Like countless others have done so before and since, Nakama Yukie’s rise to becoming one of Japan’s most celebrated actresses/celebrities passed through the gates of idol career, gravure model as well as a venture into a music career…the latter being my initial focus here. Nakama Yukie’s music career debuted in 1996 as she released 9 singles and 1 album over a brief period although after a quite long hiatus from the music world she did return with an album release about a decade later in early 2006. Unfortunately all of her music releases are now out of print so today I just wanted to share a few songs from her debut album titled “Tooi hi no melody.” The album contains a total of 11 tracks with a couple of alternate versions which differ from their original single release versions. If anyone out there watches SmapxSmap regularly you may have caught the January 2007 episode which Yukie~san appeared as their Bistro guest which was really cute but the main reason for mentioning this reference is that Shingo who always has something incredibly amusing for each guest during the other team’s mealtime that often includes an impersonation like only Shingo can produce, does his best Yukie~chan as an idol singer impression with long haired wig and all!….yes it’s a bit terrifying but in an endearing sense…..lol have you ever been endeared by something terrifying?!! 😛 And it turns out to be her debut single “Moonlight to daybreak” from 1996 which he is parodying….. 😮 !
Here’s my very modest Nakama Yukie music collection which includes her debut album and 4th single “Makenai ai ga kitto aru.” I came across a music magazine ad for this single sometime in the summer of ’97 and although I had absolutely no idea of whom she was at the time I went ahead and ordered it because I thought her cover photo was cute~♥……..yes sometimes I have really really deep thoughts while making decisions. 😛 So while marketing genius attracted my attention back then……it’s just amazing to see how Yukies~an’s career has progressed so much through the years as she’s grown into a top notch celebrity, talent and actress in Japan. Her resume of dramas, movies and anime involvement reads most impressively and hopefully I can cover some of those in more detail on another day. ^ ^
Although Yukie~san debuted just a bit before Momusu did I do find that through the years some of her songs may have garnered a rather dated feeling about them…so with that in mind here’s 8 tracks which I’ve chosen off of her debut album. ^ ^
(Nakama Yukie’s debut album “Tooi hi no melody” was released on January 21st, 1998.)
~Nakama Yukie “True Love Story” mp3~
Starting with my favorite song “True Love Story.” =) While her vocals may not grab you in any spectacular sense she does have a really cute voice…..and for me, just seeing where she is today in her career and taking these out to listen to gives them that much more of a sentimental aura. For me it was sort of like going backwards as I purchased these CDs back when she wasn’t really known yet (1998’s drama “Kamisama mou sukoshi dake” would be the first drama that I’d see her in 🙂 ) and then later when I’d grown to love her so much as an actress I then one day went back seeing these on the shelf and thought…how great it was that she touched into the music world way back then albeit for a brief period of time. So for me sharing these songs isn’t so much in that I’m saying you’re going to love these but rather…..isn’t it sweet that she once was a singer back then! ^o^♪♪
~Nakama Yukie “Snow Bird” mp3~
~Nakama Yukie “Tooi hi no melody (album version)” mp3~
~Nakama Yukie “Dame na koi” mp3~
~Nakama Yukie “One More Chance” mp3~
“ONE MORE CHANCE” appears both on her album as well as the coupling with song to her single “Makenai ai ga kitto aru”, this single was released on August 1st, 1997.
~Nakama Yukie “Viora no yume” mp3~
~Nakama Yukie “Makenai ai ga kitto aru” mp3~
~Nakama Yukie “Tremolo” mp3~
~Early gravure in UTB~
And I just know that I remembered seeing Yukie~san in an idol publication before so after searching the shelves I found what I think are her very first two appearances in UTB dating back to February & September 1998. ^ ^ I’ve scanned her photo layouts and articles below…..and while the scans above from her music releases are more on the adorable side, the UTB ones below are quite sexy! ^ ^
Coincidentally Okina Megumi was the cover girl for both issues that Yukie~san appeared in back then…..and in a double coincidence Okina Megumi also ventured into the music world briefly…I should post some of her songs♪♪ too later! ^ ^
The most beautiful Ryukyu~an along with the equally talented and gorgeous♥!! Kuninaka Ryoko.
