Japanese composer, pianist, conductor and author Hikaru Hayashi was born in Tokyo on 22 October 1931. He didn't complete his composition studies at Tokyo University of the Arts, but studied with Hisadata Otaka and was active, producing many compositions for piano, but also orchestral works, concertos, chamber music, band music, film scores (including Naked Island) and more than thirty Japanese language operas. His books include Nihon opera no yume ('The Dream of Japanese Opera').
He is best known for the choral suite Scenes from Hiroshima, written between 1958 and 2001. He won the thirtieth Suntory Music Award in 1998.
He died on 5 January 2012, aged eighty.