Kazu was born in Tokyo, Japan on the 5th of June, 1954. He was a very active boy and a part-time mean boy to some girls. He hated girls who stood for the justice in school, but he admired them in his heart. He is the son of a children's book publishers, therefore he read a lot of children's literature which still influences his way of thinking even now. He was a very good baseball player in junior high (pitcher).|
He travelled in India and Europe for two years when he was 20 years old, and once drove a car from London to India. Living in the countryside in India taught him many things, especially the value of human life. He came to the U.S. wanting to become a fiction writer. He graduated from UCLA majoring in ethnic arts.
Kazu played shakuhachi (a Japanese traditional bamboo flute) for many motion picture scores such as Jumanji, Legends of the Fall, Willow, Empire of the Sun, Another 48 Hours, Iceman, Red Heat, Thunderheart and others. He has produced all the albums for his wife Keiko.
When not working in the studio, Kazu teaches Educational Theories in the Toyoeiwa Woman's University in Tokyo. Every year about 900 students study with him to become pre-school teachers. Their serious and sincere attitudes towards life give him spiritual motivation. He talks about the relationship between school education and home education in many lectures to teachers and parents and also on National TV in Japan. And, he is a father!
His favorite musicians in Junior High were Harry Belafonte, Yves Montand, and Pink Floyd. His favorite writers were Ernest Hemingway, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and J R R Tolkin.