Takako Minekawa

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Takako Minekawa
Born (1969-06-03) June 3, 1969 (age 47)
Origin Japan
Genres Electronic
Indie pop
Pop rock
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, musician
Instruments Synthesisers, Guitar
Years active 1990–present
Labels Polystar, Emperor Norton
Associated acts Cornelius, Buffalo Daughter, Kahimi Karie

Takako Minekawa (嶺川貴子 Minekawa Takako?, born June 3, 1969) is a Japanese musician,[1] composer and writer.


As an accomplished all-around musician, Minekawa's musical skills set her firmly outside of the J-Pop "idol" tradition: she writes and composes most of her material, singing quirky lyrics about subjects such as clouds, cats, and the color white (her personal favorite), with her love of Kraftwerk and French Pop Music[1] also showing through her unique experimental sound. She often makes use of vintage Casio keyboards[1] and analog Moog synthesizers,[2] as well as vocoders and other electronic instruments.

Her live debut was in 1990, calling herself Mamene Kirerie as a member of the group Fancy Face Groovy Name alongside Kahimi Karie and backed by Flipper's Guitar. She was also a member of the band L⇔R before releasing her solo debut, Chat Chat in 1994.[citation needed]

Although as a child Minekawa had a short acting career, this interest has not resurfaced in her adult life (aside from her voice exclaiming "PlayStation!" in a recent commercial for the product).[citation needed]

She has written professionally, as regular columnist in the Japanese edition of Keyboard Magazine; she also contributed a serialized novel to the Japanese quarterly Bungei.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

She married fellow musician Keigo Oyamada (aka Cornelius) in 2000.[3] They divorced in 2012. The pair have collaborated on several projects. Cornelius remixed some of her songs, including the well-received "Milk Rock". He also produced a few songs in her album Fun9.


Minekawa's musical influences are as varied as her lyrics. An avowed fan of French pop, some of her favorite French artists include Françoise Hardy and Pierre Bachelet. The influence of the British band Stereolab can also be heard in her music. While there are certainly touches of humor in her lyrics and tone, she is a sincere fan of Krautrock, particularly the earlier works of electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk, to whom she dedicated the song Kraftpark![1] Another influence is former Yellow Magic Orchestra member Haruomi Hosono, who she paid tribute to with cover versions of his song "Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa" (1984), in 1995 and again in 2007 with Ryuichi Sakamoto.[4][5]

In an interview, Minekawa explained her admiration for the band: "I decided to describe the landscape of Kraftpark with sound and narration. This song is not a parody of Kraftwerk. I did it because I love them!"[citation needed]

After a 13-year hiatus, Minekawa recorded a new album, Toropical Circle with collaborator Dustin Wong, in 2013.[6]



  1. ^ a b c d Eguchi, Weston (July 7, 2013). "Takako Minekawa | Arts | The Harvard Crimson". Thecrimson.com. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ Tamara Ikenberg; J.D. Considine (December 24, 1998). "14 CDs bring back the remarkable Blue Note years". The Sun. p. 8. 
  3. ^ Salatore Tuzeeo Jr., (August 9, 2002). "Article: A cult figure, made in Japan". The Record. 
  4. ^ "Takako Minekawa". WhoSampled. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  5. ^ Various – Haruomi Hosono Strange Songbook – Tribute To Haruomi Hosono at Discogs
  6. ^ Greene, Jayson (June 18, 2013). "Takako Minekawa / Dustin Wong: Toropical Circle". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 

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