Mariya Takeuchi

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Mariya Takeuchi
竹内 まりや
Born (1955-03-20) March 20, 1955 (age 63)
Taisha, Shimane, Japan
Occupation(s)Singer, composer and lyricist
InstrumentsVocals, piano, guitars
Years active1978–present
LabelsRCA (1978-1982)
Alfa Moon (1984-1987)
Moon / MMG (1987-1993)
Moon / East West Japan (1994-1997)
Moon / Warner Music Japan (1998-present)
Associated actsTatsuro Yamashita

Mariya Takeuchi (竹内 まりや, Takeuchi Mariya, born March 20, 1955) is a Japanese singer and songwriter. She is from Taisha, Shimane, now the city of Izumo. She has had a successful career in Japanese pop music spanning decades, having sold over 16 million records in Japan. Her early work during the late 1970s to 1980s is largely associated with the Japanese city pop genre, along with that of her husband and collaborator Tatsuro Yamashita. Outside of Japan, she is best known for the 1984 song "Plastic Love".[1]

Early life[edit]

Takeuchi was born in Taisha city in the Hikawa district of Shimane Prefecture. She spent a year studying in the United States while she was in high school. Her musical career started in 1978 while she was studying at Keio University, with the release of her single "Modotte-Oide, Watashi no Jikan" (Please come back, my time) and the album Beginning. The 1979 single "September" and the 1980 single "Fushigi na Piichi Pai" (Mysterious Peach Pie) were both hits. Takeuchi has had at least one song appear on the NHK program Minna no Uta.


In 1978, while studying at Keio University, Takeuchi started her career with a single "Modotte-Oide, Watashi no Jikan". From the late 1970s to the early 1980s, she recorded five albums and several singles, including the top-ten hit "Fushigi na Peach Pie". Those recordings featured dozens of prominent Japanese and North American songwriters, instrumentalists and producers, including David Foster, Jim Keltner, Jay Graydon, Steve Lukather, Jeff Porcaro, David Hungate, Kazuhiko Kato, Kunihiko Kase, Shigeru Suzuki, Takashi Matsumoto and her future partner and husband, Tatsuro Yamashita.[2] One of her songs from the 1980 album Miss M, "Heart to Heart" (co-written by Roger Nichols), was given English lyrics and a new title, "Now." It was recorded by The Carpenters, released in 1983, and was the last recording by the late Karen Carpenter.

In 1982, Takeuchi married singer-songwriter Tatsuro Yamashita, and stopped her career temporarily after becoming pregnant. [3] But upon returning to the Japanese music industry in 1984, she has accomplished huge commercial success. Since her return, she has recorded seven successful studio albums that mainly consist of her self-written songs, and all of them have reached #1 on the Japanese Oricon chart.[4] As a singer-songwriter, she has produced eight top-ten hit singles on the Oricon chart, including "Single Again", "Kokuhaku", "Junai Rhapsody", "Konya wa Hearty Party" and her only #1 hit "Camouflage".[5]

In addition to her work as a performer, she has also written songs and lyrics for other singers, including Yukiko Okada, Hiroko Yakushimaru, Hiromi Iwasaki, Masahiko Kondo, Masayuki Suzuki and Tackey & Tsubasa.[6] Several of these songs scored top-ten on the Oricon, such as "Kenka o Yamete" and "Invitation" performed by Naoko Kawai, "Iro (White Blend)" performed by Miho Nakayama and "Maji de Koi Suru 5 Byoumae" by Ryōko Hirosue. Takeuchi has often re-recorded those songs for her own album. "Eki", a song originally written for the album by Akina Nakamori, became known by the composer's recorded version. "Genki o Dashite", a song first recorded by Hiroko Yakushimaru, is recognized as one of Takeuchi's notable compositions, despite not being released as a single. The song was later covered by Hitomi Shimatani in 2003, and became a moderate hit.

Up to September 2014, Takeuchi had released 12 studio albums, 42 singles, several compilations and a live album which was recorded in 2000. Her total sales have been estimated at more than 16 million units by 2009. Her 1994 compilation, Impressions, sold more than 3 million copies in Japan alone, and became her best-selling album.[4]


In the 1980s, she had never considered releasing her music in the Western world. She stated in a 2018 interview, "Considering that it was mostly performed in Japanese, we figured it would be impossible to go abroad."[1]

Outside of Japan, she is best known for the city pop song "Plastic Love" from her number-one album Variety (1984). The song went viral after it was uploaded to YouTube during the mid-late 2010s.[7][8] Popularized overseas via the vaporwave and future funk scenes, the song has received more than 22 million views on YouTube as of November 2018.[1] It has received critical acclaim, with Noisey calling it "the best pop song in the world"[9] and Gorillaz calling it "a wonder woman slab of Japanese funk".[10] K-pop singer Yubin's "City Love" is based on the song.[11] The Black Madonna closed a Resident Advisor November 2017 mix with a rendition of the song. "Plastic Love" has also inspired numerous fan art and videos.[1]

Personal life[edit]

She married fellow musician Tatsuro Yamashita in April 1982;[12] they have one daughter.


