Insomnia (Chihiro Onitsuka album)

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Studio album by Chihiro Onitsuka
Released March 7, 2001
Recorded March 2000 - January 2001, at the Melody Star Studio, Landmark Studio, Bunkamura Studio, Artworks Mouri Studio, Toshiba EMI Studio TERRA C, Toshiba EMI Studio No.3
Genre J-pop, piano rock
Length 53:57
Label Toshiba EMI/Virgin Tokyo
Producer Takefumi Haketa
Nozomu Tsuchiya
Chihiro Onitsuka chronology
This Armor
Singles from Insomnia
  1. "Gekkō"
    Released: August 9, 2000
  2. "Cage"
    Released: November 8, 2000
  3. "Memai"/"Edge"
    Released: February 9, 2001

Insomnia (インソムニア Insomunia?) is the debut album by Japanese singer-songwriter Chihiro Onitsuka, released in March 2001. The album features acoustic-oriented production arranged by Takefumi Haketa, who produced all her studio albums released under the Virgin Tokyo label distributed by Toshiba EMI. It comprises 11 tracks written by Onitsuka, including hit singles "Cage", "Edge","Memai", and her most well-known and successful song "Gekkō."

The lead-off track "Gekkō" was initially used as a theme song for Trick starring Yukie Nakama and Hiroshi Abe, a television drama series aired on Asahi TV in 2000. It was released as a single in August 2000 and became smash hit. At the end of the album, different rendition of the song was included.

While "Gekkō" remained on the chart, "Cage" and "Memai" were released as the singles subsequently. The lyrics of the latter was acclaimed, winning the 43rd Japan Record Awards for "Best Lyrics" in December 2001. It became the first top-ten hit single for her, peaking at the number-six on the charts.

Before Onitsuka gained popularity through "Gekkō," she had already released a single "Shine" arranged and produced by Nozomu Tsuchiya. A song was newly recorded for the Insomnia album. Album version arranged by Haketa features stiff sound of piano he plays. Likewise, a song originally released as a B-Side for her debut single called "Back Door" was also re-recorded.

"Rasen" (a song whose working title was "My Fragile Life") was featured on the 2002 motion picture Wasabi directed by Luc Besson and starred by Ryōko Hirosue.

Music videos of 7 tracks included on the album were produced; "Gekkō" (both single and album versions), "Cage," "Memai," "Edge," "We Can Go," and studio live take of "Shine." All of them has been available on DVD entitled Me and My Devil issued in April 2001.

Commercial success[edit]

Insomnia has been the most successful album for Chihiro Onitsuka. The album debuted at the number-one on the Oricon chart, with the sales in excess of 440,000 copies. It made her then-second youngest female chart-topper on the Oricon who followed Hikaru Utada, who had already reached the number-one spot with her debut album First Love at the age of 16 in 1999. Onitsuka retained the record for over 3 years, until overtaken by Under My Skin album by Avril Lavigne in May 2004.

It sold over a million copies in the first month and a further 345,000 in following 20 months. It has been certified was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan, for shipments of over 1,200,000 units.[1]

In March 2002, Insomnia won the 16th Japan Gold Disc Awards for "Best-Selling Rock Albums of the Year".

Track listing[edit]

All songs composed by Chihiro Onitsuka, except "Edge" "Call" and "Memai" co-written by Takefumi Haketa [2]

No. Title Arranger(s) Length
1. "Gekkō (月光?, "Moonlight")"   Takefumi Haketa 5:02
2. "Innocence"   Haketa 5:20
3. "Back Door" (Album version) Haketa, Nozomu Tsuchiya 5:08
4. "Edge"   Haketa 4:32
5. "We Can Go"   Haketa 4:48
6. "Call"   Haketa 5:19
7. "Shine" (Album version) Haketa, Tsuchiya 4:57
8. "Cage"   Haketa, Tsuchiya 4:33
9. "Rasen (螺旋?, "Spiral")"   Haketa 4:06
10. "Memai (眩暈?, "Dizziness")"   Haketa 5:08
11. "Gekkō" (Album version) Haketa 5:08


  • Chihiro Onitsuka - Lead and backing vocals
  • Takefumi Haketa - Acoustic piano, organ, acoustic guitar, loop, sampling, drum programming, computer programming, pad, backing vocals
  • Takashi Nishiumi - Acoustic guitar, electric guitar, dobro guitar, backing vocals
  • Nozomu Tsuchiya - Synthesizer programming
  • Hitoshi Watanabe - Electric bass
  • Tasuku - Electric guitar
  • Gen Tamura - Pedal steel
  • Hitoshi Kusunoki - Drums
  • Yasuo Sano - Drums
  • Hideki Ataka - Drum programming
  • Toshiko Ezaki - backing vocals
  • Naoto Takahashi - Violin
  • Kiyo Kido - Violin
  • Takahiro Enokido - Viola
  • Kazuki Kashiwagi - Cello
  • Ikuo Kakehashi - Ethnic congas, tambourine, shaker, tree bells, harmony ball, Chinese bell, blossom bell, snare, triangle, bodhran

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalog number
Japan March 7, 2001 Toshiba-EMI/Virgin Tokyo CD TOCT-24560
March 11, 2009 EMI Music Japan SHM-CD TOCT-95058


Japan Record Awards
Year Title Category
2001 (43rd) "Memai"[3] Best Lyrics
Japan Gold Disc Award
Year Album Category
2001 (16th) Insomnia[4] Best-Selling Rock Albums of the Year


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Japan (RIAJ)[1] Million 1,345,000[5]

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


Preceded by
Da Best of Da Pump by Da Pump
Japanese Oricon Weekly Chart number-one album
March 13 - March 19, 2001
Succeeded by
Clicked Singles Best 13 by L'Arc-en-Ciel