Yoshinori Kawamoto

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Yoshinori Kawamoto
Local 川元 義徳 (かわもと よしのり)
Born December 27, 1965
Birth Place Yokohama
Nationality Japanese   Japan.svg
Aliases かわげんくん (Kawagen-kun), かわげん (Kawagen), Donald Kawagen, DX21 KAWAGEN Y8950

Yoshinori Kawamoto is a Japanese composer and sound designer. He was born on December 27, 1965 in Yokohama Japan. Around 1988, he joined Namco as a composer. He later started to be credited as an audio director, but still received numerous composition credits as well. Some of Kawamoto's notable works include Burning Force, Splatterhouse, and Taiko no Tatsujin.

Kawamoto continues to work at Namco to this day.

Music Composition


Yoshinori wrote the music in Music Macro Language using a sound engine by an unknown programmer.


Yoshinori used a tracker-like program from Nintendo. The instruments were taken from a Korg M1. Super Batter Up uses a sound engine by Shinya Yamada. This driver was one of the many modifications of Nintendo's Kankichi-kun sound driver.


Yoshinori used Nintendo's MP2K sound driver.


Released Title Sample Notes
1988-12-26 Dragon Spirit (TG16) (ドラゴンスピリット 新たなる伝説) With Shinji Hosoe, Etsuo Ishii, and Kazuo Noguchi.
1988-??-?? Phelios (ARC) (フェリオス)
1988-??-?? Splatterhouse (ARC) (スプラッターハウス) With Katsuro Tajima.
1989-??-?? Burning Force (ARC)
1990-04-03 Splatterhouse (PCE) (スプラッターハウス) With Katsuro Tajima.
1990-07-20 Phelios (GEN) (フェリオス)
1991-12-06 Heisei Tensai Bakabon (FC) (平成天才バカボン)
1991-12-20 Famista '92 (FC) (ファミスタ’92) Voice
1992-02-28 Heisei Tensai Bakabon (GB) (平成天才バカボン)
1992-03-27 Super Batter Up (SNES) (スーパー・ファミスタ)
1992-06-25 Splatterhouse (FMT) (スプラッターハウス) With Katsuro Tajima; Arranged by Shinya Yamamoto, Fuminari Ohshima, and Yuji Ohdaira.
1992-12-08 Wagyan Land 3 (FC) (ワギャンランド3)
1993-03-12 Super Famista 2 (SFC) (スーパー ファミスタ2)
1993-04-23 Ball Jacks (SMD) (ボールジャックス) With H. Umino.
1993-06-25 Smash Tennis (SNES) (スーパー・ファミリー・テニス)
1993-12-22 Yuu Yuu Hakusho (SFC) (幽☆遊☆白書) Music Director
1994-??-?? Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures (GEN) With Katsuro Tajima, Junko Ozawa, Hiromi Shibano, and Takaki Horigome.
1994-03-04 Super Famista 3 (SFC) (スーパーファミスタ3) With Koji Nakagawa.
1994-12-16 Wagyan Paradise (SFC) (ワギャン・パラダイス) With Eriko Imura.
1994-12-22 Yuu Yuu Hakusho: Tokubetsu Hen (SFC) (幽☆遊☆白書 特別版) Voice Edit
1996-??-?? J.League Prime Goal EX (ARC) (Jリーグサッカー プライムゴールEX) Sound Effects Man
1988-11-26 LiberoGrande (PS1) (リベログランデ) With Masako Ohgami, Hiromi Shibano, Junko Ozawa, and Tetsukazu Nakanishi.
2000-03-04 Ridge Racer V (PS2) (リッジレーサーファイブ) Sound: Namco Original Sound Track Unit with Kota Takahashi, Nobuyoshi Sato, and Yu Miyake.
2000-12-21 Seven: Molmorth no Kiheitai (PS2) (7(セブン)~モールモースの騎兵隊~) With Masako Ohgami, Tomoko Tatsuta, and Hiroshi Okubo.
2001-03-21 Mr. Driller 2 (GBA) (ミスタードリラー2) With Tomoko Tatsuta and Hideki Inoue.
2002-04-25 Klonoa Beach Volleyball (PS1) (クロノアビーチバレー 最強チーム決定戦) With Kanako Kakino and Kazuhiro Nakamura.
2002-08-23 Mr. Driller Ace: Fushigi na Pacteria (GBA) (ミスタードリラーエース ふしぎなパクテリア) With Junko Ozawa and Hiromi Shibano.
2002-12-13 Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal (GBA) (クロノアヒーローズ ★伝説のスターメダル★) With Yuji Masubuchi and Kanako Kakino.
2004-01-29 Breakdown (XBOX) (ブレイクダウン) With Yoshihito Yano.
2005-03-10 Pac-Pix (NDS) (パックピクス)
2005-04-15 Star Fox: Assault (GC) (スターフォックスアサルト) With Yoshie Arakawa.
2005-07-28 Pac 'n Roll (NDS) (パックンロール) With Etsuko Ishii.
2006-02-09 QuickSpot (NDS) (-右脳の達人- 爽解!まちがいミュージアム)
2007-05-31 Flash Focus: Vision Training in Minutes a Day (NDS) (見る力を実践で鍛える DS眼力トレーニング) With Yoshie Arakawa.
2014-09-13 Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (3DS) (大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for NINTENDO 3DS) Sound Effects with various others.
2014-11-21 Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (WIIU) (大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for Wii U) Sound Effects with various others.
2017-06-01 Tekken 7 (PS4) (鉄拳7) With various others.
2017-10-26 Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session! (PS4) (太鼓の達人 セッションでドドンがドン!)
2017-10-28 Namco Museum (SW) (ナムコミュージアム)
2018-07-19 Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun! (SW) (太鼓の達人 Nintendo Switchばーじょん!)


Like many others companies, during the early days of game development, developers credited were forced to use aliases, so Yoshinori used several throughout his career.

He was usually credited as Kawagen. The second kanji in his surname 元, can alternatively be pronounced as "gen", hence the name. He was credited in some games as Donald Kawagen, which could possibly be a reference to the lead musician of Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, and could suggest Kawamoto was influenced by their music.

Another name Kawamoto used was DX21 Kawagen Y8950, which most likely refers to the Yamaha DX21. It also refers to the Y8950 FM chip released for the MSX line of computers.