Junko Sakurada

Junko Sakurada
桜田 淳子

Junko Sakurada, from the cover of her 1991 book Gift God Gave Me
Born (1958-04-14) April 14, 1958
Akita, Japan[1]
Occupation Singer and actress
Religion Unification Church
Children 3
Awards 5 wins, 2 nominations

Junko Sakurada (桜田 淳子 Sakurada Junko, born 1958) is a Japanese singer and actress. She was part of a music trio in 1973, which included Momoe Yamaguchi and Masako Mori. Sakurada then became successful in a solo music career, with 18 top ten singles in the 1970s. Her acting career ran from 1973 to 1993. She received multiple awards for her acting roles, including the Hochi Film Award, Award of the Japanese Academy, Kinema Junpo Award, and Mainichi Film Concours. Following her marriage, in a Blessing ceremony of the Unification Church in 1992, she retired from performing.


Sakurada was born in 1958.[2] She is a singer and actress.[3] In 1973, she was part of "a hit female trio", which also included musicians Momoe Yamaguchi and Masako Mori.[4] The music trio became popular as part of the television program Producing the Stars (Star Tanjō!); they were known as "The Trio of Third-Year Junior High School Students" ("Hana no Chu 3 Trio").[5] According to Japan Pop!: Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture, after this experience in a music group, she went off on her own to develop a solo music career, and became a megastar.[4] Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo Tokyo described Sakurada as a 1970s music idol, like Pink Lady and Linda Yamamoto.[6]

Throughout the 1970s she released a string of hit singles; nine top 5 singles, and in total eighteen top 10 singles of which Hajimete No Dekigoto (First Affair) sold best, grossing over 527,000 copies according to Oricon and peaking at number one.[7][8] After winning the 4th edition of the Star Tanjō! contest in 1972, with highest ever points and jury votes,[9] she released her first single in February 1973 called "Tenshi Mo Yume Miru" (The Dreams of an Angel) which was written by Yu Aku, and sold over 120,000 copies while peaking at number 12.[7] With the release of her third single, "Watashi No Aoi Tori" (My Bluebird), she won the prestigious Best Newcomer award the 15th edition of the Japan Record Award.[10] In the winter of 1973 following 1974 the single "Hana Monogatari" (Flower Fairy Tales) was her first top ten hit single, which sold over 237,000 copies.[7] She participated for the first time at the 25th edition of the Kōhaku Uta Gassen festival in 1974, with her hit single "Kiiroi Ribbon" (Yellow Ribbon).[11] She would perform for a total of 9 times at the festival.[12] In that same year she also performed in Finland.[13]

Following the success of her single "Hajimete No Dekigoto", the song "Hitori Aruki" (Walking Alone) (which was the theme song for her first ever movie production "Spoon Ippai No Shiawase" (Spoonful of Happiness) was released in March 1975 and peaked at number 4, grossing over 350,000 copies.[7] She was the best selling Japanese female musical artist of 1975, and 4th best selling of 1976.[9] In the summer of 1975 the single "Juushichi No Natsu" (Seventeen Summers) was released, and became her second best selling single; grossing over 404,000 copies and peaking at number 2 on the Oricon charts.[7] At the 17th edition of the Japan Record Awards "Juushichi No Natsu" won her the award for most popular artist voted by the public.[14] In the fall of the same year she was awarded at the 6th edition of the Japan Music Awards[15] for her single "Tenshi No Kuchibiru" (Lips of an Angel), which sold over 281,000 copies and peaked at number 4 on the charts.[7]

After scoring a string of hits in 1976 and 1977 (most notably "Natsu Ni Giyojin" (Beware of the Summer) which sold 360,000 copies, "Ki Ga Tsuite Yo" (I Noticed) which sold 286,000 copies and "Kimagure Venus" (Whimsical Venus) which sold 210,000 copies)[7] she was again awarded at the 20th edition of the Japan Record Awards for her single "Shiawase Shibai" (Pretending to be Happy) which sold over 366,000 copies and peaked at number 3 on the charts [7] (penned by Miyuki Nakajima) with a gold medal.[16] She would score her last top 10 hit single in the summer of 1978 with the disco inspired single "Lipstick", and would release her last single and album in 1983.

