Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence – Main Theme

Music by Ryuichi Sakamoto
Arranged by Piano Palt

The composer as well as David Bowie stars in this Japanese-British production, set in Japan during World War II. Directed by Nagisa Oshima, Merry Christmas Mr.Lawrence (1983) is based on Sir Laurens van der Post’s experiences as a Japanese prisoner of war during World War II.

Sakamoto won the 1983 BAFTA Award for Best Film Music for the film‘s soundtrack. The Main Theme is simple and combines a traditional Japanese melody with European chord progressions.

Sakamoto studied ethnomusicology with the intention of becoming a researcher in the field, he has been interested in world music traditions, Japanese (especially Okinawan), as well as Indian and African. He is also trained in classical music, one of his influences is Claude Debussy, who he has described as “my hero” and stated that “Asian music heavily influenced Debussy, and Debussy heavily influenced me. So, the music goes around the world and comes full circle”.


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