Oku in 2019
|Birth name||奥華子 Oku Hanako|
|Born||March 20, 1978|
|Origin||Funabashi, Chiba, Japan|
|Years active||2004–present (solo)|
Hanako Oku (奥 華子, Oku Hanako, born March 20, 1978 in Funabashi, Chiba, Japan) is a pop singer famous in her native Japan for her piano ballads. She rose to fame after performing the end-title track for the Madhouse film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time in 2006. She was signed to a major record label the preceding year.
Oku's musical training began at age 5 with piano lessons, but by age 9 she was also learning the trumpet and was a member of her school's brass band.
In 2004, Oku began to perform on the streets of Tokyo, mainly in Shibuya ward, but once sold 402 CDs in four hours outside Kashiwa railway station. Later that same year she released her first mainstream single Fireworks and performed her debut one-woman show to an audience of 135. Approached by Chiba TV, she made an appearance on the show Chiba Fighting Spirit.
Over the next year she toured western Japan and self-produced two more CD singles before releasing an album in April 2005. Soon afterwards she was signed up by record company Pony Canyon.
In April 2006, the animated film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was released, with the theme songs "Garnet" and "Kawaranai Mono" sung by Oku.
Come spring 2007, Oku performed to a sell-out crowd at Shibuya C.C. Lemon Hall, and with the release of her album Time Note, she once again performed sold-out concerts there over three nights in July 2007.
Oku still occasionally busked in Tokyo railway stations in 2007, drawing a crowd, and selling her CDs there.
Since June 2005, Hanako Oku has hosted her KameKameHouse radio show on bayfm78 every Sunday night from 22:30 to 23:00. At the end of 2009, the show was renamed Lagan de Talk!. In 2010, Oku began hosting a new radio show E-Tracks Selection once a fortnight on FM OSAKA. Starting January 12, the show airs from 21:00 to 21:30.
An animated music clip of the album version of Oku's song "Kimi no Egao" was released, through Pony Canyon's official YouTube channel, on May 7, 2017. Directed by Takuya Satō and titled Your Light: Kase-san and Morning Glories, the video is an adaptation of Hiromi Takashima's yuri manga Asagao to Kase-san. The album version of the song comes from Oku's sixth album, titled Good-Bye, released in 2012.
|April 20, 2005||Vol. Best (Indies Best)|
|March 1, 2006||Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho (やさしい花の咲く場所) "The Place Where the Gentle Flowers Bloom"|
|March 21, 2007||Time Note|
|March 5, 2008||Koi Tegami (恋手紙) "Love Letter"|
|July 15, 2009||Birthday|
|August 18, 2010||Utakata (うたかた) "Bubble"|
|February 22, 2012||Good-Bye|
|March 19, 2014||Kimi to Boku no Michi (君と僕の道) "Our Road"|
|October 28, 2015||PRISM (プリスム)|
|May 17, 2017||Haruka Tōku ni Mieteita Kyō (遥か遠くに見えていた今日) "Today it was far away"|
|August 26, 2004||Hanabi (花火) "Fireworks"||Independently released single|
|July 27, 2005||Yasashii Hana (やさしい花) "Gentle Flowers"|
|January 18, 2006||Mahou no Hito (魔法の人) "Magic Person"|
|February 15, 2006||Koi Tsubomi (恋つぼみ) "Love Bud"|
|July 12, 2006||Garnet (ガーネット) "Garnet"||End-title track for the Madhouse film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time|
|November 29, 2006||Chiisa na Hoshi (小さな星) "Little Star"|
|January 23, 2008||Tegami (手紙) "Letter"|
