Anime Biography: Kazuhiko Kato

Kazuhiko Kato was born on March 21, 1947 in Kyoto, Japan. He served as a record producer, a songwriter, and a singer in Japan. In anime, he is best known for composing the theme songs for Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (“Do You Remember Love?” by Mari Iijima) and Windaria (“Yakusoku”). “Do You Remember Love?” hit #7 on Oricon’s weekly singles chart and hit #38 on the yearly chart for 1984.

Kato began his career in music with his college band, The Folk Crusaders. Hit songs for the group included “Kaette Kita Yopparai” and “Imujingawa.” After being released in 1967, the single for “Kaette Kita Yopparai” sold more than 1.3 million copies in Japan.

After The Folk Crusaders disbanded in 1970, Kato co-founded a new band called The Sadistic Mika Band. His first wife, Mika, was the original vocalist for the band. Albums released by the band include: Sadistic Mika Band (1973), Black Ship (1974), The Best Menu (1975), Hot! Menu (1976), Appare (1987), Maku No Uchi (1988), Seiten (1989), and NARKISSOS (2006). The Sadistic Mika Band became the first Japanese group to tour Great Britain when they opened for Roxy Music in 1975. The band also wrote and performed the theme songs for Maruboshi Mabo-chan. Later, Kato formed a songwriting team with his second wife, Kazumi Yasui.

Kato served as the musical director for Tengoku no eki: Heaven Station and Daijobu, mai furendo. He also composed the music for Shimotsuma monogatari, Aoi uta – Nodo jiman Seishun hen, Pacchigi!, Hakata Movie: Chinchiromai, Alice: An Interactive Museum, Keisho sakazuki, Hana no furu gogo, Garasu no naka no sho-jo, Hawaiian Dream, Bakumatsu seishun graffiti: Ronin Sakamoto Ryoma, Yabanjin no youni, and Tantei monogatari. In 2006, Kato won Best Film Score at the Mainichi Film Concours for Pacchigi! He also received nominations for Best Music Score from the Award of the Japanese Academy. In 1984, he received nominations for Tantei monogatari and Daijobu, mai furendo. In 1987, Kato received nominations for Yabanjin no youni and Bakumatsu seishun graffiti: Ronin Sakamoto Ryoma. Kato also has a couple of acting credits in his resume: an appearance in Shigatsu monogatari (1998) and Kaette kita yopparai (1968).

Kazuhiko Kato was found hanged in a hotel room in Nagano Prefecture on October 17, 2009. The authorities suspect that Kato committed suicide. He was 62 years old at the time of his death.

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