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10 Essential Fukuyama Masaharu songs

Updated on February 4, 2019
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I've been following Japanese Entertainment for the past 12 years. I have passions in Travel and Films.

Fukuyama Masaharu is one of Japan's top male star. Outside Japan, he was most known for his role in Koreeda Hirokazu's Like Father Like Son, that won Jury Prize in Cannes Film Festival. However, inside Japan, he's their number #1 best selling male solo artist, having sold more than 22 million copies of singles and albums.

I will be listing his most essential songs to mark his half-century birthday. These songs were picked based on the impact to his career. It will serve as an introduction to one of Japan's most beloved star.

Fukuyama at the 2017's Venice Film Festival for The Third Murder
Fukuyama at the 2017's Venice Film Festival for The Third Murder

The facts:-

  • Name: Fukuyama Masaharu
  • Date of Birth: 6th February 1969
  • Birthplace: Nagasaki, Japan
  • Management: Amuse, Inc.
  • Nickname: Masha

Sakurazaka (2000)

Sakurazaka is Fukuyama's biggest hit in his career so far. The single sold more than 2 million copies when it was released. It was his first single under Universal J after he changed label in 2000.

Tsuioku No Ame No Naka (1990)

This is Fukuyama's debut single. It failed to chart. However, he performed the song in almost every concert, and the song was always accompanied by a special rain event he bestowed to his fans.

Trivia #1:

Fukuyama used to be a serious smoker, however, he stopped smoking in 2003. Fans noted that his voice has become much more clearer after he stop his habit.

Squall (1999)

Squall is part of the double A-side release HEAVEN/SQUALL. It was originally written for Matsumoto Eiko. The single charted on second place when it was released, however, it jumped to number one on its fifth week, making it one of Fukuyama's most successful single to date.

HEAVEN (1999)

HEAVEN is Fukuyama's attempt in infusing the Latin pop into his music. And this attempt proved to be successful. It's a fun, it's funky and the video is one of my personal favourite from Fukuyama. HEAVEN was released as part of the double A-side with Squall.

HELLO (1995)

HELLO is Fukuyama's biggest single in the 90s. It was released on his birthday back in 1995. The cover of the single was photographed by the legendary Ueda Shoji on Tottori sand dune, who then, served as Fukuyama's mentor in his photography career.

HELLO Singles cover.
HELLO Singles cover.

Hatsukoi (2009)

Hatsukoi was not originally a planned single. However, it received public demand after the music appeared in Toshiba Regza commercial. Fukuyama first released the song as a ringtone (chaku-uta) on 6th November 2009. It has been dowloaded 150K times within the first five days. Encouraged by this response, Fukuyama proceed to release the song as a single on 16th December 2009. Hatsukoi was also the single that spent the longest time charting in Top 100 Oricon chart for 54 weeks.

Tanjoubi ni wa Masshiro na Yuri wo (2013)

The song was featured as a theme song for drama tonbi (tbs) starring Uchino Masaki and Satoh Takeru. It was released on 10th April 2013. Literally translated as: Pure white lilies on your birthday, it was inspired by Fukuyama's own story when his mother received white lilies on her birthday.

Trivia #2:

Fukuyama was working various jobs in Tokyo before he passed the audition to join Amuse Agency.

Kazoku ni Narou yo (2011)

This single was released on 31st August 2011. The video co-starred Ninomiya Keita, who also co-starred with Fukuyama in Like Father Like Son. It was translated as 'Let's become a family'. A wedding version of the song was also included in the single's package.

Niji (2003)

Niji is part of triple-A release Niji/Himawari/Sore ga Subete sa. It served as a theme song for drama Waterboys. He also remixed the song for its drama sequel- Waterboys 2. The single spent five weeks at #1. To date, it has sold more than 1 million copies in Japan.

It's Only Love (1994).

Fukuyama's first #1 song in Oricon chart and it went to top the chart for four weeks. It was used in Dydo Brand Coffee commercial, starring Fukuyama himself. Ironically, he doesn't really drink coffee. The title of this song was taken from Beatles's song with the same name.


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