Rimi Natsukawa

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Rimi Natsukawa
夏川 りみ
兼久りみ (Kaneku Rimi)

(1973-10-09) 9 October 1973 (age 46)
NationalityFlag of Japan.svg  Japanese
Other names星 美里 (Hoshi Misato)
玉木 りみ (Tamaki Rimi)(married name)
Years active1989–1992
Musical career
Genres J-pop, folk, Yaeyama folk song, Enka
Labels Pony Canyon (1989–1992)
Victor Entertainment (1999-)
Associated acts Andrea Bocelli, Begin, The Gospellers, Shoukichi Kina, Kiroro, Kobukuro, Misako Koja, Parsha Club, Noriyuki Makihara, Kazufumi Miyazawa, Ryoko Moriyama, Yasukatsu Ōjima, Shinji Tanimura, Chuei Yoshikawa
Japanese name
Hiragana なつかわ りみ
Katakana ナツカワ リミ
Website www.rimirimi.jp

Rimi Natsukawa (夏川 りみ, Natsukawa Rimi, born 9 October 1973) is a Japanese singer. She is best known for her 2001 single "Nada Sōsō."



Natsukawa was born in Ishigaki, the largest city in the Yaeyama Islands chain. From a young age she enjoyed singing, and wanted to be a singer after hearing her father sing Yaeyama folk songs, such as "Tsuki nu Kaisha" (月ぬ美しゃ, Beauty of the Moon) and "Densaa Bushi" (デンサー節, Tradition Song). [1] [2] From age 7, she practiced two hours a day with her father to become an enka singer. At 9, she won a local singing contest (the Chibikko Nodo Jiman Daikai (ちびっこのど自慢大会, Our Tiny Kids' Throats Competition)). Natsukawa continued to win competitions, and in 1984 won the MBS TV show Shirōto Meiji-kai (素人名人会, Amateur Master Meet)'s grand prize. In 1986, she won the Nagasaki Kayōsai (長崎歌謡祭, Nagasaki Song Festival)'s grand prize, and was the youngest person to win this prize at the time. [1]

Pony Canyon debut

Natsukawa, by chance, was scouted shortly after winning the competition at 13 years old. [1] She moved to Tokyo, and started preparing for her debut. She debuted later in 1989 as an enka singer with the name "Misato Hoshi," under Pony Canyon. She released three singles in three years, and did not find much success.

Natsukawa felt defeated after this, and after living for four years in Tokyo, she moved back to Okinawa. She lived with her older sister in Naha, [2] and helped out in her restaurant, singing for patrons daily. [1] As patrons would travel quite a distance to hear her sing, she gradually regained her desire to be a singer.

In 1998, she appeared on an Okinawan radio show called Iwa-chan no Vitamin Radio (岩ちゃんのビタミンラジオ, Rocky's Vitamin Radio) as an assistant.


Natsukawa's musical director from her Pony Canyon days decided to set up a music production company for her, and in 1999 asked if she could return to the capital. She was soon signed under Victor Entertainment, and re-debuted with the single "Yūbae ni Yurete" (夕映えにゆれて, Swaying in the Sunset). She was finding similar success to her debut, as neither of her first singles charted. While watching the news broadcast of the 26th G8 summit held in Okinawa, Natsukawa watched a performance of Okinawan folk band Begin perform a song called "Nada Sōsō." She found she could not get it out of her head, and requested that she could cover the song backstage at a Begin concert. [3] The song was released as her third single in March 2001.

Very slowly and steadily, the song started gaining popularity. It was a hit on Okinawan radio, and in May 2002 (over a year since its release) it first charted in the Oricon top 100 singles charts. Natsukawa released an EP of Okinawan cover songs, Minamikaze , in May, adding to the momentum. By June, the single had broken the top 50, and by July the top 20. [4] Her debut album Tida: Tida Kaji nu Umui was released in September. Natsukawa was asked to perform the song at the 2002 Kōhaku Uta Gassen (New Year's song competition), which made the song break the top 10.

None of these three releases charted very highly, but they all charted extremely gradually. By the time Tida: Tida Kaji nu Umui and Minamikaze stopped charting (roughly two years later), they had sold 280,000/371,000 copies respectively. "Nada Sōsō" stopped charting a total of six years after its release, and sold over 680,000 copies. [4]

Natsukawa released a string of Okinawan song-based released from this time until 2004. One of these, " Warabigami (Yamatoguchi) " (童神~ヤマトグチ~, Little God (Standard Japanese)) (a Misako Koja cover), was nominated for the Japan Record Award. It was Natsukawa's biggest hit since Nada Sōsō, reaching the top 20. [4]

Original song move

In 2004, Natsukawa's music changed to centre more around original songs, with her third album Kaze no Michi (her second, Sora no Keshiki , featured many original songs, but still centred on Okinawan folk songs). She started a trend in her music for collaborating with high-profile musicians (Kazufumi Miyazawa, The Gospellers). Her 2005 follow-up, Ayakaji no Ne , was similar, with Kentarō Kobuchi of Kobukuro writing her single " Sayōnara Arigatō " (さようなら ありがとう, Good-Bye, Thank You). Natsukawa's releases began dropping in sales, with "Sayōnara Arigatō" being her most recent top 50 single, with its 2006 re-release. [4]

In 2006, she released a compilation album, Rimi Natsukawa Selection , that was only for release in non-Japanese Asian countries. The album was a massive success in Taiwan, reaching #1 on the Taiwanese album charts. [5]

In 2007, Natsukawa ended her contract with her production office. [6] She continued to release music under Victor, however, such as her 5th album Umui Kaji .

