The Peanuts

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The Peanuts
The Peanuts-crop-colorized.jpg
The Peanuts in 1966
Background information
Born (1941-04-01)April 1, 1941[citation needed]
Origin Japan

Emi Itō June 15, 2012(2012-06-15) (aged 71)

Yumi Itō May 18, 2016(2016-05-18) (aged 75)
Genres Japanese pop
Occupation(s) singers, actresses
Instruments Voice
Years active 1958–1975
Labels King Records
Past members Emi Itō
Yumi Itō

The Peanuts (ザ・ピーナッツ, Za Pīnattsu) were a Japanese vocal group consisting of twin sisters Emi Itō (伊藤エミ, Itō Emi) and Yumi Itō (伊藤ユミ, Itō Yumi).[1] They were born in Tokoname, Aichi, (Japan) on April 1, 1941.[citation needed] Soon after the twins' birth, the family moved to Nagoya. Their uniqueness was their being monozygotic twins, with voices only slightly apart in timbre which resulted in their singing together sounding like a solo artist using double tracking or reverb).


The twins were discovered while performing at a club in Nagoya in 1958 by pop impresario Sho Watanabe. He brought them to Tokyo and gave them the name The Peanuts. They made their first recording “Kawaii Hana” (“Cute Flower”) in 1959.[2] In their early years they sang Japanese covers of standards, foreign hits, and Japanese folk songs; then they began singing originals, written by their producer, Hiroshi Miyagawa, and such songwriters as Koichi Sugiyama and Rei Nakanishi. They were the first to perform "Koi no Vacance".

Later, the twins embarked on a brief acting career, notably in the 1961 film Mothra, the 1964 film Mothra vs. Godzilla and the 1964 film Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. In the audio commentary for the DVD of Mothra vs. Godzilla, it is noted that director Ishiro Honda fondly recalled the Itos' professionalism. Though not primarily actresses by trade, they were surprisingly skilled, learned their lines quickly, and always worked on time, despite their own busy schedules.

Foreign performances[edit]

They appeared in America on The Ed Sullivan Show on April 3, 1966, performing "Lover Come Back to Me".[3]

Unusual for Japanese singers at the time, the duo had success in Germany and also Austria. In 1963 Caterina Valente was in Japan where the duo caught her attention. Valente invited them to Germany. On the occasion of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Michael Pfleghar produced the opening ceremonies, where both were also invited, and the musical director Heinz Kiessling produced German-language recordings with them, including "Souvenirs from Tokyo". In 1965, Pfleghar cast them in two other shows "The Smile in the West" and "Schlager-Festspiele." In total, they released eight singles in the German language between 1964 and 1967. In 1965 "Souvenirs from Tokyo" reached No. 18 on the Austrian charts and spent 2 weeks at No. 40 on the German Billboard charts. In 1967 "Bye, Bye Yokohama" spent 4 weeks on the Germany charts, rising to No. 30.

Retirement and death[edit]

The pair retired from performing in 1975 after Emi married fellow Nabepro star Kenji Sawada.[2] The duo is remembered most for its versions of European songs and for a handful of Japanese pop songs, such as "Furimukanaide" ("Don't Turn Around").

Emi Itō died on June 15, 2012, at the age of 71.[4] Yumi died on May 18, 2016, at the age of 75.[5]


  • 可愛いピーナッツ (kawaii pinattsu) 1959
  • ピーナッツ民謡お国めぐり (pinattsu minyou okuni meguri) 1960
  • The Hit Parade 1960
  • I'll see you in my dreams 1961
  • The Hit Parade Vol.2 1962
  • The Hit Parade Vol.3 1962
  • The Folk Songs 1963
  • Popular Standards 1963
  • The Hit Parade 1963
  • The Hit Parade Vol.4 1964
  • The Hit Parade Vol.5 1964
  • The Hit Parade Vol.6 1965
  • Souvenirs aus Tokio 1965
  • The Hit Parade Vol.6 Around the Europe 1966
  • ザ・ピーナッツ・デラックス (The Peanuts Deluxe) 1967
  • Golden Deluxe 1968
  • Feelin' Good new dimension of the Peanuts 1970
  • ザ・ピーナッツ・ダブル・デラックス (The Peanuts Double Deluxe) 1971
  • ザ・ピーナッツ・ベスト・アルバム (The Peanuts Best Album) 1971
  • 華麗なるフランシス・レイ・サウンド ザ・ピーナッツ最新映画主題歌を歌う (kareinaru furanshisu rei saundo The Peanuts saishin eiga jyudaika wo utau) 1971
  • 世界の女たち (sekai no onnatachi) 1972
  • Superdisc 20 1972
  • ザ・ピーナッツ・オン・ステージ (The Peanuts On Stage) 1972
  • ザ・ピーナッツ・ベスト20/指輪のあとに (The Peanuts Best 20 / yubiwa no atoni) 1973
  • 情熱の砂漠 (jyonetsu no sabaku) 1973
  • Superdisc 20 1973
  • 気になる噂/ベスト・オブ・ザ・ピーナッツ (ki ni naru uwasa/Best Of The Peanuts) 1974
  • ザ・ピーナッツベスト20 (The Peanuts Best 20) 1974
  • Eternal! 1975
  • ザ・ピーナッツ・ベスト20 (The Peanuts - Best 20) 1975
  • Big Star Series ザ・ピーナッツ (Big Star Series The Peanuts) 1976
  • Big Star W Series ザ・ピーナッツ (Big Star W Series The Peanuts) 1977
  • The Peanuts Original 1978
  • The Peanuts Pops 1978
  • The Peanuts Love 1978
  • Best Star W Deluxe 1979
  • スーパースター・ベスト・アルバム ザ・ピーナッツ (Super Star Best Album The Peanuts) 1979
  • Monument 1980
  • ザ・ピーナッツ・ベスト (The Peanuts Best) 1980
  • The Peanuts History Vol.1 1983
  • The Peanuts History Vol.2 1983
  • ザ・ピーナッツ・ベスト 1984
  • 復刻盤 ザ・ピーナッツ・オン・ステージ (fukkokuban The Peanuts On Stage) 1984
  • ザ・ピーナッツ・ベスト・アルバム (The Peanuts Best Album) 1985
  • D.C.恋のフーガ (D.C. koi no fuuga) 1987
  • D.C. Retro 198


  1. ^ Real names Hideyo Itō (伊藤日出代, Itō Hideyo) and Tsukiko Itō (伊藤月子, Itō Tsukiko) respectively.
  2. ^ a b Martin, Ian. "Yumi Ito of The Peanuts was a muse to both moth and men". Japan Times. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  3. ^ "April 3, 1966: Stiller and Meara, The Peanuts, Eydie Gorme, Robert Horton". Japan Times. Retrieved June 14, 2017.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  4. ^ Yomiuri Shimbun online at (accessed July 5, 2012)
  5. ^ Yahoo!Japan headlines at (accessed July 11, 2016)

External links[edit]