Several of her singles have also been featured on the Japanese music show "The Best Ten", which aired from 1978 up to 1989. These include "Shiawase Shibai" (peaking at no. 3), "Oi Kakete Yokohama" (peaking at no. 10), "Lipstick" (peaking at no. 8), "Hatachi Ni Nareba" (peaking at no. 11), "Fuyu Iro No Machi" (peaking at no. 20), and "Santa Monica No Kaze" (peaking at no. 17).[17]

Sakurada's acting career began in 1973 and lasted through 1993, with roles in 13 films and many television dramas. She received multiple awards for her acting roles, including the Hochi Film Award, Award of the Japanese Academy, Kinema Junpo Award, and Mainichi Film Concours.[18] [19] In 1991, her memoir, Gift God Gave Me, was published[20] and the media reported that she had become a "movie heartthrob".[21]

Sakurada is a member of the Unification Church founded by Sun Myung Moon in Seoul, South Korea in 1954.[3][22] According to The Washington Times, which is owned by the Unification Church affiliated News World Communications, Sakurada joined the church in 1977.[23]

In August 1992, Sakurada took part in a Blessing ceremony of the Unification Church in Seoul, South Korea along with 10,000 other couples representing 131 nations.[22][22][24] Her husband is a Japanese businessman who is also a Unification Church member and an official within the church.[25] Sakurada said to journalists that she felt "very happy" to have married a husband selected for her by Moon.[2]

According to The Australian, "Ms Sakurada disappeared from public life soon after the ceremony."[22] One of Sakurada's last roles as a star was in the television piece Don't Call Me Auntie (Obasan Nante Yobanai de) on NHK.[26] According to The Daily Yomiuri, "This was one of Junko Sakurada's last starring roles before she fell out of favor with the public. Since she took part in the Rev. Moon's Unification Church mass marriage in Seoul in August, it is said that her commercial contracts have evaporated."[26] In 1999 a church spokesperson said: "Ms Sakurada is living happily with her husband and three children. She does not want to talk to the press."[22][27]

In November 2006, she released a book titled Aisuru Jun Van Deta.[28]



