Kawamoto Makoto - Japanese pop idol

Born 19 Jan 1974 in Fukui, Japan. Began playing piano at age 3 (taking lessons from her pianist mother). Taught piano after graduating from a music academy, then moved to Tokyo to pursue her career. Released her first single in 1996.

Kawamako (a common nickname among her fans) is one of the more unique (therefore, not quite so popular) idols because of her singing style - she has lots of words in her songs, so she'll sing them faster instead of cut the lyrics (to keep the songs radio ready) - and the fact that she actually writes her own songs (uncommon in the JPop world). She also relies on using acoustic instruments and sometimes a small orchestra in her music, also less common in the dancy digital JPop scene.

She's considered to be pretty quirky by the Japanese press. Her childish voice and speed-singing aside, she has odd (or at least said to be odd), publicly-known habits such as getting a haircut as a means to cure writer's block. She also stands out more than most in the JPop world for her unflashy fashion in video and photo shoots and tendency to do things in ways most people wouldn't (some of her best photos are some Polaroids of her golfing at a ritzy driving range barefoot in a t-shirt and cut-offs).

Kawamoto became fairly popular in the (Japanese and U.S.) anime scene when her 3rd single "1/2" (nibunnoichi) was used in the show Rurouni Kenshin.


Sources: Sony Musical Entertainment site (www.sme.co.jp), 20 broken fanpages, Pati-Pati magazine, and a love for huge overseas shipping charges.