Ryoko Moriyama is a Japanese female singer and is known by most Japanese as a national singer.
In 1967, she released a debut single record with“Kono Hiroi Nohara Ippai”, since then she made numerous hit songs such as, but not limited to “Kinjirareta Koi”, “Nada Sousou” and “Satoukibibatake”.
With her transparent voice and singing, in reality and in name, she became the top singer in Japan.
This year, she marks the golden anniversary of her musical career.
Born in Tokyo. First daughter to Hisashi Moriyama, a pioneer of Japanese jazz music.
Studying vocal training of classical music under Masako Sakagami
Hisao Kurosawa (son of Akira Kurosawa, a legendary film director) who is 2 years ahead in high school and a band leader of “The Broadside Four” gave her a record of Joan Baez. She then started singing American folk music.
Started her musical career officially with 7th “STUDENTS’ FESTIVAL” which was an amateur band concert organized by students.
Appeared regularly on “Kyorin Folk Capsule”, a radio program of Radio Kanto (currently Radio Nippon).
Performed with “The Brothers Four” at their Japan tour.
Joan Baez first visited to Japan. During the concert in Tokyo, Moriyama sang “Plaisir d’amour” and “Kyounohiwa Sayounara” on the stage of Baez. It was televised and made waves across the country.
First single record “Kono Hiroi Nohara Ippai/Ichibanboshi No Uta” was released from Nihon Phonogram/Philips Records.
Appeared on “Golden Rose Festival” in Montreux, Switzerland as representation from Japan.
Her 9th single record “Kinjirareta Koi” was released. It attained first place for single chart of Original Confidence in 8 consecutive weeks.
Traveled to the U.S. in order to have recording sessions for the album of “Green Green Grass of Home/Ryoko Moriyama” in Nashville, Tennessee. She was the first Japanese popular singer who made recording sessions overseas. Received an honorary citizen of Nashville from the Director of Nashville Chamber of Commerce.
Received the Most Popular Artist Award with “Kinjirareta Koi” at 11th Annual Japan Record Awards and made her first appearance on 20th Annual “NHK Kohaku Utagassen”.
Received Music Award at 7th Annual “Golden Arrow”.
From February, 1970 to March 1971 Selected as regular MC on “Uta No Saiten” of NHK Television.
Entered “Brazil International Music Festival” held at Rio De Janeiro as a representative for Japan.
Received “Golden Canary Award” at the 2nd Annual Tokyo Music Festival’s Domestic Competition. Appeared on the stage of International Competition with the song of “Subarashii Jikan”.
Stayed in London, UK about a month for recording the album “Ryoko Moriyama In London”.
Prior to the release in Japan, single record “BRIGHT SHINES THE LIGHT OF LOVE/DEAR JOHN” came to market in UK from Phonogram UK.
During the stay in London, she appeared “Worldwide Philips Convention” held at Utrecht, Holland.
Appeared on both elimination round and final round of 4th Annual YAMAHA World Popular Song Contest at Nippon Budokan and “Kanashimi No Asa” was awarded a prize of Best Performance Artist.
Became the first case in history of NHK Symphony Orchestra that a Japanese popular singer made a joint concert with them.
In order to make a Christmas album, she visited New York, U.S.A. The recording was with the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York arranged by Gordon Jenkins.
Debuted in musical of “Fiddler On The Roof” held at Teikoku Gekijyo. Her role was a second daughter named Hodel.
First appearance as an actress on TV drama “Kin-yobi No Tsumatachie Part Ⅲ～Koi Ni Ochite～”. It was a huge hit
Radio program “Heart of Pops” on TBS Radio started. The program was on the air Monday through Friday and continued until 2009.
Appeared on the stage of Japan Day Concert at Seville Expo in Spain.
Joint concert with Michel Legrand Orchestra was launched as 30th anniversary special concert “Ryoko Moriyama with Michel Legrand” beginning at Carnegie Hall in New York. 11 shows were held.
18th Winter Olympic Games in Nagano was held and the theme song of its opening ceremony “Ashita Koso, Kodomotachiga・・・” was sung by her and the performance was televised all over the world.
Her first essay book “Ma Iika” was published from The Mainichi Newspapers.
Held Japan-Korea Friendship Concert and Dinner Show at Yonsan Art Center in Seoul, Korea.
Held concert at Alte Oper Mozart Saal in Frankfurt, Germany
At Hong Kong Culture Center, she performed for 14th Hong Kong-Japan benefit concert.
Ryoko Moriyama charity concert was held for Japanese language scholarship fund (Aurora Fund) at Japan America Theater in Los Angeles, U.S.A.
As an editor, “Okasan No Daidokoro～Haha Ni Okuru 104 tsuu No Tegami” was published in commemoration of 4,000 times for radio program “Kodansha, TBS Radio, Heart Of Pops”.
Received “Award For Excellence” of 10th Sponichi Culture & Art Grand Prize.
Appeared on Japan-Korea Friendship Concert, a part of 2002 Japan-Korea National Exchange Activities at Kyung Hee University in Korea.
Performed the Nation Anthem for Kirin Challenge 2002 Soccer Friendly Match “Japan vs Jamaica” at National Stadium in Tokyo.
At 44th Annual Japan Record Awards, she received Best Singing Award and Golden Award for “Satoukibibatake” along with Best Lyrics Award for “Nada Sousou”. Captured the triple crown.
With the motif of Moriyama’s song “Satoukibibatake”, a TV drama on TBS “Satoukibibatake” was on the air and Moriyama acted in the drama as herself.
The drama awarded the 2003 Arts Festival (Japanese Agency for Cultural Affaires) Grand Prize.
Jazz live at Sweet Basil/STB139 in Tokyo on Nov. 11 and Blue Note Osaka in Osaka on Nov. 12. These were her first appearance at clubs in the music of Jazz.
Went on a U.S. tour at such clubs as Freeborn Hall (May 2), Yoshi’s (May 5), The Jazz Bakery (May 8) and Blue Note New York (May 10 with guest musician, Michael Brecker).
Performed “Mother Earth” which was the official song of Exposition of Global Harmony in Aichi Pref. at the opening ceremony.
“Nada Sousou” received Special Award at 48th Annual Japan Record Awards with BEGIN who wrote the music.
Embassy of Japan in India held a concert for the Year of India-Japan National Exchange and Moriyama performed “Nada Sousou” in Hindi.
Received the 57th Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts.
Received the 49th Mainichi Art Award, category of popular music (sponsored by Mainichi Newspapers) in recognition of her various activities during the 40th anniversary year as a singer.
Received the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon.
One-night stand appearance on BS-TBS TV special program “Precious Songs” together with Saori Yuki.
Performed “Kyounohiwa Sayounara” at the final ceremony in National Stadium.
Started Monday’s radio personality for the popular program of “Nippon Broadcasting System’s All-Night Nippon MUSIC 10”.
Held an event “50 years in 5 hours and a half” for the start of 50th Anniversary Year of debut.