Not to be confused with Okamura Yukiko.

Sato Kayo (佐藤佳代), better known as Okada Yukiko (岡田有希子), was a Japanese pop singer, actress, and winner of the talent show Star Tanjo! in Tokyo, Japan.

History

Early life

Okada was born as Sato Kayo (佐藤佳代) on August 22, 1967, the second daughter of the Satō family. The family later moved to Nagoya. In elementary school, Okada loved to read, especially comic books, and she was a talented artist. In junior high school, Okada wanted to become a singer and applied for every possible audition. She was rejected every time until she was finally accepted to a TV talent program, Star Tanjō! on Nippon Television, singing Kitahara Sawako's MY BOYFRIEND for the audition, and Nakamori Akina's Slow Motion for the final round, which she won in March 1983.

Career

Yukiko during the production of the drama, The Forbidden Mariko.

On April 21, 1984, Okada released her first single, "First Date". She was known as "Yukko", a nickname created by her fans.

That year, Okada won Rookie of the Year and was awarded the 26th Japan Record Awards Grand Prix Best New Artist Award for her third single, -Dreaming Girl- Koi, Hajimemashite.

Okada played the leading role in her first television drama Kinjirareta Mariko (The Forbidden Mariko), in 1985. Her 1986 single Kuchibiru Network, written by Matsuda Seiko and composed by Sakamoto Ryuichi, reached number one on the Oricon weekly singles chart dated February 10, 1986.

Death

She died on April 8, 1986, at the age of 18.

🕆 This text contains content about a suicide 🕆

Yukiko Okada on April 7. 1986, one day before her death. (The film poster is for the movie Rocky IV)

Around 10 o'clock in the morning on April 8, 1986, Fudaka Tokuo, the manager of the Sun Music building went to check on Okada after she did not answer a phone call. Residents of Okada's building were complaining of a gas smell, the manager then found that the gas was coming from an unattended stove from Okada's apartment, he soon found Okada in her closet, crouching and sobbing with her wrists slashed, along with notes; which talked about Okada wanting a relationship with actor Toru Minegishi (died 2008), but he rejected her. The notes ended with the words "I wanted to see him again. I'm sorry for being so selfish. My heart has nowhere else to go."

Fudaka then took her to a nearby hospital, her injuries were soon treated. He then asked where she wanted to go, to which she muttered "...To the office... " (Sun Music Building). He had then had asked why she tried to kill herself, to which she replied "I thought of someone... (possibly Minegishi) I felt that I had done something so horrible, that I wanted to die.."

While Fudaka and the staff were discussing how to avoid a media scandal, Okada ran up the stairs, took off her shoes, and jumped off the roof of the front side of the building, resulting in her instant death.

It was 12:15 PM, JST.

Her death resulted in many copycat suicides in Japan, soon christened with the "Yukiko Syndrome".


Discography

Yukiko in 1984.

Studio Albums

Best Hits Albums

  1. [1984.11.28] Okurimono (贈りもの)
  2. [1985.12.05] Okurimono II (贈りものII)
  3. [1999.03.17] Memorial BOX (メモリアルBOX)
  4. [2002.05.15] YUKIKO OKADA * ALL SONGS REQUEST
  5. [2002.12.18] 84-86 Bokura no Best SP YUKIKO OKADA CD/DVD-BOX (Okurimono III) (84-86 ぼくらのベスト SP 岡田有希子 CD/DVD-BOX 「贈りものIII」)*
  6. [2012.11.21] The Premium Best Okada Yukiko (ザ・プレミアムベスト 岡田有希子)
  7. [2014.07.30] GOLDEN☆IDOL OKADA YUKIKO (ゴールデン☆アイドル 岡田有希子)
  8. [2019.10.16] Mariya's Songbook

. *Re-Released on September 11, 2019.

Hi-Res Albums

  1. [2015.09.16] Present Okada Yukiko (プレゼント 岡田有希子)
  2. [2015.09.16] Hi-Res Gentei Joukyuushamuke Rare Ongen Okada Yukiko (ハイレゾ限定 上級者向けレア音源 岡田有希子)

Singles

  1. [1984.04.21] First Date (ファースト・デイト)
  2. [1984.07.18] Little Princess (リトル プリンセス)
  3. [1984.09.21] -Dreaming Girl- Koi, Hajimemashite (-Dreaming Girl- 恋、はじめまして)
  4. [1985.01.16] Futari Dake no Ceremony (二人だけのセレモニー)
  5. [1985.04.17] Summer Beach
  6. [1985.07.17] Kanashii Yokan (哀しい予感)
  7. [1985.10.05] Love Fair
  8. [1986.01.29] Kuchibiru Network (くちびるNetwork)
  9. [1986.05.14] Hana no Image (花のイマージュ)
  10. [2002.12.04] Believe In You (2002 Strings Version)

Video Releases

  1. [2002.12.18] Memories in Swiss

Gallery

Trivia

  • She went to high school with Honda Minako, Minamino Yoko, Morina Miharu, Tanaka Kumi and Okamura Yukiko.
  • She often practiced ballet.
  • She had two favorite colors: pink and yellow.
  • Yukiko was very nearsighted, and wore thick glasses in her private life.
  • She had two idol catchphrases:
    • "I'll always be with you, ok?"
    • "I'm the little princess who comes from a wonderful land."

References

  1. Interview of Minegishi speaking about Okada's suicide.

External Links

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