Kōhaku Uta Gassen
Charted Singles
#TitleRelease Date/Chart Position
1Tenshi mo Yume Miru (天使も夢みる The Dreams of an Angel)
Debut single
1973-02-25 (#12)
2Tenshi no Hatsukoi (天使の初恋 The First Love of an Angel)1973-05-25 (#27)
3Watashi No Aoi Tori (わたしの青い鳥 My Blue Bird)
Covered by Morning Musume
1973-08-25 (#18)
4Hana Monogatari (花物語 Flower Stories)
First top ten hit
1973-11-10 (#9)
5San Shoku Sumire (三色すみれ Tricolor Violet)1974-03-05 (#10)
6Kiiroi Ribbon (黄色いリボン Yellow Ribbon)1974-05-25 (#10)
7Hana Uranai (花占い Prophetic Flower)1974-08-25 (#9)
8Hajimete no Dekigoto (はじめての出来事 First Affair)'1974-12-05 (#1)
9Hitori Aruki (ひとり歩き Walking Alone)
1975-03-05 (#4)
10Shiroi Kaze Yo (白い風よ White Wind)1975-05-10 (#9)
11Jyuushichi no Natsu (十七の夏 Seventeen Summers)
Covered by W
1975-06-05 (#2)
12Tenshi no Kuchibiru (天使のくちびる Lips of an Angel)1975-08-25 (#4)
13Yureteru Watashi (ゆれてる私 Sway Me)1975-11-25 (#5)
14Naka Naiwa (泣かないわ I Do Not Cry)1976-02-25 (#4)
15Natsu ni go Yōjin (夏にご用心 Beware of the Summer)1976-05-25 (#2)
16Ki ga Tsuite yo (気がついてよ I Noticed)
1976-08-25 (#2)
17Mō Ichido Dakefuri Muite (もう一度だけふり向いて Go Back, Just Once More)1976-12-05 (#11)
18Anata no Subete (あなたのすべて All of You)
1977-02-25 (#6)
19Kimagure Venus (気まぐれヴィーナス Whimsical Venus)1977-05-15 (#7)
20Mou Modorenai (もう戻れない Cannot Go Back Anymore)1977-09-05 (#8)
21Shiawase Shibai (しあわせ芝居 Happy Drama)1977-11-05 (#3)
22Oikakete Yokohama (追いかけてヨコハマ Chasing Yokohama)1978-02-25 (#11)
23Lipstick (リップスティック)1978-06-05 (#10)
24Hatachi ni Nareba (20才になれば When You Reach The Age Of 20)1978-09-05 (#14)
25Fuyu Iro no Machi (冬色の街 Winter-Coloured Town)1978-12-25 (#29)
26Santa Monica no Kaze (サンタモニカの風 The Winds of Santa Monica)1979-02-25 (#24)
27MISS KISS (-)1979-05-25 (#25)
28Party is Over (パーティー・イズ・オーバー)1979-08-25 (#51)
29LADY (-)1979-11-25 (#51)
30Utsukushii Natsu (美しい夏 Beautiful Summer)1980-04-21 (#44)
31Yuugure wa Love Song (夕暮れはラブ・ソング Twilight Love Song)1980-07-21 (#65)
32Kōbe de Aetara (神戸で逢えたら When we Met in Kobe)1980-10-21 (#85)
33Keshō (化粧 Make-Up)1981-01-01 (#42)
34Misty (ミスティー)1981-06-05 (#53)
Studio albums
#TitleRelease Date
1Soyokaze No Tenshi (そよ風の天使 Angel Breeze)
Debut album
2Watashi No Aoi Tori (わたしの青い鳥 My Blue Bird)1973-09-25
3Junko To Hana Monogatari (淳子と花物語 Junko's Flower Fairytales)1974-01-10
4San Shoku Sumire (三色すみれ Tricolor Violet)1973-03-25
5Jurokusai No Kanjou (16才の感情 Feelings Of A Sixteen Year Old)
6Spoon Ippai No Shiawase (スプーン一杯の幸せ Spoonful Of Happiness)1975-03-25
7Watashi No Sugao (わたしの素顔 My True Face)1975-07-05
8Seishun Zenki (青春前期 Early Youth)'1976-04-05
9Atsui Kokoro No Shoutaijou (熱い心の招待状 Warm Hearts Invitation)
10Love (ラブ)
11Shiawase Shibai (しあわせ芝居 Pretending To Be Happy)1977-12-05
12Stained Glass (ステンドグラス)1978-04-25
13Hatachi Ni Nareba (20才になれば When You Reach The Age Of 20)
14Ai No Romance (愛のロマンス Love Romance)1979-03-05
15Ichimai No He (一枚の絵 Unfinished Painting)
16Party Is Over (パーティー・イズ・オーバー)1979-09-05
17Anata Kamo Shirenai (あなたかもしれない You Could Be)1981-03-05
18My Dear (-)1981-11-05
19Naturally (ナチュラリー)1983-09-23
Live Albums
#TitleRelease Date
1Jurokusai No Recital (16才のリサイタル Recital Of A Sixteen Year Old)
2Viva Seventeen (ビバ・セブンティーン)1975-12-21
3Seishun Zanka - Recital 3 (青春讃歌〜リサイタル3 Youth Anthem - 3d Recital)1976-12-21
4Junko Recital 4 (淳子リサイタル4 Junko's 4th Recital)1977-12-21
5Junko Recital 5 (淳子リサイタル5 Junko's 5th Recital)
6Junko Super Live (淳子スーパーライブ)1979-12-21
7Shishousetsu (私小説 Romantic)1980-12-21
Greatest Hits Releases
#TitleRelease Date
1Grand Deluxe (グランド・デラックス)
2Best Collection '75 (ベストコレクション'75)1974-12-05
3Super Deluxe (スーパー・デラックス)1975-08-05
4Best Collection '76 (ベストコレクション'76)1975-11-20
5Best Hit Album (ベスト・ヒット・アルバム)
6Junko (淳子)1977-06-25
7Best Hit Album (ベスト・ヒット・アルバム)1978-06-25
8Shiawase Shibai/Watashi No Aoi Tori (しあわせ芝居/わたしの青い鳥)'1979-07-01
9Best Album - My Road (ベストアルバム My Road)
10COLEZO! Junko Sakurada - Best (COLEZO! 桜田淳子ベスト)
11COLEZO! TWIN Junko Sakurada (COLEZO! TWIN 桜田淳子)2005-12-16
12GOLDEN BEST Junko Sakurada (GOLDEN☆BEST 桜田淳子)2007-07-25
13GOLDEN BEST - Complete Single Collection (GOLDEN☆BEST コンプリート・シングル・コレクション)



