 29, 2008.

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