Michie Nakatani

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Michie Nakatani (中谷美智枝, Nakatani Michie) (born October 8, 1961) is a Japanese former musician, singer, and songwriter and was one of the founding members of the Japanese alternative rock all-female group Shonen Knife.

Early years[edit]

Michie was born October 8, 1961 in Osaka, Japan.[1] She was an only child. Her father was an accountant and her mother was a housewife.[2] She met future bandmate Naoko Yamano in college.


Before joining Shonen Knife, Michie spent some time working as a cartoonist's assistant.[2]

In 1995, Nakatani collaborated with Big Dipper's Gary Waleik on a project called The Japanese Beatles.[3] They recorded one single.

In 1997, just as Shonen Knife were about to embark on a tour of Australia and New Zealand, Michie came down with a bout of appendicitis. She was able to recover in time to join the band in Australia. During the New Zealand dates bass duties were handled by Atsushi Shibata.[4]

She stayed with Shonen Knife from December 1981 until December 1999. In early 1999, when she decided to leave the band, Naoko and Atsuko tried to talk her out of it, but she was firm on her decision to leave so in the end they reluctantly had to let her go.[5] After Michie's departure, Atsuko moved from drums to bass guitar, with Mana Nishiura taking over as Shonen Knife's touring drummer until her death in 2005.

Shonen Knife continues to perform songs written by Michie, with vocal duties split between current bassist Ritsuko Taneda and Naoko.

Since her retirement, Michie has retreated from public life, giving up music altogether. She hasn't appeared publicly with Shonen Knife since 1999.

In 2002, the book Hokkaido Popsicle[6] written by Isaac Adamson, used (by permission) a lyric from the song "Catnip Dream", written by Michie.[7]


"I have frogphobia. I just don't like frogs. There's just something... I really don't like frogs."[8]

"We've always enjoyed writing songs about everyday things. Besides, there are already enough bands out there singing about pollution, war and poverty. While we all care very much about those things, we also feel that music should be fun."[8]

"I really love good pop music. The Beatles, Beach Boys, The Jam, Redd Kross, Cheap Trick."[8]


  1. ^ "Radio 1 - Keeping It Peel - Shonen Knife". BBC. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  2. ^ a b "Shonen Knife Interview". babysue. 1997-02-13. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  3. ^ CMJ New Music Monthly - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  4. ^ "Shonen Knife Tour - New Zealand/Australia, 1997". Shonenknife.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  5. ^ "Shonen Knife 2000 - A Conversation with Shonen Knife Naoko Yamano - July 16, 1999". Shonenknife.com. 1999-07-16. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  6. ^ Adamson, Isaac. "Hokkaido Popsicle (9780380812929): Isaac Adamson: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  7. ^ "knews.html". Shonenknife.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  8. ^ a b c "ISSUE 103 - CONSUMABLE - March 22, 1997". Archived from the original on November 14, 1997. Retrieved 2012-02-21.

External links[edit]