These are from September 1998 issue…
~Growing up years (personal photo album pics)~
(photos are from Nakama Yukie’s “15th. Anniversary” book)
Awwww she was so photogenic from birth! Luv her Hawaiian~style pic!
~The early gravure/ modeling years~
From fashion magazines to Playboy!, and I had no idea that she appeared as covergirl so many times!! Very sexy shots….Nakama Yukie so beautiful~♥. He starting with her “U~17” days…
~My favorite Nakama Yukie movie♥~
When it comes to packaging the Japanese sure know how to impress and the box set release of “Shinobi~Heart Under Blade” ranks as one of the very best if not the very best that I’ve ever seen. Here is my premium edition of the movie “Shinobi- Heart Under Blade” which stars Nakama Yukie and Odagiri Joe (who just about stole the show in “Azumi.”). The movie is based around two long time warring factions the Kouga and Iga ninja clans who have been in peace in recent times under order of the current government. The story is rich and unravels with startling revelations as the 2 central characters, one from each clan is faced with honor to their respective clans as well as their love for one another and Nakama Yukie and Odagiri Joe are outstanding in their roles!! The effects and other visuals are breathtaking as well all leading up to a devastating climax and any fan of samurai, period or ninja films will definitely enjoy this film no doubt. This edition includes four DVDs: The movie, a disc with features on the Kouga, another disc with features on the Iga, and a fourth disc which has the pv for Hamasaki Ayumi’s theme song “Heaven.” Also included is an 80 page visual story guide with character background ,etc., 10 photo cards of the main characters plus 2 secret cards, a t-shirt (which is enclosed in a nice pouch which is attached to the side of the box set, a play star, 2 pins representing each clan, and more. Nakama Yukie has become one of Japan’s most busy actresses appearing in numerous dramas and movies over the years and I think she’s an excellent actress in all regards no matter the genre or role.
~Hamasaki Ayumi “Heaven” music video (theme of Shinobi~Heart Under Blade)~
After the dramatic beyond words ending to the film, Ayu’s soft vocals and the sweet melody of “Heaven” play a perfect contrast to the emotions this film leaves you feeling long after its final curtain, only then to build up into a strength in melody directly parallel to the film itself. Beautifully shot and it’s really cool how the viewer has no idea of Ayu’s whereabouts that is until the camera pans far enough back and something passes by in the foreground very quickly.
~My favorite♥ Nakama Yukie t.v. drama~
“Gokusen!!!”….39 reasons why here~.
~A favorite♥ SmapxSmap Bistro appearance!!~
No Really!!! It’s true I love this appearance of Yukie~san on Smap Bistro and it’s one of my most favorites♥. And while she’s actually appeared on SmapxSmap numerous times over the years this visit in particular still tickles~* me! It’s the aforementioned Smap Bistro where Shingo goes all ‘J~pop Yukie~♥’ on us!!!! If you regularly watch the Bistro show then you’re definitely most familiar with Shingo’s humorous antics which take place while his competitor’s teams’ dish(es) gain ‘delicious’ reactions from the guest of honor….it’s always perfectly timed and you really just never know what’s coming from Shingo~kun next!! It’s a perfect episode to feature here in particular too, as Yukie~san’s J~pop singing career which opens this post takes on an entirely new life of its own all in the hands of one most uninhibited Shingo~kun♥! Gotta love his candidness and wonderful sense of humor and he’s always no holds barred in these…!
~SmapxSmap Bistro January 2007 featuring Nakama♥Yukie~
And to the victor’s of course go the spoils of a sweet~♥ kiss!!
~Nakama Yukie’s favorites♥!~
(from Nakama Yukie’s “15th Anniversary” book)
~Nakama Yukie “20th” shashinshuu~
(released in May 2000)
This long out of print photo book gets pretty pricy whenever it appears for sale in its unopened state on book sites or on auctions which is rare and I can totally understand why! Her earlier gravure years here frozen in time =). I’d imagine these would make her blush* seeing them now but I think in a good way ^ ^! She’s soooo gorgeous!
