Yū Aku (阿久 悠, Aku Yū) (occasionally credited as You Aku) (February 7, 1937 – August 1, 2007), was a Japanese lyricist, poet, and novelist.

Yū Aku
阿久 悠
Birth nameHiroyuki Fukada (深田 公之)
Also known asSeijin Tamu (多夢 星人)
Born(1937-02-07)7 February 1937
Awaji Island, Hyogo, Japan
Died1 August 2007(2007-08-01) (aged 70)
Minato, Tokyo, Japan
GenresJ-pop (kayōkyoku, enka, rock, folk, novelty)
Occupation(s)lyricist, poet, novelist

Early lifeEdit

Yū Aku was born as Hiroyuki Fukada (深田公之, Fukada Hiroyuki) in Awaji Island, Hyogo, Japan. His parents both originated from the town of Kawaminami in Miyazaki Prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan. His father worked as a police constable in Hyogo prefecture. His father's career necessitated moving every few years, resulting in Aku attending three separate junior high schools. Yū Aku graduated from Meiji University.


Originally, Yū Aku desired to screenwrite for movies, specifically the up-and-coming Moonlight Mask series. Aku started his career in advertisement production, which provided the foundation for his work as a lyricist. Aku worked on commercial production from 1959 to 1966. In 1964, he also took up broadcast writing. After his 1966 retirement from advertising, he continued to work as a broadcast writer and also as a lyricist. His first published work as a lyricist was the 1965 song 'Monkey Dance.'

Yū Aku was famous for contributing lyrics to many recording artists since 1967. He was a prolific lyricist, writing more than 5,000 songs. Mainly during the 1970s, more than 20 of them reached #1 on the Japanese Oricon chart, and seven singles sold more than a million copies. Over 500 of his compositions which were released as singles have entered the Japanese record chart, and they sold in excess of 68 million copies from 1968 to 2007, making him the most commercially successful Japanese lyricist up to that point.[1] As of 2015, total sales of the singles he has written exceed 68.3 million copies, making him the second best-selling lyricist in Japan behind only Yasushi Akimoto.[2] In 1977, he wrote the lyrics to The TV Asahi Song for the occasion of the television channel’s name change to its current name.

Throughout his 40-year career as a lyricist, Aku won the Japan Record Award five times. He was also acclaimed as a novelist, and produced several award-winning works. In 1999, Aku received the Purple Ribboned Medal of Honor from the Government of Japan, in honor of his long-term contributions to the Japanese entertainment industry.[3]

On September 12, 2001, Aku underwent surgery to remove his kidney cancer. He continued to work while undergoing chemotherapy until he died of ureteral cancer on August 1, 2007.[3]

Awarded SongsEdit

Year Award Song Category Singer
1970 (Showa 45) 12th Japan Record Awards Manatsu No Arashi Composer Award Teruhiko Saigō
Waratte Yurushite Arranger Award Akiko Wada
1971 (Showa 46) 13th Japan Record Awards Mata Au Hi Made Japan Record Award Kiyohiko Ozaki
Moeru Koibito New Artist Award Naoki Hongou
1972 (Showa 47) 14th Japan Record Awards Ano Kane Wo Narasunowa Anata Best Vocalist Akiko Wada
Sensei New Artist Award Masako Mori
Dounimo Tomaranai Composer Award Linda Yamamoto
Namida Jun Inoue
Pin Pon Pan Taisou Children's Song Award Suginami Junior Chorus & Zei Kanamori
1973 (Showa 48) 15th Japan Record Awards Watashi No Aoi Tori Best New Artist Junko Sakurada
Coffee Shop De New Artist Award Shizue Abe
Johnny He No Dengon Lyricist Award Pedro & Capricious
Jinjin Sasete Linda Yamamoto
Machi No Akari Composer Award Masaaki Sakai
1974 (Showa 49) 16th Japan Record Awards Koi No American Football Young Idol Award Finger 5
1975 (Showa 50) 17th Japan Record Awards Romance New Artist Award Hiromi Iwasaki
Juushichi No Natsu General Public Award Sakurada Junko
Geshukuya Composer Award Kouichi Morita & Topgalant
Uba Guruma Lyricist Award Sugawara Yoichi
1976 (Showa 51) 18th Japan Record Awards Kita No Yado Kara Japan Record Award Harumi Miyako
Wakaki Shishi Tachi Vocalist Award Hideki Saijo
Yome Ni Konaika New Artist Award Kenji Niinuma
Pepper Keibu Pink Lady
1977 (Showa 52) 19th Japan Record Awards Katte Ni Shiyagare Japan Record Award Kenji Sawada
Arranger Award
Shishuki Vocalist Award/Shinpei Nakayama Award (Composer Award) Hiromi Iwasaki
Tsugarukaikyou Fuyugeshiki Sayuri Ishikawa
Wanted General Public Award Pink Lady
1978 (Showa 53) 20th Japan Record Awards UFO Japan Record Award/Gold Award Pink Lady
LOVE (Dakishimetai) Best Vocalist/Gold Award Kenji Sawada
Cinderella Honeymoon Gold Award (Vocalist Award) Hiromi Iwasaki
Tasogare My Love Junko Oohashi
Blue Sky Blue Hideki Saijo
Shitsuren Kinenbi New Artist Award Mako Ishino
1979 (Showa 54) 21st Japan Record Awards Casa Blanca Dandy Gold Award Kenji Sawada
Funa Uta Aki Yashiro
1980 (Showa 55) 22nd Japan Record Awards Ame No Bojou Japan Record Award/Gold Award Aki Yashiro
Ginga Densetsu Gold Award Hiromi Iwasaki
Sakaba De DABADA Kenji Sawada
1981 (Showa 56) 23rd Japan Record Awards Moshimo Piano Ga Hiketanara Gold Award Toshiyuki Nishida
1982 (Showa 57) 24th Japan Record Awards Chigiri Gold Award Hiroshi Itsuki
Answer Song Wa Aishuu New Artist Award Yū Hayami
1983 (Showa 58) 25th Japan Record Awards Nihon Kai Special Gold Award Aki Yashiro
1984 (Showa 59) 26th Japan Record Awards Kita No Hotaru Gold Award Shinichi Mori
Natsu Zakari Hono Jigumi Lyricist Award Toshihiko Tahara & Naoko Ken


  1. ^ "Yu Aku, one of the most notable lyricists in the 20th century died". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Original Confidence. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
  2. ^ "【オリコン】秋元康氏、作詞シングル総売上が1億枚突破「34年間の積み重ね」". Oricon (in Japanese). 2015-12-09. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  3. ^ a b "Yu Aku , aged 70, died of ureter cancer". nikkansports.com (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. Retrieved 2008-12-04.

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