I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Akiko Kosaka -- Anata (あなた)

Over the decades, "Anata"(You) by Akiko Kosaka(小坂明子) has been played repeatedly on music retrospective programs and been sung once in a while by some of my past female colleagues at the karaoke boxes in Tokyo...those with the really high voices.

Kosaka was born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1959 and attended the Osaka College of Music. In 1973, as a 16-year-old, she entered the Yamaha Music Festival with this song she composed and wrote, titled "Anata"....a bittersweet, wistful and proud story of a young girl whose beau had already passed away dreaming of what life would've been like had they gotten married. The last line was sung especially poignantly: "Anata ga ite hoshii"(あなたが居てほしい....I want you here with me). The plaintive way she sang "Anata"won me over, and millions more back then.

The teenager ended up winning the Grand Prize for that festival and it was released in December 1973 as a single. It spent 7 weeks at the top of the charts and earned Kosaka an invitation to the 1974 Kohaku Utagassen. By the end of the year, it was the 2nd-ranked song and was a mega-hit with 2 million records sold. Since then, it was covered by her contemporaries at the time such as Saori Minami(南沙織)and Ayumi Ishida(石田あゆみ), and then some decades later, singers such as Chara and Hideaki Tokunaga(徳永英明) have covered it.

After such a beautiful song, it's hard to believe that this was Kosaka's only major hit.


  1. Thanks for the info, and i really love this song. I know it from the Seiko Matsuda cover...its very touching the performance of her.

    1. Hello, El Editor and thanks for your comments. "Anata" is one of those tunes that also has a special place in my memories as well.

  2. To return to one of my obsessions, Anata has also been covered by Hiromi Iwasaki, initially on her appearance on Star Tanjou, and on various occasions afterwards. Her performance in her 1975 recital concert had her tearing up at one point. It also appears in one of her Dear Friends albums, with piano accompaniment I think by Akiko Kosaka herself (the track says with Akiko Kosaka, but I can only hear Hiromi's voice). Here she is in a 1978 recital concert.

  3. Hello, Mr. Luzon. And thanks for your comment. Yes, I think Ms. Kosaka had a very special song in "Anata".

  4. Whenever I see hear this song, it makes me sooo, sad. I don't know why.

    And to think it was written by a then teenager. What talent!

    Oh, nice to see Mr. Dante Luzon follow your blog! He was a popular broadcaster from my city back in the day. :)

  5. Hi again! I didn't know who Mr. Luzon was until I checked out YouTube. He's got quite the newscaster's voice! Wasn't aware that he was also into Japanese music.

    As for "Anata", the lyrics would probably have people crying since it's about a woman pining for an old boyfriend who passed away tragically. Kosaka delivers it with a wonderful combination of sadness and pride.


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