I'm not going to update this a lot, don't worry
Yuzu is a Japanese folk-pop rock duo, consisting of Kitagawa Yujin and Iwasawa Koji. They started as street musicians back in 1996 until 1998. Since then, they released 12 full-length albums and 43 singles, all except for the first ones consecutively peaked in Oricon's weekly Top 10 chart, and now they're one of the most beloved artists in Japan.
DISCLAIMER BEFORE EVERYTHING ELSE: 1.) I don't own any of the stuffs here. I mean, I made some gifs and edited some photos but that's it; 2.) Aside from the obviously factual information, most of the things I said here are based on my personal observations and opinion (a.k.a. very biased) so I apologize in advance if I disappoint in any way; 3.) IMPORTANTLY, I don't know this amazing band personally. I'm just a fan. P.S. I'm sorry about any grammatical error orz
★ A LITTLE BACKGROUND
- They're from Yokohama (No, srsly, you need to know where they came from; they love their hometown so much... it loves them back ♥) and know each other since they're in elementary school
- One time, Kitagawa was eating a yuzu sherbet...
- Started playing on the streets in 1996. Here are some videos of their street performances (If I'm not mistaken, these are all from their last month/year as street musicians, thus the large audience and the fact that they're recorded):
- Ame to Namida (SO GOOD!)
- Soramoyou (Personal favorite; very sad but still so beautiful)
- Gaito~Tokorode (Very fun performance, plus look at that energy! They didn't change. at. all. Bless ♥)
- Hajimari no Basho (Another fun song)
- Shooby Do Bop (One of their most popular early songs
and I can see why: it's so cute and fun to sing-along to; the audience joining in is just... ♥)
- Karappo (Another personal favorite
and yes, I'm really into sad songs)
- They played on the streets until 1998 when they have to stop because they're getting popular and their audience is getting too large for the streets to handle (and their company wants their lives to generate more ka-ching aaaand I'm kidding). Their last performance as street musicians gathered an audience of approximately 7000 people. Also, apparently, the weather that time is so bad so... wow.
- Released their debut single and one of their most popular songs, Natsuiro, in 1998
- Since then, all of their singles (incidentally except Natsuiro) peaked in Oricon's Top 10 Weekly Chart, only 5 didn't peak in the Top 5
- On the other hand, all of their full-length (except the first one, Yuzuikka), live, and compilation albums peaked in Oricon's Top 3 Weekly Chart
- Appeared on NHK's Kouhaku Uta Gassen for the first time in 2003
- NHK used Eikou no Kakehashi as their 2004 Athens Olympics coverage theme song, also making it one of their most popular songs ever because of its inspiring lyrics and melody.
- Three of their songs (REASON, Nagareboshi Kirari, Hyori Ittai) are used as ending songs to the 2011 TV anime adaptation and two 2013 anime films of HUNTER×HUNTER
- In 2013, their song Ame Nochi Hareruya is used as the theme song to NHK's Asadora Gochisousan
★ THE MEMBERS
2009! That's 12 years since their debut, 11 years since Natsuiro, and 5 years since Eikou no Kakehashi. I MEAN...
KITAGAWA YUJIN / 北川悠仁 (Leader)
...LMAO Ikr with the leader stuff? How...?
Nickname: Yujin, Jin
-san-chan | Birthday: January 14, 1977 | Blood Type: A
You might know him as: "The handsome one"(?)
jk he is *strokes monitor*, That guy with a painfully cute smile in Innocent Love
Distinguishing Features: Taller / The smile that could light up this whole town / Those lips / Ever-changing hairstyle / Lower voice in harmonies
Vocals, Guitar, Tambourine, Pianica, Kazoo, sometimes Drums, sometimes Piano (and more), MC-ing and srsly all the talking (He's kinda Yuzu's spokesperson lmao OOOOH MAYBE THAT'S PART OF BEING THE LEADER!), Dancing, Jumping, Screaming, Hogging the camera in concerts
IWASAWA KOJI / 岩沢厚治 (Sub-Leader)
Oh yes, the two-leader system in this two-man band is real.
Nickname: Gan-chan, Kou-chan | Birthday: October 14, 1976 | Type: O
You might know him as: Yuzu's "The Voice," The one who
can'tdoesn't talk a lot because the other won't shut up
Distinguishing Features: Shorter / Mole near right eye / Dem eyebrows / Never-changing hairstyle / Higher voice in harmonies
Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Banjo, Kazoo, Doing GLORIOUS reaction shots in concerts and stuffs, Laughing at the back, Writing incredibly random and vague (but also occasionally beautiful) songs
★ WHY AM I PIMPING THEM
- They're a pair of down-to-earth guys. Not saying they don't have the ~aura of stars~ or something like that, but they're so simple you can easily warm up to them.