At Natsukawa's concerts and at her website, she began asking for submissions from fans for songs they would like to hear her cover. [7] The result of this was the "Uta Sagashi" (歌さがし, Song Search) project, where Natsukawa worked on covering mainly Japanese popular songs. This resulted in the album Uta Sagashi: Request Cover Album , her most successful release of her material since 2003. [4]

Since this, Natsukawa has continued to release original material and compilations. Her second Uta Sagashi album was released in February 2010, and is her first bilingual Japanese/Chinese album. [8]

Personal life

Natsukawa married percussionist Masaaki Tamaki (玉木正昭, Tamaki Masaaki) on January 1, 2009. [9] Their first child, a boy, was born on August 20, 2010. [10]


Related Research Articles

Enka (演歌) is a popular Japanese music genre considered to resemble traditional Japanese music stylistically. Modern enka, however, is a relatively recent musical form, while adopting a more traditional musical style in its vocalism than ryūkōka music, popular during the prewar years.

Somos Novios (Its Impossible) song by Armando Manzanero

"Somos Novios " is a song originally written and recorded by Mexican songwriter Armando Manzanero by 1968. The original recording by Manzanero was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.

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<i>Ai no Uta: Self-Selection Best</i> 2008 compilation album by Rimi Natsukawa

Ai no Uta: Self-Selection Best is the 5th compilation album released by Rimi Natsukawa on March 9, 2008.

<i>Kaze no Michi</i> 2004 studio album by Rimi Natsukawa

Kaze no Michi is Rimi Natsukawa's third original album, released on September 22, 2004.

Nada Sōsō Song from Moriyama Ryoko and BEGIN band, mainly known for its Natsukwa Rimi interpretation

"Nada Sōsō" is a song written by Japanese band Begin and singer Ryoko Moriyama. It was first released by Moriyama in 1998, but achieved popularity through the cover version by Rimi Natsukawa in 2001.

<i>Tida: Tida Kaji nu Umui</i> album by Rimi Natsukawa

Tida: Tida Kaji nu Umui is Rimi Natsukawa's debut album, released on September 21, 2002. The title of the album is in Okinawan (Uchinaaguchi).

<i>Minamikaze</i> 2002 EP by Rimi Natsukawa

Minamikaze is Rimi Natsukawa's debut EP, released on March 21, 2002, consisting of covers of Okinawan songs.

<i>Sora no Keshiki</i> 2003 studio album by Rimi Natsukawa

Sora no Keshiki is Rimi Natsukawa's second album, released on March 26, 2003.

<i>Famureuta</i> 2003 EP by Rimi Natsukawa

Famureuta is Rimi Natsukawa's second EP, released on October 22, 2003. It consists solely of recordings on lullabies. It is her second EP that solely features cover songs.

<i>Okinawa no Kaze</i> 2004 compilation album by Rimi Natsukawa

Okinawa no Kaze is a compilation album released by Rimi Natsukawa on February 25, 2004, marketed as an Okinawan song cover album.

<i>Rimi Natsukawa Single Collection Vol. 1</i> 2005 compilation album by Rimi Natsukawa

Rimi Natsukawa Single Collection Vol. 1 is a singles collection album released by Rimi Natsukawa on March 6, 2005.

<i>Ayakaji no Ne</i> 2005 studio album by Rimi Natsukawa

Ayakaji no Ne is Rimi Natsukawa's fourth original album, released on November 23, 2005.

<i>Rimi Natsukawa Selection</i> 2006 compilation album by Rimi Natsukawa

Rimi Natsukawa Selection is the fourth compilation album released by Rimi Natsukawa on September 22, 2006. It was only released outside Japan, in Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong. It reached #1 on the Taiwanese album charts, charting for more than 60 weeks and selling over 42,000 copies.

<i>Rimits: Best Duet Songs</i> 2006 compilation album by Rimi Natsukawa

Rimits: Best Duet Songs is the third compilation album released by Rimi Natsukawa on March 22, 2006. It features duets from Natsukawa's discography, and re-arrangements of her songs into duet versions.

<i>Umui Kaji</i> 2007 studio album by Rimi Natsukawa

Umui Kaji is Rimi Natsukawa's fifth original album, released on March 9, 2007. According to Natsukawa, title was chosen for the album as it gave an image of "so many thoughts put into song. Of course, it's not a strong wind, but a fresh wind I want to reach the listeners."

<i>Okinawa Uta: Chikyū no Kaze o Kanjite</i> 2009 compilation album by Rimi Natsukawa

Okinawa Uta: Chikyū no Kaze o Kanjite is Rimi Natsukawa's 6th compilation album released on November 25, 2009, and her second compilation album to centre on an Okinawan song theme.

<i>Uta Sagashi: Request Cover Album</i> 2007 studio album by Rimi Natsukawa

Uta Sagashi: Request Cover Album is Rimi Natsukawa's first full-length cover album, released on November 21, 2007.

<i>Kokoro no Uta</i> 2009 studio album by Rimi Natsukawa

Kokoro no Uta is Rimi Natsukawa's sixth original album, released on March 18, 2009. The album was a 2-CD set, with the first CD featuring studio recordings, and the second performances from her "Uta Sagashi no Tabi 2008-2009 tour. The limited edition also featured a DVD.


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