Momoe Yamaguchi (Momoe Yamaguchi, January 17, 1959) is a former Japanese singer and actress. At the time of her activity, her agency was HoriPro, and her record company belonged to CBS Sony.
Her real name is Momoe Miura (Momoe Miura, maiden name: Yamaguchi), and after she retired from the entertainment world, she wrote the lyrics under the name Momoe Miura. Her husband is actor Tomokazu Miura (married on November 19, 1980). Her eldest son is Yutaro Miura, a singer-songwriter and actor. Her second son is actor Takahiro Miura.
Born in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. He spent his childhood in Seya Ward, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, in Yokosuka City from the second grade of elementary school until his debut as a junior high school student. He graduated from Tsurukubo Elementary School in Yokosuka City. He participated in Star Tanjo! When he was in Yokosuka City Fuito Junior High School. She graduated from Hide Girls’ Academy High School.
Her entertainment debut
In December 1972, she sang Yumi Makiba’s “Carousel” on the audition program “Star Tanjo!”, And she was runner-up, and she was nominated by 20 companies. She applied for her appearance on the show because she saw Masako Mori of the same age playing an active part on TV and she thought, “She wants to be like Masako Mori.” .. She is told on the show that she is a judge, Yu Aku, “You should be the sister of a youth drama, but the singer should give up.”
She appeared in the movie “Toshigoro” in April 1973, and made her debut as a singer on May 21 with the song of the same name. She was called “The Three Trio of Flowers” along with Masako Mori and Junko Sakurada. The catch phrase for her debut is “Big Sony, Big Rookie”. On May 20, 1973, the day before her debut song was released, she sang “Toshigoro” as a local announcement on the stage on the rooftop of Saikaya Yokosuka store. Her debut song “Toshigoro” sold less than the staff expected, so she changed her image in the second “Blue Fruit” and took the route of singing bold lyrics. This became known as the “blue sex line” (“sex song”), and it became a big hit with the 1974 “Hitonatsu no Keiken” blockbuster.
Momoe will gain tremendous popularity on this “blue sex” line, where a young girl sings racy content reminiscent of sexual activity. The content of the lyrics was confusing, but unlike the sexy singers such as Mari Henmi, Mari Natsuki, and Linda Yamamoto who revived in the 1970s, Momoe was a young girl with a simple visual image. It is said that the gap between her song and visuals, and the accompanying sense of immorality, made her popular with Momoe. This was not only due to her entertainer qualities, but also to her careful image strategy by her agency and record company. In interviews when she was singing “Hitonatsu no Keiken”, she was usually asked “What do you think is the most important thing for girls?”, But Momoe passed it all with “Magokoro”.
In 1974, when the song was a big hit, she starred in the masterpiece “The Izu Dancer”, a literary work, and was highly evaluated for her performance. She had co-starred in the Glico Pritz commercial this summer with her partner Tomokazu Miura, who she co-starred in this movie. “The Izu Dancer” was recruited for the other role by open recruitment, but it is said that Katsumi Nishikawa, the director of “Izu Dancer” who saw this Glico commercial, included Miura’s documents in the final selection. After that, he co-starred with Miura in TV dramas and commercials, and both gained immense popularity, and the two were called “Golden Combination”.
Her first appearance in Momoe’s movie was “Toshigoro” (starring Akiko Wada and Masako Mori) produced by HoriPro before her record debut, and she appeared as a newcomer’s face, but since “The Izu Dancer” she Starred in 13 movies. Twelve of them are co-starring with her Miura. “As far as her film is concerned, the producer didn’t recognize her more than a remake actress, but Nishikawa nevertheless gave her an astonishing femme fatale in her’Fog Flag’. I let you play. ” However, in 1978, the first original work “Furimukeba Ai”, which had a lot of voice from fans, was produced under the direction of director Nobuhiko Obayashi, who had been shooting Glyco CMs starring in the duo. The original work “White Love” was produced by director Tsugunobu Kotani.
All of these films are distributed by Toho and produced at Nikkatsu Film Studio, and most of the directors and photographers are from Nikkatsu such as Nishikawa, so they have the meaning of successors to the former Nikkatsu youth films and literary films. ing. The final retirement commemorative work “Old City” was also produced by Nikkatsu, and director Kon Ichikawa, who boarded the Nikkatsu studio for the first time in 20 years with several staff from Toho, including photographer Kiyoshi Hasegawa, sticks to unfamiliar staff. I scolded him and took a picture of his retirement work. Ichikawa had previously asked Momoe to appear in his work several times, but was refused by HoriPro side, and he talked about the joy of being the director of this last work at a production press conference.
Her first regular appearance in her TV drama started in October 1973, “Laughing with a face” of the TBS series produced by Daiei TV. In this work, she started her parent-child role with Ken Utsui, and since then she has longed for Ken Utsui both publicly and privately as a “dad.” Since October 1974, she has starred in the TBS TV drama “Akai Series” (so-called Daiei drama), and in “Akai Giwaku” and “Akai Shogeki” she co-starred with Tomokazu Miura. The series has been very popular for 6 years, and Momoe’s regular appearances have become a popular drama with 6 works including “Red Bond” retirement commemorative work “Red Deadline”.