- They can perform in domes and arenas with just the two of them and a pair of guitar and maybe a pianica or kazoo and harmonica (I mean, that's how they started after all) and still be freaking amazing
- They did, although there are parts they have dancers and an orchestra but the rest, just them and the mentioned instruments... and a toy car...?
- Almost all of their songs have only one songwriting and composing credit and that person is either Kitagawa or Iwasawa. They have collaboration with other artist once in a while, but aside from that, it's either one of them. (Fun fact: they rarely write together. I know, I'm shocked too.)
- They're more than just a folk band; they have a wide variety of songs in terms of genre. I mean, the folk songs outweigh everything else but if you're not into that, no worries, they also have a lot of non-folk stuffs.
- Iwasawa's voice. His usual high singing voice is probably one of the most distinctive things about Yuzu but his range is actually more than that; he can lower it as well and still sounds SO GOOD. Also, that voice is coming from a heavy smoker and drinker so...
- THEIR HARMONIZATION IS EARGASM TBH
- They have the simplest yet cutest and most fun-to-watch PVs ever, as well as some of the most visually stunning PVs out there. But, of course, there are also weird ones! /excuse to link the sort-of-WTF-fest that are Shish Kebab and Ichigo; actually both are fun PVs so srsly, check them out.
- Kitagawa is so, so pretty it hurts. Well, sometimes not lmao. But really, he is such an eye candy plus that smiLE JFC HIS SMILE (♥ω♥*)
- Iwasawa is soooo adorable (SQUISHY ♥) as well and he has this very cute laugh. Oh and he doesn't talk a lot but his reaction shots in concerts are some of the things to look forward to when watching one!
- Speaking of, their concerts are so much fun. I mentioned before how they can perform amazingly with just the two of them. But my goodness, they really know how to entertain people. The MCs
although sometimes only Kitagawa talks..., the sing-alongs and their general interaction with the audience even though it's just the two of them, the dance-able or "towel-able" songs, NATSUIRO, the obvious passion they have for their music and performing... Their experience as street musicians serves them well.
- They're two huge dorks.
- A video guide on everything you need to know about Natsuiro performances (It's 20-minute long but watch it. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.)
- MUSIC EDGE episode (pt. 2) where they played some games and literally ate shish kebab (and looked so silly and cute at doing it ♥)
- HAPPY MUSIC ep where they tried some yuzu stuffs. Literally yuzu, the fruit.
- 5LDK - some friends talked about the two, they talked about their previous band, and showed old pictures and they're all so glorious lmao
- Music video for their song Kyojo where Iwasawa just wanted to drink his coffee peacefully but keep being interrupted by, like, 7 Kitagawas lol
- Seriously. Look at them. ♥
- BUT ARE THEY OTP-MATERIAL? [Short answer]Nah... [Kinda long answer]Yes, they are. I gave in. I ship them now. Decide for yourself.
★ SONG RECS
The color thing kinda indicates the ~mood of the song, with this site used as some kind of guidance; I didn't follow some tho orz so feel free to suggest other colors / tell me what colors you think of when you heard the songs and if they're similar to what I put ^^ Anyway, because they're both 38 years old as of the time this is posted, here are 38 song recommendations / songs for starters:
█ Sumire That's the color because "Sumire"... GET ITTTT?