~Nakama Yukie “15th. Anniversary” book~
While a few images have already been posted above here’s the rest of the photography portions I scanned from this wonderful personal collection. Covering her modeling, photo shoot in her homeland Okinawa, extensive interview, t.v. and movie works, Kyoto photo shoot and wonderfully fun off~shots, “15th. Anniversary” goes from her childhood to her success and multi faceted career of today.
Really a great book for any Nakama Yukie fan ^ ^.
love this post! I first heard of her because of you. 🙂
I loved her in Shinobi!! I own the DVD of the film. With all her assets I find her eyes arresting.
Thanks again for posting all this info on Yukie!! 🙂
Think #48 still has a chance now?!
I was pondering what to do with one of her books which I got recently and then it became this collaboration of posts here….plus I wanted to have the audio added back in since it was lost when Vox closed. “Shinobi”‘s so awesome!!! I’ve watched it over and over and it’s still great! Yukie’s eyes are dazzling~*~~*!!
(sigh) I’m still holding up hope for J.J. but that was a huge hit he took last Sunday but 20 points surely isn’t insurmountable so I say Yes! he’s still got a shot at the championship come Sunday =)!
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Hi! Thank you for linking me to your wonderful post. I’ve not seen Shinobi, but have had the DVD in my hands on several occasions, wondering wether or not to buy. And now I must! I did enjoy Tooi hi no melody. It sounds very much like an idol song from the late 80s, so for me, was a very pretty listen. I’ll watch the Smap Bistro later!
Oh you must must get it!!! There’s a lot of mystical aspects with even a few legendary characters whom you’ll recognize from Japanese folklore and the story is just perfect with wonderful acting and the most thrilling action scenes!! Again, Odagiri Joe is such an amazing actor as is Nakama Yukie and they’re paired to perfection here with this script. I promise when the film ends you’ve have witnessed one of the most dramatic endings like ever, one you won’t ever forget I think. I think you’ll enjoy the Bistro here with Nakama Yukie and when Shingo does his ‘oishii’ cued thing it’s particularly hilarious as he’s helping her relive her musical past lol =D. The songs are very retro in nature and so happy you got to listen. Her J-pop career was most brief but it’s sweet to look back on and just to know how successful she’d grown as an actress it’s fun to see her beginnings as an idol as she even went a bit gravure there =).
Not sure where we were talking about Honey and Clover, but I might as well continue here….I watched the final two episodes in one sitting. I was so pleased Hagu-chan didn’t lose her sight, but the arm injury was bad enough. I thought the rehab scene with the map of Takemoto’s cycle journey was incredibly good, and deeply moving. In fact the final two episodes were very emotional; a great ending for what’s probably my favourite dorama. I just want to watch it all over again, but will return to after watching the other things on my to-watch list. I’d love the DVD but can’t be sure if the subs will be as good as the one’s online. Takemoto’s cycle journey is very like the adventure I would like to enjoy over there, although I’d stick to campsites and nettocafes rather than sleep rough in historic buildings!
Ruri’s Island next.
A~h have you gotten “Shinobi~Heart Under Blade~” yet? “Honey and Clover” is a keeper!! I wonder if there’s a good DVD version out there with subs as I can’t for the most part share mines as it doesn’t have any or it actually does but it’s subtitled in Japanese only. I used to be puzzled by that until I realized that American DVDs have English subtitles for the hearing impaired so likewise the Japanese releases have them too =P. Ah so you’ve found your #1 drama♥ \(^o^)/!!! I did a favorite drama listing here but it’s really from a long time ago so I’d really have to do it all anew one day for it to be relevant at all at the present. Okay for what it’s worth this was written back in 2008 so it’s quite in need of a rethink:
Yup Takenouchi Yutaka♥ at the top of that post, some things don’t change ever! =D
I’m really happy that I found your blog! I’m from the Philippines and I also a fan of Yukie :). And wow, you have a good collection! I bought her 15th Anniversary photobook online and how I wish I’ll still be able to buy her debut album. It’s a rare gem for Yukie fans out there!
