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|Birth name||Akiko Hashimoto|
|Born||August 29, 1950|
|Genres||Enka, Kayōkyoku, jazz|
Aki Yashiro (八代亜紀 Yashiro Aki?), real name Akiyo Masuda (増田明代 Masuda Akiyo) (born Akiyo Hashimoto (橋本明代 Hashimoto Akiyo)) on August 29, 1950 in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan), is a Japanese enka singer and painter. Her stage name "Yashiro" is adopted from her hometown, "Yatsushiro" (八代).
Yashiro originally sang jazz standards in hostess clubs, but made her debut as an enka singer in 1971, with the single "Ai wa Shindemo (愛は死んでも)", under the label of Teichiku Records. Seeing the single's lack of success, she appeared on the YTV's Zen Nihon Kayō Senshuken (全日本歌謡選手権) audition, winning it for 10 consecutive weeks. In 1973, her single and album "Namida Koi" (なみだ恋) sold up to 1.2 million copies. Since then, her songs like "Shinobigoi" (しのび恋), "Ai Hitosuji" (愛ひとすじ), "Onna no Yume" (おんなの夢), "Mō Ichidō Aitai" (もう一度逢いたい), "Onna Minatomachi" (おんな港町), and "Ai no Shūchakueki" (愛の終着駅) also became great hits at the time, in which the songs portrayed a woman's emotion. In 1979, her single "Funauta" (舟唄) also made a great hit, followed by "Ame no Bojō (雨の慕情)" in 1980. "Ame no Bojō" won the 22nd Japan Record Award of the year. She continued collaborating with Teichiku until 1981, before turning to Century Records, where she released singles like "Umineko" (海猫), "Nihonkai" (日本海), and "Koisegawa" (恋瀬川), until 1986. Currently, she is recording under the Nippon Columbia label since 1986.
Yashiro was the first female enka singer to have seven top 10 singles on the main Oricon chart, as well as being listed as the fourth enka singer behind male singers Kiyoshi Hikawa, Hiroshi Itsuki and Shinichi Mori. She also achieved top 10 on the Oricon album charts for three consecutive years (1974–1976).
Appearances at Kōhaku Uta Gassen
Yashiro has performed 23 times in the Kōhaku Uta Gassen. She performed consecutively for 15 years (1973–1987), with a total of 38 shows and made her debut performance at the 24th Kōhaku (1973). She lost the qualification in 1988, but then was qualified again in 1989. Then, she performed for the next consecutive 5 years (until 1993). She lost the qualification again in 1994, and won again in 1999. She last performed in 2001, before she lost in 2002. She also refused to perform in 2005 with the popularity poll "Sukiuta" (スキウタ).
She has 3 singles which have been sung more than once, which are "Namida Koi" (2 times (in 1973 & 2000)), "Mō Ichidō Aitai" (2 times (1976 & 1993)), and "Funauta" (3 times (1979, 1991, and 1999)).
- 八代亜紀 氏 (PDF). Kumamoto Prefecture Web Site (in Japanese). 2 March 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- プロフィール. 八代亜紀 Official Website (in Japanese). 式会社ミリオン企画. 28 December 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- バイオグラフィー 昭和46年～. 八代亜紀 Official Website (in Japanese). 式会社ミリオン企画. 28 December 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- 第６部・演歌巡礼＜１＞八代亜紀 浪曲が子守歌だった (in Japanese). Nishinippon Shimbun. 12 December 2006. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
- "ようこそ 八代亜紀さん "私の絵の世界"". NHK和歌山放送局. NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). 4 April 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2013.