|July 23, 2008||Ashita Saku Hana (明日咲く花) "The Flower that Blooms Tomorrow"||Theme song to NHK's Sekai isshuu! Chikyuu ni fureru. Eko dai kikou (世界一周! 地球に触れる・エコ大紀行) "Around the World! Touch the Earth Eco-Travelogue"|
|November 19, 2008||Anata ni suki to iware tai (あなたに好きと言われたい) "I Want To Say 'I Love You'"|
|June 3, 2009||Waratte Waratte (笑って笑って) "Smiling and Laughing"|
|August 7, 2009||Hanabi (花火) "Fireworks"||Re-mastered and re-released|
|March 17, 2010||Hatsukoi (初恋) "First Love"|
|August 5, 2010||Garasu No Hana (ガラスの花) "Glass Flower"||Used as the theme song for the video game Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X.|
|January 11, 2012||Cinderella (シンデレラ) "Cinderella"|
|January 22, 2014||Fuyu Hanabi (冬花火) "Winter Fireworks"|
|March 18, 2015||Kimi ga Kureta Natsu (君がくれた夏) "Summer You Gave Me"|
|September 21, 2016||Omoide ni Nare / Ai to iu takaramono (思い出になれ/愛という宝物) – "Become a memory / Treasured love"|
|February 22, 2017||Kimi no Hana / Saigo no Kiss (君の花 / 最後のキス) "Your flower / Last Kiss"|
|July 18, 2007||Hanako Oku: 2007 Spring Concert: Time Note at Shibuya C.C. Lemon Hall|
|March 18, 2009||Hanako Oku Live Tour 08: Hajimete Band de Utaimasu!|
|March 18, 2009||Hanako Oku Live Tour 08: Mochiron Hitori de Hikigatari!|
|March 20, 2013||Band Live Tour '11 "Cinderella"/ CONCERT TOUR'12 Hikikatari – 5th Letter -|
|March 16, 2016||Oku Hanako 10th Anniversary Special Concert 2015|
|March 16, 2016||Oku Hanako 10th Anniversary Special Concert 2015|
- Oku, Hanako; Pony Canyon staff. "Biography" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 11, 2015. Retrieved March 19, 2009.
- Lau, Stephen (June 11, 2007). "hanako oku". That's Whacked. Archived from the original on October 25, 2008. Retrieved March 19, 2009.
- Oku, Hanako; bayfm78 staff. "KameKameHouse Blog" (in Japanese). Retrieved March 19, 2009.
- Oku, Hanako (December 30, 2009). "Thank you 2009!". Hanako Oku's Personal Blog (in Japanese). Retrieved January 10, 2010.
- Oku, Hanako (January 7, 2010). "CM to the mast!". Hanako Oku's Personal Blog (in Japanese). Retrieved January 10, 2010.
- Friedman, Erika (May 8, 2017). "Yuri Animation: Asagao to Kase-san Clip on Youtube". Okazu. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
- "Asagao Anime Official Website: Staff". Retrieved May 14, 2017.
- "Kase-san and Morning Glories' Full 5-Minute Anime Clip Streamed". Anime News Network. May 8, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
- Oku, Hanako (May 4, 2009). "Birthday". Hanako Oku's Personal Blog (in Japanese). Retrieved May 7, 2009.
- Oku, Hanako (May 16, 2012). "Album title!". Hanako Oku's Personal Blog (in Japanese). Retrieved February 21, 2012.
- Oku, Hanako. "7th album 'Kimi to Boku no Michi' will be released!". Hanako Oku's Personal Blog (in Japanese). Retrieved April 29, 2014.
- Oku, Hanako (December 26, 2009). "Merry Christmas?!". Hanako Oku's Personal Blog (in Japanese). Retrieved February 16, 2010.
10th single First Love is sale schedule on 2010 March 17th!
- Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain: 316. April 22, 2010. Missing or empty
- Hanako Oku's official website (In Japanese)
- Hanako Oku's profile on Pony Canyon's website (In Japanese)
- Hanako Oku's personal blog (24 February 2010 to present) (In Japanese)
- Hanako Oku's personal blog (21 January 2008 to 24 February 2010) (In Japanese)
- Hanako Oku's personal blog (4 October 2004 to 22 January 2008) (In Japanese)
- KameKameHouse radio show blog (In Japanese)
- Your Light ～Kase-san and Morning Glories～ on Pony Canyon's YouTube channel