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, January 26, 2017

Yumeko Kitaoka -- Yume wo Ageyo (夢をあげよう)

Some days ago, I received a recommendation from commenter Henrique about an aidoru that I had never heard about. Her stage name is Yumeko Kitaoka(北岡夢子)but was born Kikuko Nakayama(中山貴久子)in Taito Ward, Tokyo, in 1971.

I took a gander at some of her songs and the one that I have enjoyed the most so far is her 4th single "Yume wo Ageyo" (Let's Offer Our Dreams) from February 1989, thanks to some sparkly arrangement by Jun Sato(佐藤準). The composer and lyricist are Tetsuro Kugisaki(釘崎哲朗)and Teruhiko Inoue(井上輝彦)respectively. The song almost takes things into urban contemporary territory. Nope, as even Henrique mentioned, Kitaoka's vocals wouldn't have chanteuses like Hiromi Iwasaki(岩崎宏美)shaking in their boots but as an aidoru, she wasn't too bad at all and certainly Kugisaki's melody is quite pleasant.

Kitaoka made her debut in April 1988 with "Akogare"(憧憬...Longing)and would release a total of 1 original album and 7 singles with the last one in June 1991 being a cover of Seiko Matsuda's(松田聖子)"Miami Gozen Go-ji "(マイアミ午前5時). According to her J-Wiki profile, the singer is a big fan of Seiko-chan. Her record company at the time was For Life Records; the management had been planning to promote her strongly but then another up-and-coming singer under their wing, enka singer Sakura Yamato(大和さくら), scored a big hit with her debut number. I have no idea about how the policy on promoting singers went at those companies back then, but apparently the powers-that-be at For Life felt that they couldn't back two singers at the same time so all of the support went behind Yamato instead. Ironically enough though, a few years after Kitaoka had put an end to her singing career, Yamato would do the same in 1994 and not come back.

Kitaoka also did some acting on television but basically disappeared from the scene after 2001. However, on some variety special in 2014, she finally reappeared just for that show on which it was learned that she had gotten married.


  1. Hi, J-Canuck.

    WOW! I am happy to see Yumeko here! THANK YOU for all that info on her career. I never thought about these promotional issues. It might have been a big thing back then, since there were many idols and their 'prime age' to debut and reach success was quite short.

    1. My pleasure, Henrique. Yep, I think there is definitely some back story to how some of these aidoru were able to succeed and how some of them didn't quite make it.

  2. I'm surprised. This song looks like more like the productions of the begining of the 80's than of the late 80's.
    Her career as an idol was quite sad because of those management choices. I feel sorry for her.

    1. Hi, Nagaregumo.

      Yes, there is a sense of something earlier in that arrangement. And I have to agree that Yumeko may have gotten shafted through that decision. Sometimes, I wonder if the catchphrase for some of these management studios was "Nothing personal. Just business".


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.