Published in Movie, Music & Entertainment  
MONDO GROSSO Photographs courtesy of Avex Entertainment, Inc.


Ready for the Big World

Shinichi Osawa is a DJ, musician, composer, and producer who formed the band Mondo Grosso in 1991. The group rose to fame for its work in acid jazz. From their 1993 debut album until their 1996 breakup, Mondo Grosso took the world by storm. After the breakup, Osawa continued making music using the Mondo Grosso name for his solo pursuits. In 2017, he partnered with singer and actress Hikari Mitsushima for the song “Labyrinth.” He and Mitsushima, along with composer and pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto, also collaborated on the song “In Th is World,” featured in Mondo Grosso’s latest album, Big World, which was released in February 2022. Tokyo Journal Editor-in-Chief Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Shinichi Osawa about his extensive career and newest album.

TJ: How did you get started in your career?
Growing up, my older siblings played all kinds of music in the house. However, the first time that music really resonated with me was when I heard Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO). The first vinyl record I ever bought was by YMO. I listened to it so many times, and I even read the liner notes. That’s where my music experience began.

TJ: : YMO? Th en you must have been excited to work with Ryuichi Sakamoto!
I really love Ryuichi Sakamoto, but I ignored that feeling of excitement. I think you should love music itself, not just the musician. It may be complicated, but that’s the mindset I have.

TJ: : Where do you live now?
I’ve lived in Tokyo for the past 20 to 25 years, but it’s never really felt like home because I’m always traveling. I’m originally from Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture, which is near Kyoto. A long time ago, Kyoto was the capital, so people there still have an old-school mindset and a lot of pride. It makes for a different culture, and the differences can be both good and bad.


The complete article can be found in Issue #281 of the Tokyo Journal.

Written By:

Anthony Al-Jamie

Anthony Al-Jamie lived and worked in Japan for over 20 years. His in-depth understanding of Japanese language and culture has allowed him to carry out interviews with many of the most renowned individuals in Japan. He first began writing for the Tokyo Journal in the 1990s as Education Editor, later he was promoted to Senior Editor, and eventually International Editor and Executive Editor. He currently serves the Tokyo Journal as Editor-in-Chief.


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