Retro Idols Part II : More Idols
Sakaue Toshie (born: March 16, 1964) made her debut in entertainment when she starred in a movie in April 1982. Three months later, July 21, 1982, she made her debut as idol singer. In her singing career, she has released 4 singles and no album. Her debut single was sold 10,730 copies while her three other singles didn't make it into Oricon chart at all so they didn't track her sales. Her total sales are 10,730 + probably a few hundreds or a few thousands more copies. As for her acting career, Toshie has appeared in 2 dramas (1983) and 1 movie (1982). She was also a regular in some tv programs, most notably in "Let's Go Young" and "Quiz Doremifadon!"
Ito Kazue (born: December 7, 1966) was a popular actress and an idol singer in 1980s. When she was a kid, she joined "Toei Children's Training Institute" that trained young actors. Toei itself is a big production company known for producing live action tv series like Kamen Rider and Super Sentai (<--what people called "power ranger") franchises. Of course their trainees would be trained in action stunts too which later would help her when she needed to do action scenes in her dramas. As a kid, she has appeared as extra in "Kamen Rider V3" (1973) and "Kamen Rider Stronger (1975).
Ito Kazue got her first proper role in movie in 1979 and starred in her first drama in 1981. As an actress, she has starred in a total of 103 serial dramas (1972-2019), 58 one-shot dramas (1988-2023) and 28 movies (1979-2022).
As a singer, she actually had released one single in 1978 under the stage name Kana Kazue. But in April 21, 1982, she debuted once again as idol singer under her real name: Ito Kazue. Her singing career wasn't as successful as her acting. She has released a total 14 singles and 5 original albums. From all her singles, only two of them were charted in Oricon chart at #56 and #90, the rest didn't make it at all. There's no information about her total sales.
Shiraishi Marumi (born: November 27, 1962), real name: Matsuda Mitsue, was an 1980s idol singer. In 1978, she applied for an audition for the role of Go Hiromi's (<-- top 3 male idol in 1970s) girlfriend in his drama. Out of 40,000 applicants, she won the second place so the girlfriend role was given to the winner while she got the role as Go Hiromi's sister. That became her acting debut. January 21, 1982, she made her debut as idol singer (*the same debut year as those infamous 1980s idols: Nakamori Akina, Kyon2, Hayami Yuu, Hori Chiemi, Ishikawa Hidemi, Shibugakitai, etc).
As an actress, she has appeared in 46 dramas (1978-2014) and 1 movie (2003). As a singer, she has released 5 singles and 1 album. There's no information about her total song sales.
Tsuchiya Kaori (born: August 26, 1964) was an 1980s idol singer. She made her acting debut by appearing in a drama in 1979. Then on June 21, 1982, she made her debut as idol singer (the same debut year as Nakamori Akina, Kyon2, Hayami Yuu, Hori Chiemi, Shibugakitai, Ishikawa Hidemi, etc).
As an actress, she has appeared in a total of 6 dramas (1979 - 1991). As a singer, she has released a total of 11 singles and 5 original albums. Five of her singles were charted at #46 - #99 in Oricon chart, the rest didn't make it to the top 100 at all. There's no information about her total song sales.
Osawa Itsumi (born: March 23, 1966) was an idol singer in 1980s. She won grand prix at "HoriPro Talent Scout Caravan" (*a famous audition program by the big agency: HoriPro) in 1981 and made her debut as idol singer on February 21, 1983. Her concept was quite unique compared to mainstream idol singers. She was marketed as an androgynous idol with her boyish haircut and being very tall for idol standard (170 cm, probably about as tall as average Japanese man in that era).
In her career, Osawa Itsumi has released a total of 11 singles and 2 original albums. Three of her singles were charted between #62 - #94 in Oricon chart while the rest didn't make it at all to the chart. There's no information about her total song sales. From 1983-1984, she won 7 newcomer awards including the big ones like "Japan Record Awards", "Japan Song Awards" and "FNS Music Festival".
As an actress, she has appeared in 40 serial dramas (1984-2015), 32 one-shot dramas (1989-2016), and 13 movies (1987-2013).
Ota Takako (born: August 13, 1967) was an idol singer in 1980s. She was participant of the infamous talent show: "Star Tanjou!" in 1982 and made her debut one year later in July 25, 1983 (which means she was also one of the Class'83 idols). She was known as her role in the anime: "Mahou no Tenshi Creamy Mami" which she sang the OST and voiced the main character. In 1984, she became one of the regular members in music program: "Let's Go Young!".
As a singer she has released a total of 19 singles, 11 original albums and 2 mini albums. Except her 4 singles, most of those didn't chart in Oricon top 100 so her total song sales recorded are 32,650 copies (plus some few more not recorded by Oricon).
