Early summer in 1999, an artist accomplished the monumental work: her first
album was sold more than 7 million copies unprecedentedly in the history
of Japanese music scene. The artist is talented not only in singing but
also in writing and composing songs on her own. Surprisingly enough, she
was only 16 years.
Her name is "Hikaru Utada".
This is the story about Hikaru Utada, Hikki.
Hikaru's father is Teruzane Utada and mother is Junko (her stage name is Keiko Fuji).
Teruzane's father, grandfather of Hikaru, is from Yamaguchi prefecture
and worked for Shochiku (a famous Japanese movie company) in New York.
After that, grandfather became an executive who issued papers for Japanese
residents there. Therefore, Teruzane went to the US in 16 years old by
his father's influence. After he graduated from university, he worked as
a correspondent at a publishing company in New York. He might have experience‚„
in the Vietnam War during the career. After that, he succeeded his father's
business. Then, he met Keiko Fuji and took a step forward as a music producer
Hikaru's mother, Keiko Fuji, was born in 1951 in Iwate, and grew up in
Her father, Souji Abe, was a singer of roukyoku (talking a story like singing,
a traditional way of Japanese singing) and her mother was a player of shamisen
(a traditional Japanese instrument like guitar). As her parents sang roukyoku
and minyo (traditional Japanese folk songs), the family lived from hand
to mouth with touring around Hokkaido and Tohoku.
Because of the surroundings, Keiko also couldn't but sing for the living.
When they visited a spa in Hokkaido for their show, father became sick
in bed. Then, Keiko played the part for it. At the time, her song had an
appeal to a certain writer who happened to be there. He suggested to them
that she should go to Tokyo to be a singer. They accepted his suggestion
and got the opportunity to move to Tokyo.
However, their circumstances didn't get better because she could not get enough income to make her family's living. She had no other way besides singing for the living as ever in the entertainment and residential districts of Tokyo, like bohemian.
In September 1969, when she was 18 years old, the turning point at last came to her.
She came out with the song, titled as "Shinjyuku no onna *1 ", which became a great hit. Additionally, "Onna no blues *2 " and "Keiko no yume wa yoru hiraku *3 " also became great hits one after another so that she became the
most popular singer in Japan. In only one year since she debut, she reached
her stardom and appeared at the stage of "Kouhaku utagassen",
an extremely popular TV program that is broadcast on New Year's Eve and
Japanese recognize that it is very much honorable for a singer to join
These two songs kept 1st and 2nd for 40 weeks at Oricon hit chart in Japan. It had never happened in the history of Japanese music scene. In this point, Keiko can be described to spend for a time goes beyond Hikaru Utada.
After ten years since then, the boom had gone out of vogue. She decided to move to New York on her own to start her new life and settled there. And then she met Teruzane. They found that they had a same taste in music, fell in love with and finally got married.
In a while they had a new family.
1983. 1.19. Manhattan in New York.
Hikaru Utada was born.
*1 : means "Woman from Shinjyuku" in Japanese
*2 : means "Woman's blues" in Japanese
*3 : means "Keiko's dreams comes true into the night" in Japanese