Kaori Kawamura

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Kaori Kawamura
Kaori Kawamura.png
Kaori Kawamura promoting her final original album K in 2009.
Japanese name
Kanji 川村カオリ
Russian name
Russian Каори Кавамура
Romanization Kaori Kavamura

Kaori Kawamura (川村 カオリ, Kawamura Kaori) (January 23, 1971 – July 28, 2009) was a rock and pop singer in Japan, born in Moscow, Soviet Union.

Family background[edit]

Her father was a Japanese expatriate in the Soviet Union, working at a trading company in Moscow,[citation needed] while her mother was a Russian.[1] The family moved to Japan when she was 11 years old, where she was subjected to repeated bullying. Bullied in elementary school and middle school, she attempted to commit suicide on multiple occasions. One time, when she was an elementary school girl, she broke both arm bones by herself, with the intention of skipping school.[2] She used this as a stepping stone to enter the music industry.[3]


She released her first single, "Zoo", at the age of 17 in 1988. She then made her debut with the album "Zoo" in 1988. In 1990 she had a hit with "Kamisama ga Oritekuru Yoru" and the following year with the often-covered "Tsubasa wo Kudasai." That year she made the first of several movie appearances in "Tokyo Kyujitsu." From the mid-1990s, she split her time between New York and Japan, and got involved in the club scene in the late 90s. She and guitarist Motoaki married in 1999 and had a daughter in 2001, but were soon separated.

Illness and death[edit]

In 2004, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and became a spokeswoman for cancer activism. She died from the disease in Tokyo in 2009, aged 38.

An Orthodox Christian, her panikhída (memorial service) was held on July 30, and her funeral the next day at the Japanese Orthodox Church's Holy Resurrection Cathedral. Her Christian name was Anastasia.[4] She and Motoaki divorced in 2007. In October 2008, she wrote on her blog that the cancer had returned and spread to her bones and lungs. Though - or perhaps because - she knew her time was limited, she had a busy schedule this year, performing concerts, publishing a book and releasing "K," her first original album in 13 years.[3]


  • Zoo (1988)
  • Campfire (1989)
  • Hippies (1990)
  • Church (1991)
  • Weed (1992)
  • Beata (1995)
  • Banbita (1996)
  • Kaori Kawamura Best Collection (2008)
  • K (2009)
  • Message: Last Live 2009.05.05 (2010)


External links[edit]