I’m so sorry for my very late reply =/ as I was on a hiatus from blogging for a while. Yukie is such a talent truly!! I miss her as host too on the Red & White as I thought she was just perfect…you know elegant and so graceful in speech always. I especially love watching her in dramas and movies with Shinobi~Heart Under Blade and Gokusen the first series being favorites for the ages which I’ve watched several times each. So awesome you purchased her 15th anniversary photo book!!~! So beautifully done all around. U~n although her musical career was brief she certainly released some wonderful songs back then….I was just checking and at the moment Otokichi Premium (it’s a specialty second hand store chain in Japan which ships worldwide) has just a couple of her singles here:
But he does take special requests so you could always ask for him to get a copy of her album for you and while there are no guarantees he’ll find it he sure does give his best effort as I can attest to as he’s found countless out of print gems for me in the past.
Nice to meet you!
Hajimemashite!! :). Thank you for replying. I really appreciate it! :).
Everything about Yukie is like silk. Her face, voice and talent are really admirable. The first movie of her that I saw was Ring 0. I immediately became a fan of her beauty and acting skills. I remember that I got curious about her so I searched for her name on the internet. Gokusen was the first series that I’ve watched and yes, it is a must watch for every Yukie fan :).
Omg, thank you so much for the link! Domo arigatou!! :). I’ll definitely check the link that you gave me. I was able to download her album, but I’m still definitely going to buy a physical copy of it. It feels really different when you have the original, right? :). I really like her songs, “I Feel You” and “Kokoro ni watashi ga futari iru”.
I found out last year that Yukie went to the Philippines (in Bohol and Palawan) for her show, “Blue Earth” and I was so heartbroken that I didn’t see her. But the fact that she went to the Philippines was enough to make me happy :).
I so agree with every endearing comment on Nakama Yukie as she’s is most beautiful and graceful and such an amazing actress totally!! Ohhh you’ve seen her initially from Ring and so happy you also are a fan of her series Gokusen as it’s priceless television!! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I cracked up watching and rewatching as it’s just written so funny with some very memorable characters..in case you’re interested I did a little love~tribute to the drama here from awhile back:
U~n so much better to have the original for sure, I’m so happy you feel this way too and plus you get to support your favorite artists too that way. I really love the style of her songs too on her album and only wish ~* that she’d gone even further into her musical side, still at least we get to see her as an actress still.
That’s so awesome!!! She was right there in your country \(^o^)/!!! Hopefully she’ll visit again and then you’ll get to meet her in person =D.
A lot of people are so scared of Sadako because of her long hair covering her face, but I remember Yukie whenever they say Sadako. What a beautiful ghost. Haha.
Oh yes! :). I still buy original CDs whenever I get the chance. It’s my way of showing my appreciation for someone else’s passion and hardwork ^^. I do believe that it’s worth it to purchase original merchandise especially if it’s Yukie’s work :). I agree with you, I also wish she continued her music career. Perhaps in the future? :). I’m sure a lot of people will buy her album if ever she decides to release one.
Gokusen is really one of the good jdoramas. Other notable actors like Oguri Shun also made it even more interesting. Now that you’ve mentioned rewatching it, I’ll watch it again on my spare time. Fight-oh!!:).
Have you seen Utsukushii Rinjin and Saki? How daring of Yukie to play the antagonist role, but she nailed it. I think I would also get deceived by Saki knowing how innocent her face is.
It would be a dream come true to see Nakama Yukie in person! I remember when I went to Osaka last April, I saw her JAL advertisement while riding the train. I was so happy when I saw her advertisement. I even took a picture of it as a souvenir. What more if I get to see her in person? I might even cry *tears of joy* :”).
By the way, your country is really beautiful. I’ll definitely come back soon. I feel like I left my heart in Japan already. Haha. I want to pursue my graduate studies there in the future if given the chance.
Take care! :).
-Feifei 🙂 (this is my nickname)
This brings back memories.
Anyway, if you’d like to download Yukie stuff, here: