Takako Matsu

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Takako Matsu
Native name
松 たか子
Takako Fujima

(1977-06-10) June 10, 1977 (age 41)
Tokyo, Japan
OccupationActress, singer, songwriter
Years active1993–present
AgentBMG Japan (1997–1998/2006–present)
Universal Music Japan (1998–2005)
BMG Japan (2006-2009)
Ariola Japan/Sony (2009-)
Yoshiyuki Sahashi (m. 2007)

Takako Matsu (松 たか子, Matsu Takako), born Takako Fujima (藤間 隆子, Fujima Takako), on June 10, 1977 in Tokyo, is a Japanese actress and pop singer/songwriter.


Takako Matsu was born into a traditional buyō house, which produced famous actors and actresses, including her father Matsumoto Hakuō II, kabuki actor and head of the buyō house; her uncle Nakamura Kichiemon II, Kabuki performer and actor; her elder brother Matsumoto Koshirō X, Kabuki performer and actor; her sister, six years her elder Kio Matsumoto, stage director and actresses and her husband Kazuhisa Kawahara, actor. Her mother Noriko Fujima is a businesswoman.[citation needed] She married guitarist and record producer Yoshiyuki Sahashi on December 28, 2007, and her married name is now Takako Sahashi (佐橋隆子, Sahashi Takako). She also has the name of Natori (the accredited master) of the Matsumoto school of Nippon Buyō (Japanese dancing); Shodai Matsumoto Kōka (初代 松本 幸華, "Kōka Matsumoto the First").

She chose the surname "Matsu" to honor her family. In one interview, she notes that she, along with her two brothers and sisters are relatively close to her mother.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Takako debuted in theater when she was sixteen years old, in Ninjō-banashi: Bunshichi Mottoi at Tokyo Kabuki-za in 1993. Her first lead role in television was in the NHK Drama Hana no Ran (Child's part) in 1994, and she also starred in NHK Drama Kura in 1995. Because Shirayuri Gakuen, her high school, prohibited working in the entertainment industry, she transferred to Horikoshi High School.[citation needed]

In 1996, she appeared on the drama Long Vacation starring Takuya Kimura of SMAP, following matriculating to college. She was a supporting role, but, began to establish in full-scale her position as an actress because the drama was a major hit. In the same year, she hosted the 47th NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen at the age of 19, making her the youngest ever to host the show.[citation needed]

In 1997, she debuted with the single "Ashita, Haru ga Kitara". She appeared on NHK's Kōhaku Uta Gassen again as a singer on the last day of the year. In an interview with NHK in 2007, Matsu recalled the incident that triggered her musical debut. At the wrap-up ceremony of the drama, Matsu sang karaoke which was heard by its director who suggested that she give singing a try. Although she refused at first, as she was not confident enough in her singing, Matsu eventually accepted because she saw it as "[a] chance that not everyone got".[2] In the same year, she starred opposite Takuya Kimura in the drama Love Generation, in which she played a lead role with Takuya Kimura.

In 2001, she starred in Hero with Takuya Kimura again. In 2003, she has also published a photo essay book, Matsu no Hitorigoto, through Asahi Shinbun Publishers. In 2004 she was Kim in Miss Saigon.

In September, 2004, she released "Toki no Fune", which was composed by the Japanese singer Akeboshi. It is similar to his song, "A nine days' wonder", which was released after the "Toki no Fune" single. The single also contains a cover of Akeboshi's "White Reply" previously recorded on her sixth album, Harvest Songs.

In late 2004, she won the Best Actress of the Year of the 29th Hochi Film Award and the 28th Japan Academy Prize at the same time for The Hidden Blade.[3]

In July 2006, Matsu and Kimura starred in a special one-night edition of Hero. In October 2006, Matsu was in a weekly drama for the first time in over three years titled Yakusha Damashii for Fuji TV alongside 73-year-old actor Makoto Fujita, a family friend.[4]

In May 2007, Matsu kicked off her third concert tour to commemorate her tenth year as a singer.

In releasing her album Cherish you in 2007, the song "Ashita Haru ga Kitara" was redone to combine Matsu's voice as a 20-year-old with her current one.

On November 27, 2014, Matsu revealed on her official website that she was pregnant with her first child. On March 30, 2015, she gave birth to her daughter. She revealed on her website that the baby was 3466 grams.[5]

Musical style[edit]

Matsu has an established career as a songwriter and singer and the style of her music is often laid-back and relaxing. She has worked with many different producers, but in her third album, Sakura no Ame, Itsuka, she worked on every song (either composing the melody or lyrics) on the album. This was her most successful album recorded with Universal Music.[citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Tokyo Biyori (東京日和, Tokyo Weather) Mizutani lead role
1998 April Story Uzuki Nireno lead role
2003 9 Souls Yuki
2004 The Hidden Blade Kie main character’s lover
2006 The Uchoten Hotel Hana Takemoto
Brave Story Wataru (voice) lead role
2007 Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad' Mizue
Hero Maiko Amamiya second lead role
2008 K-20: Legend of the Mask Yoko Hashiba second lead role
2009 Villon's Wife Sachi lead role
2010 Confessions Yuko Moriguchi lead role
2011 Someday Mie Orii
Life: Inochi o Tsunagu Monogatari (ライフ -いのちをつなぐ物語-, The tale connecting a life) narration documentary film
Imawano Kiyoshiro Naniwa Sullivan Show: Kando Saikō!!! (忌野清志郎 ナニワ・サリバン・ショー ~感度サイコー!!!~) concert film
2012 Dreams for Sale Satoko Ichizawa Lead role
2014 Frozen[6] Elsa Japanese dub
The Little House Tokiko Hirai Lead role
2015 A Farewell to Jinu Akiko Amano
Hero Maiko Amamiya
2017 Fireworks Nazuna's mother Voice
2018 Shottan, The Miracle Yoshiko
It Comes Kotoko Higa
Hard Core
2019 Masquerade Hotel
2020 Touge: The Last Samurai Osuga
Last Letter Yuri Kishinobe Lead role

TV dramas[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994 Hana no Ran Tsubaki, Later, she was called Hino Tomiko NHK, lead role, she played girlhood.
1995 Kura Retsu Tanouchi NHK, lead role, broadcast prior to the film version.
1996 Long Vacation Ryoko Okusawa Fuji TV
1996 Hideyoshi Cha cha NHK, the second wife of Hideyoshi
1996 Furuhata Ninzaburō (2nd season) Saki Mōri Fuji TV
1996 Konna Watashi ni Dare ga Shita (こんな私に誰がした, Who did This to Someone like Me) Natsuko Iwasaki Fuji TV
1997 Ryōma ga Yuku (竜馬がゆく, Ryoma goes) Sanako Chiba TBS
1997 Boku ga Boku de Aru Tame ni (僕が僕であるために, For I to be Myself) Hiroko Muranaka Fuji TV, broadcast on January 3
1997 Koto no Koiuta (古都の恋歌, Love Song of the Old Capital) Momoyo Naito TBS, broadcast on March 17
1997 Under One Roof (Season 2) Miki Mochizuki Fuji TV
1997 Shuntō (春燈, Spring Light) Ayako Tomita NHK, lead role
1997 Love Generation Riko Uesugi Fuji TV, second lead role
1998 Karasu-goi (烏鯉, Crow carp) Kaoruko Yamashita TBS
1998 Jinbē Miku Takanashi Fuji TV, second lead role
1999 Kai (, Oar) Kiwa Tomita NHK, lead role
1999 Konya wa Eigyōchū (今夜は営業中, Open Tonight) Kanako Takamatsu NTV
2000 Omiai Kekkon Setsuko Nakatani Fuji TV, lead role
2001 Hero Maiko Amamiya, second lead role Fuji TV
2001 Akarui Hō e, Akarui Hō e (明るいほうへ 明るいほうへ, Towards the Brighter Side, Towards the Brighter Side) Teru Kaneko (as Misuzu Kaneko) TBS, lead role
2001 Chūshingura 1/47 Aguri (Yōzen-in) Fuji TV
2002 Tokyo Story Noriko Hirayama Fuji TV, second lead role, remake of the movie "Tokyo story", 27 Hour TV Special Drama
2003 Itsumo Futari de (いつもふたりで, Always the Two of Us) Mizuho Tanimachi Fuji TV, lead role
2004 Ryōma ga Yuku (竜馬がゆく, Ryoma goes) Okei Ōura TV Tokyo
2005 Hiroshima Showa 20 nen 8 Gatsu Muika Shinobu Yajima TBS, lead role
2006 Hero (Special edition) Maiko Amamiya Fuji TV, second lead role, broadcast on July 3
2006 Yakusha Damashi! (役者魂!, Actor Spirit) Hitomi Karasuyama Fuji TV, lead role, broadcast on October 17
2009-2011 Saka no Ue no Kumo Tami Sakuma (Tami Akiyama) NHK
2012 Unmei no Hito (運命の人, the man of destiny) Yuriko Yuminari TBS, second lead role
2017 Quartet Maki Maki TBS, lead role

TV shows[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994 The 47th Kōhaku Uta Gassen Emcee of the music program NHK
2017 The 68th Kōhaku Uta Gassen Mediator NHK


  • Ninjō-banashi: Bunshichi Mottoi (人情噺文七元結, Real-life story: Bunshichi paper cord for tying the hair) (Kabuki-za, 1993) - Ohisa
  • Koiki na Yūrei (小粋な幽霊, a Stylish Ghost) (Shinbashi Enbujō, 1994) - Botan
  • Ajisai (あぢさゐ, Hydrangea) (Shinbashi Enbujō, 1994) - Omitsu
  • Taki no Shiraito (滝の白糸, the White Thread in the Waterfall) (Shinbashi Enbujō, 1994) - Kikyō
  • Jyunsaihan (じゅんさいはん) (Shinbashi Enbujō, 1994) - Oume
  • Man of La Mancha
    • (Aoyama Theater 1995) (Meitetsu Hall/ Aoyama Theatre, 1997) (Theater Hiten/ Aoyama Theatre, 1999) - Antonia
    • (Hakata-za/ Imperial Garden Theater, 2002), (Meitetsu Hall/ Imperial Garden Theater, 2005), (Imperial Garden Theater, 2008), (Theater Brava!, 2009) - Aldonza
  • Hamlet (Ginza Cezon Theater 1995, 1998, etc.) - Ophelia
  • Tengai no Hana (天涯の花) (Shinbashi Enbujō, 1999)
  • The Good Person of Szechwan (New National Theater, 1999/ Akasaka ACT Theater 2001) - Shen Te/ Shui Ta
  • Okepi (Aoyama Theatre, 2000) - Shinonome
  • Voyage ~Senjō no Syanikusai~ (〜船上の謝肉祭〜, ~Carnival on the ship~) (Theater Cocoon, 2000) – (lead role)
  • Natsu Hoteru (夏ホテル, Summer Hotel) (Parco Theater 2001) - Kaoru
  • Wuthering Heights (Shinbashi Enbujō, 2002) – Catherine Earnshaw
  • Mozart! (Nissei Theater; 2002) - Constanze Mozart
  • Noda Map: Oil (Theater Cocoon, 2003/ Kintetsu Theater 2003) Fuji
  • Ohatsu (Shinbashi Enbujō, 2004) - Ohatsu
  • Roningai (Aoyama Theatre, 2004) Oshin
  • Miss Saigon (Imperial Garden Theater, 2004) - Kim
  • The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Setagaya Public Theater, 2005) - Gursha
  • Noda Map: Fake Crime and Punishment (Theater Cocoon 2005-6, Theater Brava!, 2005-6) – Hanabusa Sanjo
  • Metal Macbeth (Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre/ Aoyama Theatre/ Osaka Kosei Nenkin Kaikan, 2006) - Mrs. RandomStar
  • Hibari (ひばり, Skylark) (Theater Cocoon, 2007) – Joan of Arc
  • Romance (Setagaya Public Theater, 2007) Maria Chekhova
  • Sisters (Parco Theater, 2008) – Kaoru Ozaki
  • Noda Map: Piper (Theater Cocoon, 2009) - Deimos
  • Jane Eyre (Nissei Theater, 2009, 2012) – Jane Eyre
  • Futari no Otto to Watashi no Jijou (2人の夫とわたしの事情, Family reason of my two husbands and me) (Original title: Home and Beauty) (2010) - Victoria
  • Twelfth Night (2011) – Sebastian/ Viola
  • Oto no Inai Sekai de (音のいない世界で, In the world without the sound) (2012-2013)
  • Motto Naiteyo Flapper (もっと泣いてよフラッパー, Cry More, Flapper) (2014)
  • Kagami no kanata wa tanaka no naka de (かがみのかなたはたなかのなかで) (2015, 2017-2018)
  • Noda Map: Gekirin (逆鱗, Wrath) (2016)
  • Metropolis (2016)

Awards and prizes[edit]

Year Title Award Result
1996 - 34th Golden Arrow Award for Newcomer Award & Broadcast Newcomer Award Won
1997 Tokyo Biyori 22nd Hochi Film Award for Best New Artist Won
1997 - 1997 Élan d'Or Award for Newcomer of the Year & grand prix Won
1997 - New heroine '97 in Japan - No.1 Won
1998 April Story 8th Japan Film Critics Circle Award for Actress Award Won
1998 - 12th Japan Gold Disc Award for Best New Artist of the Year Won
1998 - 36th Golden Arrow Award for Play Award Won
2000 - 21st Matsuo Entertainment Awards for Newcomer Award Won
2000 Tengai no Hana & The Good Person of Szechwan 50th new face award of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award for Fine Arts in theater acting division Won
2002 Akarui Hō e, Akarui Hō e 10th Hashida Prize Won
2003 Noda Map: Oil 38th Kinokuniya Theater Award for Individual Award Won
2004 The Hidden Blade 29th Hochi Film Award for Best Actress Won
2005 The Hidden Blade 28th Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Nominated
2005 - 43rd Golden Arrow Award for Play Award Won
2005 Noda Map: Fake Crime and Punishment & The Caucasian Chalk Circle 13th Yomiuri Theater Awards for Best Actress Nominated
2005 Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad 28th Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
2008 Hibari & Romance 7th Asahi Performing arts Prize Won
2008 Hibari & Romance 15th Yomiuri Theater Awards for Best Actress Won
2009 Villon's Wife 33rd Yamaji Fumiko Film Awards for Best Actress Won
2009 Villon's Wife & K-20: Legend of the Mask 34th Hochi Film Award for Best Actress Won
2009 Villon's Wife 22nd Nikkan Sports Film Award for Best Actress Won
2009 Villon's Wife 83rd Kinema Junpo Best Ten for Best Actress Won
2009 Villon's Wife 33rd Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Won
2009 Jane Eyre 35th Kikuta Kazuo Theater Prize for Theater grand-prix Nominated
2009 Confessions 34th Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Nominated
2009 Confessions Actress in a Leading Role Award of the 2nd Japan Theater staff Film Festival Won



Title Original publication date Publisher Category
Matsu no Hitorigoto (松のひとりごと, "Matsu's Soliloquy") November 14, 2003
(October 7, 2009)
Asahi Shimbun Publications Independent book
Chichi to Musume no Ōfukushokan (父と娘の往復書簡, "Correspondence between father and daughter") (with Kōshirō Matsumoto) October 10, 2008
(January 10, 2011)
Bungeishunjū Independent book


  1. ^ Tokyo Tower Matsu Takako Interview (MSN Entertainment)
  2. ^ "NHK プレミアム10 松たか子~彼女が歌う理由~" [NHK Premium 10 Matsu Takako: The reason she sings]. (in Japanese). November 9, 2007. NHK Japan. Missing or empty |series= (help)
  3. ^ 報知映画賞ヒストリー (in Japanese). Cinema Hochi. Archived from the original on 2009-01-31. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
  4. ^ Matsu Takako and Makoto Fujita in Comedy Drama Asahi Shimbun October 12, 2006
  5. ^ 松たか子の妊娠報告で父・幸四郎が“不仲の夫”と和解 (in Japanese). Livedoor News. December 5, 2014. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  6. ^ Keegan, Rebecca (2014-01-24). "Finding a diva in 41 languages". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-02-17.

External links[edit]