Taeko Onuki (大貫 妙子, Ōnuki Taeko, born November 28, 1953) is a Japanese singer and songwriter.[2][3] She is influential in the city pop genre.[4][5][6]

Taeko Onuki
Ōnuki Taeko (大貫 妙子)

(1953-11-28) November 28, 1953 (age 68)[1]
Suginami, Tokyo, Japan
  • Singer
  • Singer-songwriter
  • Composer
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • Guitar
  • Keyboard
  • Piano
Years active1971–present

Early life and careerEdit

Taeko Onuki was born in Suginami Ward, Tokyo, in 1953. Her father was Kenichiro Onuki, a member of the Japanese Special Attack Units during the Second World War.[7]

In 1973, she formed Sugar Babe with musicians Tatsuro Yamashita and Kunio Muramatsu.[1] Because the dominant music style at the time was hard rock, audiences did not respond too warmly, and the group ended up splitting only three years later.[4] In 1976, Onuki began her solo career by releasing the album Grey Skies, which carried the same sound as Sugar Babe. Her second, landmark album Sunshower was released the following year in 1977 and had a much different style, mixing pop music and jazz. In 1978 she released her third album, Mignonne, in which she worked with producer Eji Ogura, but the sales-focused process was difficult for her and the album didn't sell as expected.[4] She took a two year break from music afterwards. Beginning from 1980, she released her “Europe” trilogy of albums: Romantique, Aventure and Cliché, taking on a more electronic sound.[4]

Later careerEdit

In 1998, she won the 21st Japan Academy Award for Best Music Award in the movie "Tokyo biyori".

From October 5, 2005, she is served as Wednesday navigator (DJ) of the program " NIGHT STORIES " " THE UNIVERSE " of FM radio station J-WAVE in Tokyo.

On November 2, 2006, the soundtrack for the Game Boy Advance game Mother 3 was released, featuring the song "We miss you ~ The theme of love ~", which Onuki sang. She also sang the theme song for Animal Crossing: The Movie based on Nintendo's Animal Crossing video game series.[8]

In 2009, Onuki covered Eiichi Ohtaki's song "Kimi wa Tennen Shoku" for the album A Long Vacation.[9]

In 2020, the movie Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop was released, for which Onuki sang the insert song "YAMAZAKURA".[10]

On March 11, 2022, Onuki participated in the Shuichi "Ponta" Murakami tribute concert "One Last Live", performing "Tokai" and "Mon doux Soleil".[11]


Album Year Label
Grey Skies [グレイ・スカイズ] 1976 Panam
Sunshower [サンシャワー] 1977
Mignonne [ミニヨン] 1978 RCA
Romantique [ロマンティーク] 1980
Aventure [アヴァンチュール] 1981
Cliche [クリシェ] 1982
Signifie [シニフィエ] 1983 Dear Heart
Caye' [カイエ] 1984
Copine [コパン] 1985
Comin' Soon [カミング・スーン] 1986
Pure Acoustic [ピュア・アコースティック] 1987
A Slice of Life [スライス・オブ・ライフ] Dear Heart, Midi Inc.
Purissima [プリッシマ] 1988 Midi Inc.
New Moon 1990
Pure Drops 1991
Drawing 1992 Eastworld
Shooting Star in the Blue Sky 1993
Tchou [チャオ!] 1995
東京日和 1997
Lucy [ルーシー]
Attraction [アトラクシオン] 1999
Ensemble [アンサンブル] 2000
LIVE Beautiful Songs
Note [ノート] 2002
One Fine Day [ワン・ファイン・デイ] 2005 Virgin
UTAU (with Ryuichi Sakamoto) 2010 Commmons
Tint (with Ryota Komatsu) 2015 Sony Records Int'l
Pure Acoustic 2018 "Live" On March 24 2018 Columbia


  1. ^ a b "大貫妙子". tower.jp. Tower. August 1, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  2. ^ "大貫妙子 Taeko Onuki / profile". onukitaeko.jp. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  3. ^ "Taeko Ohnuki". discogs. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d St. Michel, Patrick (December 22, 2017). "Taeko Onuki of Sugar Babe on Her Journey in Japanese Music". Red Bull Music Academy. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  5. ^ "シティポップの金字塔、大貫妙子『SUNSHOWER』アナログレコード再プレス決定". Ototoy. February 22, 2019. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  6. ^ 金子, 厚武 (July 1, 2016). "大貫妙子が語る、何かを成すのではなく未来へ繋げるという人生観". Cinra. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  7. ^ "鴻上尚史さんのベストセラー『不死身の特攻兵』が生まれたワケ". J-CAST BOOKウォッチ. August 6, 2018. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  8. ^ 劇場版 「どうぶつの森」 / 主題歌 (in Japanese). doubutsunomori-movie.jp. Archived from the original on January 22, 2007. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  9. ^ "大滝詠一の歴史的名盤『A LONG VACATION』、女性が歌って"秋サウンドに"". Oricon (in Japanese). October 23, 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  10. ^ "サイダーのように言葉が湧き上がる / MUSIC / ARTIST" (in Japanese). Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  11. ^ "村上"ポンタ"秀一トリビュート ~One Last LIVE~". Wowow. Retrieved June 5, 2022.

External linksEdit