Watanabe Megumi (born: January 24, 1964) was an idol singer in 1980s. She had been a model since she was in high school and then debuted as idol singer on April 1, 1982. She has released a total of 8 singles and 2 albums. Of all her singles, only one managed to chart in Oricon chart which it reached #70. There's no information about her total sales. As for her acting career, she has appeared in 10 dramas (1983-2012). She was also active in some variety shows. In October 1982, she became regular cast in a variety show: "Waratte Iitomo!".
Kuwata Yasuko (born: October 30, 1967) , real name: Ikeda Saeko, was an idol singer in the 1980s. She has been good at singing since elementary school and had appeared in many children's singing competitions and local festivals in her hometown in Fukuoka.
In 1982, she won "Toshiba Talent Scout Caravan" and got her contract with a big agency: Sun Music and finally debuted as idol singer in March 21, 1983.
In her singing career, Kuwata Yasuko has released a total of 14 singles and 10 albums. The highest position her song ever reached in Oricon chart is #50. There's no information about her total sales.
Kobayashi Chie (born: November 20, 1963) was an idol singer in 1980s. When she was in junior high school, she won a talent show on TV and continued to participated in all kind of auditions since then. That was until 1980 when she participated in a big audition with Saijo Hideki (top 3 biggest 1970s male idol) as their brand ambassador, which she won the runner-up (the winner was Kawai Naoko). Being a runner-up apparently disappointed her so she took a break from auditions and song contest for a year and a half. And then it was her 3rd year of highschool when it's time for people to choose their career path, and she once again decided to be singer. She joined another audition sponsored by Yamaha and won it out of 10,000 contestants. She was scouted by the record company: "Pony Canyon" and officially debuted as idol singer on March 21, 1983 (which makes her one of the "class'83" idols)
As a singer, she has released a total of 11 singles and 1 original album. Out of all her singles, only one managed to chart at top 100 in Oricon chart with #99 as the highest position she ever reached. Her total sales are some 4,530+ (*that 1 single with 4,530 sales + another 10 singles and 1 album not recorded by Oricon).
As for her acting career, she has appeared in 5 serial dramas (1987-1999), 2 one-shot dramas (1993, 1998), and 1 movie (1996). Later she found a better success as a baradoru (*bariety aidoru / variety idol / idol specializes in variety show).
Honda Risa (born: May 27, 1971), real name: Honda Kazue, was an idol in late 1980s to early 1990s. In summer 1986, she participated in "Pocari Sweat Image Girl Contest 1986" (*which was won by Moritaka Chisato) and got scouted by an agency. Risa made her debut as idol singer in July 1, 1988 ( class'88 idols, debuted at the same year as Nishida Hikaru, Wink, Tanaka Ritsuko, etc).
As a singer, she has released a total of 7 singles and 1 original albums. The highest position her song ever reached in Oricon chart was #31. Her total sales are about 44,120 copies. As for her acting career, she has appeared in 22 dramas (1988-2013) and 3 movies (1988-1991). She was also a regular cast in some variety shows. Honda Risa was also popular as gravure idol.
Hamada Juri (born: November 1, 1962) was an idol singer in 1980s. She debuted in 1980 which made her one of the first generation 1980s idols.
She was seen as promising before her debut, having belonged to a children theater group and taking singing lessons since elementary school. Then she got a contract from CBS/Sony. She was produced by the same producer who worked with Yamaguchi Momoe (the biggest 1970s idol singer), and they thought Hamada Juri had the same vibe as Momoe, so they prepared her as Momoe's sucessor (they called it "post Momoe"), but unfortunately it didn't go as well as they expected.
In her career, Hamada Juri has released a total of 11 singles and 4 original albums. Five of her singles charted between #51-#100 in Oricon chart, the rest didn't make it into the top 100. Her total singles sales are about 102,000 copies but there's no information about her total sales (all singles + all albums). As for her acting career, she has appeared in 37 dramas (1980-1995) and 2 movies (1984,1985). She was also active in some variety shows.
PumpKin was an idol duo in late 1980s with their members: Shiroyama Mikako (born: September 29, 1969), nickname: Mikarin, and Hayashi Chiharu (born: May 22, 1970), nickname: Chao. There's a third member: Ogawa Masumi (born: May 6, 1972), nickname: Ma-tan, who joined PumpKin later to replace Chao when she left the group later.
Chao and Mikarin were backdancers for a late 1980s idol singer: Mizutani Mari. Later they formed PumpKin and debuted on November 18, 1987. In their career, PumpKin have released a total of 6 singles and 1 original album. Their first two singles reached #28 and #46 in Oricon chart, the rest didn't make it into the top 100. There's no information about their total sales. They had no acting career as a group, but as individual, Mikarin - who was child actor long before PumpKin was formed - has appeared in a total of 26 dramas (1980-2020) and 3 movies (1985-1993).
PumpKin disbanded in 1993