Awards and nominations

Year Award Work Category Result
1987 Hochi Film Award Itazu - Kuma Best Supporting Actress Won[18][29]
1988 Award of the Japanese Academy Itazu - Kuma Best Supporting Actress Nominated[29]
Kinema Junpo Award Itazu - Kuma Best Supporting Actress Won[29]
1990 Award of the Japanese Academy Hana no furu gogo Best Supporting Actress Nominated[29]
1993 Hochi Film Award Ohikkoshi Best Supporting Actress Won[29][30]
1994 Kinema Junpo Award Ohikkoshi Best Supporting Actress Won[29]
Mainichi Film Concours Ohikkoshi Best Supporting Actress Won[29]

See also


  1. Sekine, Hiroshi (1995). Cinderellas: the selected poetry of Sekine Hiroshi. Yakusha. p. 243. ISBN 1-880276-55-0.
  2. 1 2 Agence France-Presse (August 26, 1992). "60,000 Married By Rev. Moon". Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago Sun-Times, Inc. p. 14.
  3. 1 2 West, Mark D. (2007). Secrets, Sex, and Spectacle: The Rules of Scandal in Japan and the United States. University Of Chicago Press. pp. 169, 188. ISBN 0-226-89408-8.
  4. 1 2 Craig, Timothy J. (2000). Japan Pop!: Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture. M.E. Sharpe. p. 317. ISBN 0-7656-0561-9.
  5. Mainichi Daily News staff (February 7, 1999). "Bands must dance to producers' beat". Mainichi Daily News.
  6. Machiyama, Tomohiro (2004). Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo Tokyo. Stone Bridge Press. p. 59. ISBN 1-880656-88-4.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Junko Sakurada Single Sales" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  8. Oricon No. 1 Hits 1968-1985 Vol. 1. クラブハウス. 1998. ISBN 4906496121. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  9. 1 2 Koike, Shoin (1997). Star Tanjou & The Golden 70's. 夢を食った男たち. ISBN 4883157628.
  10. "Official TBS website with list of Best Newcomer Awards" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  11. Billboard Magazine on 25th edition of Kohaku Uta Gassen. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  12. "List of Idol singers appearing on Kohaku Uta Gassen" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  13. Junko Sakurada in Finland. Retrieved 2016. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  14. "Details of the 17th edition of the Japan Record Awards" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  15. "List of winning performances at the 6th edition of the Japan Music Awards" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  16. "Details of the 20th edition of the Japan Record Awards" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  17. Yamada, Osamuji (2008). The Best Ten. ソニー・マガジンズ. ISBN 4789733726.
  18. 1 2 "Taxing VS Best Picture The Emperor's Naked stormy discussion over" (in Japanese [translated]). Cinem@Hochi. 28 December 1987. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
  19. Quandt, James (2001). Kon Ichikawa. Indiana University Press. p. 436. ISBN 0-9682969-3-9.
  20. Gift God Gave Me, Amazon.com
  21. Reid, T.R. (November 7, 1991). "Japan offers Bush understanding - Cancellation of Presidential visit is a rerun but still big news". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. p. A44.
  22. 1 2 3 4 5 Stokes, Alan (February 8, 1999). "One missing from Moonstruck mass". The Australian. New South Wales, Australia: News Limited.
  23. Breen, Michael (August 26, 1992). "Strangers of the morning shout 'I do' 60,000 times". The Washington Times. News World Communications. p. A1.
  24. The Daily Yomiuri staff (March 6, 1993). "Unification Church Questioned; For Controversial Religious Sales". The Daily Yomiuri. p. 2.
  25. Rafferty, Kevin (August 21, 1992). "Moon shines for Seoul mates in mass unification". The Guardian. Guardian Newspapers Limited. p. 8.
  26. 1 2 "Televiews by Wm. Penn". The Daily Yomiuri. October 10, 1992. p. 18.
  27. Osedo, Hiroshi (February 6, 1999). "Moonies plan mass wedding". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane, Australia: Nationwide News Pty Limited. p. 026.
  28. Details on the 2006 published book by Junko Sakurada. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
  29. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Internet Movie Database staff (2009). "Awards for Junko Sakurada". Internet Movie Database. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 2009-12-13.
  30. "Double joy of pregnancy is recognized in the midst of the turmoil Junko Sakurada" (in Japanese). Cinem@Hoshi. 27 December 2003. Retrieved 13 December 2009.

External links

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