Born 1933 in Kochi Prefecture. Taken with the world of film, he moved to Tokyo to study at the Japan Institute of the Moving Image. After his graduation he joined the company Aoi Studio. By working on the sound effects for Astroboy together with ONO Matsuo and OHASHI Tetsuya, he developed a fascination with the making of sound. There after, he began working as a freelance sound effect designer. Through many fortunate encounters with production companies, directors and sound professionals as well as artistic works, he gained the opportunity to create the sound effects for a large number of animations. Emphasizing a handmade spirit, a playful mind and the ability to be amazed, for every single film he considers the color of the sounds and has always made a great effort to create the most appropriate sound effects for each work. From an era when very little sound equipment was available he developed, through trial and error, methods to compensate for this lack and has created a broad range of audio sources. He has never relied on the convenience of digital production or effect libraries, but takes pride in being a craftsman. He has continued these thankless efforts to the present day. Among his major works are Space Battleship Yamato: Resurrection Director's Cut (2012), Doraemon: Nobita's South Sea Adventure (1998), Pom Poko, (1994), The Wings of Honneamise (1987), Night on the Galactic Railroad (1985), Doraemon: Nobita's Great Adventure into the Underworld (1984), Unico - the Island of Magic (1983), Final Yamato (1983), Zou no nai Doubutsuen (Zoo without Elephant) (1982), Farewell to Spaceship Shuttle Yamato in the name of Love (1978), Kita Kitsune Monogatari (Ezo Red Fox Story) (1978), Sazae-san, Warau Salesman (Laughing Salesman) etc.
KASHIWABARA Mitsuru, commonly known as “Bara-san”, has as a sound director blazed the trail of Japanese animation from an early stage – with Astro Boy, which recently celebrated it's 50th anniversary, to feature-length animations such as A Thousand & One Nights, Space Battleship Yamato and the long-running TV program Sazaesan. The broad range of his work is amazing. In the feature-length animation, Night on the Galactic Railroad (1985), the KASHIWABARA soundcreated in collaboration with HOSONO Haruomi gives the entire work its vitality. I hope – also for the world of Japanese animation – that he will leave behind as many “KASHIWABARA sounds” as possible. (SUGII Gisaburo)