J-Pop artist Sakai Izumi passes away at the age of 40.

Late last night I got some very saddening news as I checked my e-mail. I got a news article reporting that Sakai Izumi singer/songwriter (lyrics) of the J-Pop group Zard had passed away. She had not released a new single since May of last year and a 2 disc best of collection along with a shashinshuu and music video compilation in late October. While this inactivity was a little strange I had no idea what was happening in her life. According to the article I read she was hospitalized in June 2006 after discovering that she had cervical cancer and had the tumor removed. She returned to the hospital in April of this year after the cancer was found to have spread to her lungs. Sakai Izumi died of a brain contusion which she suffered after falling about 3 meters down an emergency stairway in the hospital hitting the back of her head. She had been on one of her daily walks when this occurred. I can only imagine that the medication she was under and the overall weakness of her body caused this to happen.

Zard is one of my early J-Pop loves. I first heard their music when I purchased her album "Forever You" which was released in March of 1995. The music was so great and her voice so beautiful. I became a fan instantly. I then started buying all of their albums and singles and I have their entire discography. A special thing about Zard were the wonderful lyrics. Sakai Izumi wrote about subjects and situations that people could really relate to. I have translations for a lot of her songs which amount to about the size of a medium sized phone book. She was poetic and her voice: Unique, elegant, sweet, powerful. I was planning on one day writing a post about Zard and Sakai Izumi and I still can't believe that I'm writing this in this context. I'm very depressed right now and the disbelief hasn't passed yet. She was only 40.

Zard debuted in 1991 with the single "Good-bye My loneliness" and soon became one of the most successful female singers in the 1990's. Her record sales being #1 for female singers and #3 for overall totals which sits behind the groups B'z and Mr.Children. 9 albums and 11 singles all hit the #1 spot on the Oricon charts.

Here's my Zard collection which includes all 17 albums, all 42 singles, 3 VHS releases, and both DVD releases. I have 3 copies of her "Zard Best The Singles collection" as one came with the bonus vhs "Showreel ver.0.1.", another the bonus vhs "Zard Best~Memorial Video~", and the 3rd came with a large picture booklet (the booklet is in the top picture along with the DVDs. It's sounds crazy but I bought 3 copies of the same album just to get the extras. I also bought 3 copies of Zard's last album release "Golden Best 15th Anniversary" because each of the 3 came with a different bonus DVD containing CMs. At the bottom of the 2nd photo is Zard's "Cruising & Live" CD release which includes as extras a CD-ROM and a 36 page shashinshuu which are beautifully packaged in this oversized booklet casing. Next to this release is the bonus VHS "Zard making of Cruising & Live The Day of 1999.8.31." The top photo also includes Zard's 2 DVD releases: "Zard What a beautiful moment" (the long awaited live DVD release from Zard) and "Zard Le Portfolio 1991-2006" (a PV compilation DVD). 

I would have liked to have uploaded a few songs but with my ancient computer it's very difficult. Songs that I would suggest anyone to listen to whether you're familiar with Zard or not are: "You and me  (and…)" (my absolute favorite Zard song), "Hitomi sorasanaide", "Don't You See!", "Anata wo kanjiteitai", "Oh My Love", "Yureru omoi", "Today is Another Day", "Kimi ga ita kara", "Kimi ni aitakunattara…", "Makenaide", "Just For You", "My Friend", "Sukina youni odoritaino", and "Tooi hi no nostalgia." This is merely skimming the top. There are so many Zard songs that I love and I could go on and on. Check out any of these songs and I'm sure you'll fall in love with their sound. and Sakai Izumi's voice. Since I can't upload any audio here are some video clips. I hope that those interested can find some audio of some of the songs I've listed above. Sorry I didn't preview any of these clips and I hope that they play okay.

I still can't believe that this has happened. It shows us how fragile life is and how we should be kind to one another as we don't know what each new day will bring. Cherish life.

I'm destroyed right now.

p.s. Paul if you're reading this check out "J-Pop Collection Volume 6" which I sent as it has 23 of my favorite Zard songs on it.

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About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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13 Responses to J-Pop artist Sakai Izumi passes away at the age of 40.

  1. Saburo says:

    Anyone who was connected with J-pop in the 90s will have a heavy heart in the next several days. This is, in my opinion, a needless tragedy and should have building architects including less-steep staircases and slip-proof walking surfaces. Those of you who have seen typical apartment buildings in Japan will know what I'm talking about.I recorded my thoughts all over the web shortly after hearing the sad news: http://tinyurl.com/3bomsa


  2. richiety says:

    Surprised and shocked to hear about this too.


  3. Saburo it is really sad that the hospital's facility had a part in her passing and she sounded optimistic about recovery as she was planning a tour. Uzagaku & Ivysgrandkid I'm still in disbelief right now.


  4. Saburo says:

    Sankei Sports covered the funeral in Machida-shi, Tokyo: http://www.sanspo.com/geino/top/gt200705/gt2007053100.htmlThousands of fans paid their respects and gave prayers at her company's headquarters in Roppongi.


  5. snowmanyee says:

    Get to know Zard demish more than a year later, but feel sad about it. Her songs can now just live in my memories..


  6. She'll always be truly missed but having her music helps to keep the memories alive. Really really sad.


  7. snowmanyee says:

    Because of that, I had just bought her 'Beautiful memories' from the website. Still waiting for my CDs…


  8. This is such a great release and having fans request the songs included really means a lot…so many favorites on this 2 dics collection….."Ready Go!", "Kimi ni aitakunattara…", "Yureru omoi", "My Friend", "Don't You See!", "Forever You", "Ano hohoemi wo wasurenaide" and "Season" to name just a few and then those live tracks from 2007 so amazing. I hope you receive them soon!! ^-^


  9. snowmanyee says:

    ya. eager waiting for it. i only got Zard 'Hold me' album but fell for her voice immediately after that. i like "Ano hohoemi wo wasurenaide" very very much and keep repeating the track, although i can't understand japanese… think the song is about throw away worries and be happy?


  10. I can totally understand why…"Hold Me" is filled with so many great songs and her voice…so unique, memorable, and her lyrics really connected with fans…you can really relate. Yes! that's the message and the melody so catchy too! ^ ^ My favorite songs from "Hold Me" are "Sayonara ienakute", "Suki na you ni odoritai no" and "Tooi hi no nostalgia."


  11. snowmanyee says:

    Ya, I like those too… That means I had bought the right album.. haha


  12. I was browsing over the track listing yesterday and surely you're going to love this album and it's really extra special as her fans helped to choose which songs were included….listening to Zard right now…^-^


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