b. Yumi Arai, 29 January 1954, Tokyo, Japan. As the daughter of a rich draper who could afford to give her private lessons in music, Yumi developed into a female singer-songwriter, debuting in 1972 with ‘Henji Wa Iranai’ (‘I Don’t Want Any Reply’). Her fifth single, ‘Anohi Ni Kaeritai’ (‘I Want To Go Back To That Day’), topped the Japan singles chart in 1975, after she married, taking the name Mattôya. The sense of airy urbanity that has characterized her lyrics and music, as well as the way they were performed, contributed towards turning what had usually been called ‘folk’ - a derivation of the kind of music earlier developed by Bob Dylan - into ‘new music’, a field that would later overwhelm kayôkyoku, formerly the most common style of popular song in Japan. The eclectic music of Mattôya, who is fondly called Yûmin, has been especially popular among female listeners.
Share this page