Yuki Saito is a Japanese singer-songwriter, actress, essayist, author, and poet. She was born 10 September 1966 in Minami-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Her father owns a long-standing and respected obi tailoring shop in Yokohama, Japan, and sells his obis to multiple kimono stores in Motomachi, Tobe, and other places within the city. Her brother, Ryūji Saitō, is an actor. She attended Kanagawa Prefectural Shimizugaoka High School (now Yokohama Seiryo Sogo High School). Her hobbies include poetry, illustrating, and writing books. Her official blog, written in Japanese, is called Famme Fatale.
Her family name in kanji is 斉藤 and her given name in kanji is 由貴. Her name in Japanese is written さいとう ゆき. Her married name is Yuki Isarai (小井 由貴 Isarai Yuki), having married Nobuyasu Isarai in December 1994, though she continues to work under her maiden name. She and her husband have one son and two daughters.
Yuki is well known in Japan for being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (末日聖徒イエス・キリスト教会) as she refuses to work on Sundays. Remaining true to her faith and beliefs, she used a fake cigarette used for asthma patients while filming the 1986 movie Koisuru Onnatachi.
While attending high school in 1984, Yuki won the third annual “Miss Magazine” Grand Prix contest run by Kodansha in Weekly Shōnen Magazine. She made her singing debut in 1985 with her single release “Sotsugyō” and her debut album, Axia. That same year, she was cast in the lead role of Saki Asamiya, a Sukeban Deka television drama series following the exploits of Saki Asamiya , a high school delinquent who is pressed into service as a yo-yo-wielding undercover police officer sent to a high school known for its vicious gangs. She later revisited that story by playing Saki’s mother in the 2006 movie, Sukeban Deka: Codename = Asamiya Saki. Throughout her career as an actress, she has starred in and has been cast in many television and film dramas and comedies, and has also done work in voice-over narration. She is known for Wagahai wa shufu de aru (2006), Oracion (1988) and Yuki no dansho – jonetsu (1985).
Yuki has also had a rewarding music career with 21 singles and 12 original albums to her credit. She also released a live album, eight “best of” compilation albums, and has been featured on five tribute albums where she covered songs by The Carpenters, songs from Walt Disney films, and others.
In 1986, she was selected to play the heroine in the NHK morning TV novel series Hane Konma. At the end of the year, she was the captain of the Red Team on Kōhaku Uta Gassen, where she debuted her song, “Kanashimi yo Konnichi wa,” the first opening theme for the anime television series Maison Ikkoku. The song became one of the most popular anime theme songs of all time.
In 1989, she was captain of the Red Team once again, where her single “In A Dream” (夢の中へ Yume no Naka e) ranked fifth in the competition. Later, in 2007, she performed both the opening and ending theme songs for another anime series, Les Misérables: Shōjo Cosette, an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel by Nippon Animation for their World Masterpiece Theater series. She had earlier played the title character, Cosette, in the 1987 musical stage version.
While she still occasionally takes acting roles, Yuki spends most of her time with her family. During the 1990s, she began moving from the role of idol star to doing more acting in movies, television, and on stage. She also began writing poetry, doing voice-over narration, and song and lyric writing.
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