TOKYO -- Japanese composer Asei Kobayashi, known for a number of hit tunes for TV commercials, has died, it has been learned. He was 88.
A graduate of Keio University, Kobayashi studied under composer Tadashi Hattori after working as a corporate employee.
A 1961 jingle for apparel maker Renown Inc., "Wansaka Musume," catapulted him to stardom, and he had since churned out a host of very popular TV ad tunes, including for Hitachi Ltd. ("Konoki nannoki"), Suntory ("Yoru ga kuru"), Meiji Co. ("Meiji Chelsea no uta") and Bridgestone Corp. ("Dokomademo iko"). He also composed the 1975 million-seller song "Kita no yado kara" for enka singer Harumi Miyako.
Besides his musical career, Kobayashi, a Tokyo native, also starred in the TV drama serial "Terauchi Kantaro ikka," which earned him popularity as an actor.