  • Charts - Oricon (Japan)


Year Title Label JP Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1978 Beginning
  • Released: 25 November 1978
RCA 17
1979 University Street
  • Released: 21 May 1979
1980 Love Songs
  • Released: 5 March 1980
Miss M
  • Released: 5 December 1980
1981 Portrait
  • Released: 21 October 1981
1982 Viva Mariya!! (compilation)
  • Released: 5 June 1982
1984 Variety
  • Released: 25 April 1984
Moon Records (Warner Music Japan) 1
1987 Request
  • Released: 12 August 1987
1 110,000
1989 Quiet Life
  • Released: 22 October 1992
1 1,115,000
1994 Impressions (compilation)
  • Released: 25 July 1994
1 3,050,000
1997 Morning Glory (compilation)
  • Released 4 June 1997
2000 Souvenir: Mariya Takeuchi Live (live album)
  • Label: 22 November 2000
3 332,000
2001 Bon Appetit!
  • Label: 22 August 2001
1 1,171,000
2004 Longtime Favorites (cover album)
  • Released: 29 October 2003
1 263,000
2007 Denim
  • Released: 23 May 2007
1 435,000
2008 Expressions (compilation)
  • Released: 1 October 2008
1 791,422 (as of January 14, 2009)
2013 Mariya's Songbook (compilation)
  • Released: 4 December 2013
2014 Trad
  • Released: 19 November 2014


Year Title JP
1978 "Modotte Oide, Watashi no Jikan (戻っておいで・私の時間)" 84
1979 "Dream of You: Lemon Lime no Aoi Kaze (ドリーム・オブ・ユー~レモンライムの青い風~)" 30
"September" 39
1980 "Fushigi na Peach Pie (不思議なピーチパイ)" 3
"Futari no Vacance (二人のバカンス)" 42
1981 "Ichigo no Yūwaku (イチゴの誘惑)" 80
"Special Delivery: Tokubetsu Kokubin (特別航空便)" / "Crying All Night Long" did not chart
"Natalie" 70
1984 "Mou Ichido (もう一度)"/"Honki de Only You (本気でオンリーユー) (Let's Get Married)" 20
"Mersey Beat de Utawasete (マージービートで唄わせて)" 78
1985 "Plastic Love" 86
1986 "Koi no Arashi (恋の嵐)" 20
"Toki no Tabibito (時空の旅人)" 46
1987 "Yume no Tsuzuki (夢の続き)" 43
"Eki ()"/"After Years" 55
1988 "Genki o Dashite (元気を出して)" 70
1989 "Single Again" 2
1990 "Kokuhaku (告白)" 3
1991 "Eki ()" (Re-issue) 18
1992 "Manhattan Kiss" 11
"Uchi ni Kaerō (家に帰ろう) (My Sweet Home)" 18
"Shiawase no Sagashikata (幸せの探し方)" 42
1994 "Ashita no Watashi (明日の私)" 19
"Junai Rhapsody (純愛ラプソディ)" 5
"Honki de Only You (本気でオンリーユー) (Let's Get Married)" (Re-issue) 48
1995 "Kon'ya wa Hearty Party (今夜はHearty Party)" 3
1996 "Lonely Woman" 13
1998 "Camouflage" / "Winter Lovers" 1
1999 "Mou Ichido (もう一度)" (Re-issue) 35
"Tenshi no Tameiki (天使のため息)" 6
2001 "Mayonaka no Nightingale (真夜中のナイチンゲール)" 7
"Mainichi ga Special (毎日がスペシャル)" 40
"Nostalgia" 30
2006 "Henshin (返信)" / "Synchronicity" 8
"Slow Love" 30
"Ashita no Nai Koi (明日のない恋)" 19
2007 "Chance no Maegami (チャンスの前髪)" (duet with Yuko Hara) 23
2013 "Tasogare Diary (たそがれダイアリー)"


  1. ^ a b c d "Mariya Takeuchi: The pop genius behind 2018's surprise online smash hit from Japan". The Japan Times. 2018-11-17. Archived from the original on 2018-12-10. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  2. ^ "Japanese West Coast Music Releases (List of the Japanese albums recorded by West Coast studio musicians in the 1980s)". Archived from the original on 2007-08-26. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Yamachan Land | Album Chart Daijiten | Mariya Takeuchi (Archives of the chart positions and sales of the albums) Archived 2007-06-19 at
  5. ^ Yamachan Land | Single Chart Daijiten | Mariya Takeuchi (Archives of the chart positions and sales of the singles) Archived 2007-10-15 at
  6. ^ "List of Mariya Takeuchi compositions for other performers (1984-1995)". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
  7. ^ EC, Redacción (August 25, 2018). "YouTube: 'Plastic Love', la canción japonesa que superó las 17 millones de reproducciones y está 'hechizando' a todos los usuarios que la escuchan". El Comercio (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2018-10-29. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  8. ^ Markowitz, Douglas (October 10, 2018). "5 Vaporwave and Future Funk Tracks to Get You Ready for YUNG BAE". Phoenix New Times. Archived from the original on 2018-10-29. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  9. ^ "An 80s Japanese Track Is the Best Pop Song in the World". Noisey. Vice Media. June 13, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-10-29. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  10. ^ "Gorillaz to premiere new album at Tokyo show". The Japan Times. June 14, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-10-29. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  11. ^ "Yubin cancels release of new song amid plagiarism dispute". Yonhap News Agency. June 7, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-10-29. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  12. ^ "Mariya Takeuchi Profile" 竹内 まりや PROFILE. Smile Company Ltd. Retrieved October 26, 2018.

External links[edit]