Toru Takemitsu occupies an important position in Japanese contemporary music. While writing in the Western tradition, in much of his music for Japanese and Western instruments, he is recognized as a composer who preserves a particular Japanese identity bringing his awareness of Japanese traditional music and Western music into an original synthesis. In this paper this author questions the commonly held assumptions up to now of the "Japanese-ness" of the music of Toru Takemitsu. In terms of Western music we can see two important compositional approaches. The first is the development of a single musical motif into larger masses of material. The second, the opposite of the first, is a gradual simplification of material by moving from textures of great complexity to simpler textures through reduction. However, in the case of the music of Takemitsu, considering the present strong appeal for a revival of Japanese traditional music, it is hard to say which approach is most strongly reflected in his music. Music is primarily an abstract art. Physical speaking, a single musical note, consisting of a combination of various pitches, dynamics and waves, is only sound. But if we scan an entire composition, we can see that music is a form of art that conspicuously maintains its physical character. However, without being able to hear this physical character, we are only unable to grasp the surface of the music. Therefore, music is commonly thought to be an abstract form of art. So can we indeed refer to the "Japanese" and "Western" aspects of the music of Takemitsu? This paper examines the abstract music of the composer through an analysis of his compositions written for traditional Japanese instruments.