In 1976, it ranked first in bromide’s annual sales performance. From “Yokosuka Story” released this year, she sings the works of Yoko Aki and Ryudo Uzaki, breaking her new ground. The works by Mr. and Mrs. Uzaki were a series of big hits and decisively shaped the world of Momoe. It was Momoe himself, not the staff around him, who nominated these two writers.
While many foreign artists appeared and won the 6th Tokyo Music Festival held at Nippon Budokan in 1977, she won the bronze prize for her song “Yumesai Guide” as a Japanese singer.
In 1978, she acted as a red group bird in the “29th NHK Red and White Song Battle”. She is the first pop singer tori with Kenji Sawada in the white group, and Momoe is the first teenage singer to become a red and white tori, and her youngest record has not been broken. The company building built by HoriPro in Meguro-ku, Tokyo is sometimes called the “Momoe Building” because it is largely due to the success of Momoe.
In 1979, critic Masaaki Hiraoka wrote “Momoe Yamaguchi is a Bodhisattva” and was spoken to by many cultural figures as a star symbolizing the present age. Photographer Kishin Shinoyama has been taking tens of thousands of photographs as a subject since her debut, but she often released impressive photographs and attracted attention. The woman Shinoyama photographed most in the 1970s was Momoe, she said, “because the times needed Momoe Yamaguchi,” and she called Momoe “the woman who slept with the times.”
Yu Aku, a popular lyricist, was the chairman of the jury for “Star Tanjo!”, But she didn’t provide her work to Momoe, who is from the show. As one of the reasons, she said, “She was writing to Junko Sakurada (she wrote the lyrics) at that time, so she decided not to write to singers of the same kind.”
In the drama “Hitmaker Aku Yu Monogatari,” which was broadcast on NTV in 2008, Aku told Momoe in the TV qualifying for “Star Tanjo!”, “I wish I could be like a younger sister, but I gave up the song. It may be better, “and it was adapted to the story that” Momoe who was hurt by that did not ask Aku to provide the work “, but it is just an adaptation in the drama, and Aku himself wrote a book. In “The Men Who Eat Dreams”, he wrote about the episode in the above-mentioned audition, and also talked about the fact that he is a fan himself and the charm of Momoe, with a dialogue with Satoshi Kuramoto.
Engagement announcement / retirement from the entertainment world
On October 20, 1979, at a recital at the Osaka Welfare Pension Hall, he suddenly announced his lover declaration with Miura, saying, “My favorite person is Tomokazu Miura.” After that, Miura also said at a press conference, “We are dating on the premise of marriage.”
Then, on March 7, 1980, at the same time as the engagement announcement with Miura, he retired from the entertainment world, saying, “I chose a selfish … way of life …. I will completely retire from my work.” announce. On the other hand, he announced the release of records and the schedule of performances with a view to the approaching retirement. Beginning with The Peanuts in 1975, the retirement commemorative box office that took root in Candies, which was disbanded in 1978, was to be expanded in a big way.
The autobiography “Aoi Toki”, published in September of the same year just before retirement, has a complicated background, the reverse side of life as an entertainer, and also about love and the first experience with Miura, one month after its release. It exceeded 1 million copies and became a big bestseller with over 2 million copies by December. Attention was also focused on Rieko Zanma, a publishing producer who created the book. The photo was taken by Yoshihiro Tatsuki. It was made into a paperback in 1981, the year after his retirement.
The final concert held at Nippon Budokan on October 5, 1980 was a concert that marked the end of an era. I left a message to the fans who flooded the venue, “Thank you for forgiving me for my selfishness. I will be happy.” And I couldn’t stand the last song, “The other side of goodbye,” and tears. It became a singing song. After her singing, Momoe deeply thanked her fans and quietly walked behind the scenes, leaving her microphone in the center of the stage. Her exit from this final concert has been handed down as a legend.
On October 6th, the day after her final concert, her retirement special program was broadcast on “Yoru no Hit Studio” (Fuji TV). In addition to the moderators Mari Yoshimura and Jun Inoue, Akiko Wada, who was a senior member of the same Horipro as Momoe, Junko Sakurada and Masako Mori of the Nakasan trio, and Anne Lewis, Hiromi Iwasaki, and Hiromi Ota who were good friends as female singers.・ Rumiko Koyanagi, Mizue Takada, Pink Lady, Hiromi Iwasaki, Kenji Sawada, Hiromi Sato of the “New Group Three”, Hideki Saijo, Goro Noguchi, etc. were watching over Momoe’s last male figure. This broadcast was later released on DVD on June 30, 2010 as “Momoe Yamaguchi in Yoru no Hit Studio”. Yoshimura, who had a close relationship with Momoe, said about this broadcast, “It should be a lively studio with the angry voices of the staff, but it was very quiet and moving at this time.” Even after the show was over, it was hard for everyone to leave, and the farewell party continued with the VTR still spinning, “said the studio at the time of the broadcast.
As her active singer, her last live TV show will be aired as a special program on October 13th, “Momoe Yamaguchi Special Her The Last Song” (NTV, “The Best Ten of NTV Red and White Songs”. ).