█ Hyori Ittai
█ LOVE & PEACH
█ Sayonara Bus
█ Yesterday and Tomorrow
█ Shish Kebab
█ Daiku no Ben-san
█ with you
█ Ao Oh look, another one! *hides*
█ Mamotte Agetai
█ Tobenai Tori
█ 3 Count
|█ Sugao no mama de|
█ Mousugu 30-sai
█ Hajimari no Basho
█ Umaku Ienai
█ Ki ni Naru Ki
█ Okamura-mura-mura Boogie Woogie
█ Getsuyoubi no Shuumatsu
[putting these here just in case anyone is still interested]Songs I removed from the recs after the update thing:
█ Kanata / █ Shinkirou / █ Kaisatsuguchi
You love and/or miss your hometown a lot? Listen to Mirai or GOING HOME. Love to go to the sauna after a stressful time at work? GO★GO!! Sauna! Want to confess to someone? Harukaze, Chikagai, Over, or Umaku Ienai can do. Does the kids in your town used to have the same haircut? Monte is the most-fitting song, ever. Feeling mad at the world, or empty or just, really, shitty? Go with Karappo, or Kamen Writer or Kinou no Ore wa Ore ni Arazu for something darker. Feeling horny or dirty? Ichigo or Ultra Lover Soul, baby. Miss someone you will never see again? Give Gasoline Stand or Aitai a listen. Want to thank someone for being there for you all the time? The perfect song is Ao. Want to be the one to motivate or inspire someone else? Itsuka, REASON, or Yorokobi no Uta, then. Can't get over your ex or miss someone you loved? Koi no Kayoubi for something retro, Sha-La-La for something cute, or Shinshin for something angst-y. Self-Actualization? New Beginnings? Try passionate songs like Kokoro no Mama ni or Inochi Hateru Made, or something mellow like Atarashii Asa. Are you almost 30 years old? Mousugu 30-sai probably tells your life perfectly. Need something to inspire you regarding this cold-hearted bitch called life? Eikou no Kakehashi is the one. Speaking of, they have a song called 1 and it's so awesome.
★ YUZU × PEOPLE YOU PROBABLY LOVE
× aiko - Natsuiro / Tomodachi no uta / Kabutomushi
× AKB48 - Irotoridori
× Fukuyama Masaharu - Ue o Muite Arukou
× Hyadain - Hyori ittai
× Ikimonogakari - Sayonara Bus, SAKURA, Harukaze
× Joe Hisaishi - Wonderful World
× JUJU - Mamotte Agetai / Kotoba ni dekinai
× Kanjani∞ - Natsuiro, T.W.L
× Katori Shingo (SMAP) - Sakuragi-chou / Eikou no Kakehashi
× Kimaguren as "Yuzuguren" - two you
× Kimaguren & Ikimonogakari - Natsuiro
× Koike Teppei (WaT) - Harukaze
× Matsushita Nao - with you
× Nankai Candies - Cherry Train (they have a short skit in the middle of the song)
× Neptune & Teraoka Yohito - Nipponjin wa ichou ga yowai
× Oda Kazumasa as "Yuzuoda" - Christmas no Yakusoku
× Sakurai Kazutoshi (Mr. Children) & Teraoka Yohito - Hoshi ni naretara (and more)
× Sandaime J Soul Brothers - Natsuiro, Hanabi
× SEKAI NO OWARI - Karappo / Itsuka
× SMAP - Natsuiro, Sayonara Bus, Itsuka, Tomodachi no Uta, Aitai / Niji, OLA!!
× Tegomass - Natsuiro
× TRICERATOPS as "the fevers" - Daiku no Ben-san
+ Kitagawa wrote a song for Kanjani∞ titled T.W.L (Yuzu released a self-cover of it that is included in their 4th Best-Of Album, YUZU YOU 2006-2011).
+ He also wrote a song called Ue o Muite Aruite Yukou for popular comedy trio, Neptune.
+ Iwasawa co-wrote Shikuramen's Manazashi (theme song to the drama Keiji no Manazashi).
+ Aside from Hyori ittai, Yuzu also wrote and composed REASON with popular composer, lyricist, and musician, Hyadain; he also arranged some of their recent songs like OLA!! (★ Out now! ★) and the single version of Yogiri no Isezaki-chou.
SOME OF YUZU'S FAMOUS FANS
- Miura Haruma - He's also in the PV of Umaku Ienai
- Ishihara Satomi - also appeared in the PV of Sakuragi-chou
- Koike Teppei (WaT)
- Yasuda Shota (Kanjani∞)
- Oshima Yuko (AKB48)
- Nishijima Takahiro (AAA)
- Ninomiya Kazunari (Arashi) - He apparently also covered A LOT of Yuzu's songs
- Some members of SEKAI NO OWARI
ARE YOU NOW A FAN or at least more interested about them? WELCOME TO THE FANDOM *HUGS* (OH AND JOIN yuzukko, a Yuzu LJ comm. Also follow loveyuzulove, a Yuzu appreciation tumblr :D) And if you're not...
Official Website, Youtube, Twitter | Wikipedia (JA, EN) | Generasia | YuzuBR (PT) | soapdoll (KO) | Baidu (ZH) | all those streaming sites ★ iTunes (JA) ★ Amazon (JA) ★ cdjapan
Even though I don't think she'll ever read this: Special thanks to whoever the awesome Yuzukko that used to run the now-defunct yuzujpoptranslations tumblr! ♥♥