Rentaro Taki – Kojo No Tsuki

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Today I am going to share with you a very short piece, “Kojo No Tsuki” (“Moon Over Ruined Castle”) by Japanese composer Rentaro Taki, who lived a tragically short life. Taki graduated music school in Tokyo in 1901, moved to the Leipzig Conservatory in Germany to continue his music studies. He contracted tuberculosis, moved back to Japan, and died two years later. He wrote the short song “Kojo No Tsuki” in junior high school. It’s a beautiful song but so full of sadness that it seems almost prophetic about the life he is about to leave.

There are a lot of versions of this songs – there is something for everyone: There is a version for rock music lovers performed by the Scorpions in 1979, a jazz version performed by Thelonious Monk, and for opera lovers there is Andre Rieu with chorus (my favorite version).

Andre Rieu

The Scorpions in the late 1970s in Japan.

Sung by a soprano

Thelonious Monk


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Rentaro Taki


  • Jayan Kozhikote says:

    Many Many thanks.. Loved it.

  • Lee Cressman says:

    Sadly, I am completely unaware of works by Rentaro Taki. The sadness expressed in the music, to me, was pronounced…but I thoroughly enjoyed this performed by Andre Rieu!
    Thank you

  • Khem S says:

    Thank you for this article. I wanted to know more about Rentaro after hearing Kojo no tsuki in a game I played recently. What a hauntingly beautiful melody. What works might he have produced had he lived but a bit longer. Still, what is better; living a long life and dying in complete, or near complete anonymity as 99.9 % of humanity does, or living briefly like Rentaro and leaving something back so beautiful that through it you are remembered for a century? Who knows. I know my life, and many lives are enriched for having heard his music, and for that I thank him where ever he is.

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