Her official retirement from performing arts was at the 20th Anniversary of HoriPro on October 15th, when she sang the song “Good Day Departure”. After the ceremony, a retired press conference was held at the hotel after 8:30 pm, but due to the large number of reporters, a scene where nearly 100 steel photographers in the front row and a video photographer in the back quarreled immediately after the start. There was also a situation that could be interrupted. The press conference was partly broadcast live at the end of the show on “Wednesday Special Program Momoe Yamaguchi Tonight Departure!” (TV Asahi), which was effectively her last live appearance on TV as her entertainer.
When she retired, she was 21 (about three months before her 22nd birthday), and her entertainer career was only about seven and a half years. By the time she retired, she was the most record-selling singer of the 1970s, with 31 singles totaling 16.3 million and 45 LPs totaling 4.34 million.
She recalls that there was a feud with HoriPro during her active career, and she had a conflict with her president, Takeo Hori, even in “Blue Time” due to her disagreement. She intended to become independent with Shingo Oda, the production manager at the time, but there is also a view that she decided to retire because the HoriPro side persuaded Oda to prevent her independence. She also speculates that if her independence was successful, she might not have been married to Miura, and she could have been an actress since then.
The wedding was held on November 19, 1980 at the Reinanzaka Church of the United Church of Christ in Japan in Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, with Ii Kiyoshi serving as a pastor, and the banquet was held between the Tokyo Prince Hotel and the Phoenix with 1,800 invited guests. It was. Her intermediary was Ken Utsui and his wife, Tomokazu’s guest was Isao Matsuoka, president of Toho, Momoe’s guest was Norio Ohga, chairman of CBS Sony, and Momoe’s father was replaced by HoriPro’s president Hori. The reception was moderated by Masumi Okada and Kazuo Tokumitsu (then Nippon Television announcer).
After her retirement
Even after her retirement, she has always been in the spotlight of the press and fans, but she is consistently away from the entertainment world and, in principle, does not appear in the media. She, however, has contributed her work as a lyricist, and the hit “La Saison” she provided to Ann Lewis in 1982. She has written her return theory many times in the press.
Immediately after her retirement, in 1980’s “31st NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen”, she was ranked 4th in the “Popularity Questionnaire”, so the program side negotiated appearances, but she said, “I have already retired, so I will decline.” It was an answer and did not participate. She said that the program side negotiated appearances in “51st NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen” in 2000 and “56th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen” in 2005, but she did not appear.
She had two sons since she entered the family. In 1994, when the two were in elementary school, she signed her petition for the television drama “Sweet Home” (TBS) when parents who took the elementary school exam sent it to TBS. It is one of the people.
He began self-taught quilt production around 1987, and later continued to make works under the quilt writer Reiko Washizawa. Her work may be exhibited at exhibitions such as “Tokyo International Quilt Festival”, and in 2019, Nihon Vogue published a quilt work collection “Bouquet of Time” under the name of Momoe Yamaguchi.
A suspicious person broke into her home, but it has been resolved without any problems. According to her husband Miura, Momoe leaked to her privacy-threatening life, “I don’t want to regret being in the entertainment world anymore.” By the time she started attending a driving school in preparation for her eldest son’s attendance, a photographer aiming for her Momoe surrounded her school and was distressed. The day after her husband sought help from the Human Rights Bureau, no photographers came due to the bureau’s alert. However, when he requested the station to respond at the entrance ceremony of his eldest son, the person in charge refused, and the media eventually broke through the surroundings of his home and the garden, and even forcibly pointed the lens at the child in the car. As a result, the children became frightened. Momoe was so domineering that she got out of her car and even slapped the photographer. This event was published in the weekly magazines of the following week.
Many best albums are released at each milestone. In 2003, the 30th anniversary of her debut, a 24-disc CD-BOX “MOMOE PREMIUM” containing one unreleased song was released, and this hit rekindled the boom.
Her 1980 single “Carnival” has been refrained from being released by record companies since the late 1990s, as the word “gypsy” in the lyrics is a discriminatory expression. For this reason, the best compilation CD and the final concert DVD “From Legend to Myth -BUDOKAN … AT LAST-” have also been released in an incomplete form. However, after being recorded in “Complete Momoe Return” (composed of all songs with new arrangements) released on May 25, 2005, it was put into the live CD-BOX “MOMOE LIVE PREMIUM” released on January 18, 2006. The CD and DVD of the final concert included an uncut version including “Sai Meat Festival”. And the single version at that time was also recorded on the low-priced CD “Momoe Yamaguchi Best Collection VOL.2” released on July 20, 2007, and released on September 30 as a revised version of “MOMOE PREMIUM” for online sales only. It was also recorded in “Complete MOMOE PREMIUM” and “MOMOE PREMIUM update”, and it was completely revived.
In 2005, 25 years after her retirement and 45 years since her founding of HoriPro, a tribute musical “Playback Part 2-Rooftop Angel” using Momoe’s songs was performed.
In June 2020, “Women’s SPA!” Selected and posted Momoe as one of the “5 Best Women Who Left (Retired)” on the web.
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