Hikari Ōe (大江 光 Ōe Hikari, born June 13, 1963) is a Japanese composer who has autism. He is the son of Japanese author Kenzaburō Ōe and Yukari Ikeuchi, the younger sister of director Juzo Itami.
Hikari Ōe was born developmentally disabled. Doctors tried to convince his parents to let their son die, but they refused to do so. Even after an operation, Ōe remained visually impaired, developmentally delayed, epileptic and with limited physical coordination. He does not speak much.
Ōe's parents report that his first response to a particular sound was when he was watching TV with his parents, and there was the sound of a bird singing, which he responded to. His parents were fascinated. They bought him a record with tracks of bird calls, in which a woman would say the name of each bird before the song of the bird would play. He listened to this record. Walking with his parents near their vacation home one day, they heard a bird singing, and he then imitated the voice of the woman who presented the bird songs in his child's records. This was how they got the idea to recruit a music teacher for Ōe. His parents arranged a piano teacher, Kumiko Tamura, for him. Instead of speaking, Ōe began to express his feelings in music and through musical composition. Eventually he was taught musical notation.
As an adult, Hikari creates chamber music. Hikari's first CD sold more than one million copies in the first few years of release.