Chihiro Onitsuka

Chihiro Onitsuka was born on 30 October 1980 in Japan's Miyazaki Prefecture. According to her official homepage, she became interested in music at a very young age because of the influence of her parents. However, an awareness of music really visited her in her junior high years. She became interested in a North American singer-songwriter called Alanis Morissette. Very interested in this concept of a singer who writes her own lyrics and music, Onitsuka was also inspired by The Carpenters and the singer Jewel.

When she discovered the music of Morissette and Jewel, her career as the singer-songwriter Chihiro Onitsuka began. By graduation from high school, she had created many of her own songs and felt ready to try to become a singer. She left for Tokyo in the spring of 1999 for the purpose of auditions. Though she was still unsure at this point, she knew that she had to try.

With her single Shine, Onitsuka debuted on 9 February 2000. This song was fairly popular, but her second single, Gekkou* was her big break. The song was chosen to be the theme song for a drama on television and launched her into the role of a national celebrity. Gekkou enjoyed a long status as a hit and Onitsuka released her third single Cage in November. This was a more up-tempo song. Memai/edge**, Onitsuka's fourth single, was a double A-side release.

In March of 2001, Onitsuka's debut album INSOMNIA hit the charts and secured its place in the number one position. Soon after, she released her first video clips collection ME AND MY DEVIL. Her first live tour, Chihiro Onitsuka Live Tour 2001 followed on its heels. This gave her a chance to captivate live audiences with her power as a singer. Her voice and the powerful emotions that her songs embody became real to many people. Even rock fans were interested in the relentless sounds of Onitsuka.

Her first single after the debut album was another double A-side release. Infection/LITTLE BEAT RIFLE was released. The title song Infection is possibly her most well-known song. However, as it was released only days before September 11, it was actually taken off of the shelf in some stores due to its themes and ideas. Onitsuka left the spotlight for some time but it is this song that she performed live on many television programs in 2001 including Music Station Super Live at the end of the year.

Onitsuka won an award for best lyricist and lyrical composition for her song Memai and won the Golden Disc Award for best rock album for INSOMNIA in 2001.

Ryuuseigun was released and then her second album This Armor at the beginning of 2002. With INSOMNIA and This Armor, Onitsuka states that she has closed the first chapter of her singing career. However, from these albums' end, a new story begins. Her third album, Sugar High features a drastic image change for its cover art. Onitsuka has not released a single since her second album's release and so it is very exciting to see that her third album was finished in secret and will now make its debut in the same year as This Armor.

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Works Cited

Onitsuka Chihiro//Official Site - www.melodystar.com/onitsuka (In Japanese)
Onitsuka Chihiro - www.toshiba-emi.co.jp/domestic/artists/oni/ (In Japanese)

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* - Gekkou means "Moonlight."
** - Memai means "Vertigo."

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