Yukiko Okada (Born as Kayo Satō; August 22, 1967 April 8, 1986) was a Japanese idol singer in the 1980s. She was a winner of the talent show, Star Tanjō! (essentially a Japanese predecessor to American Idol) and pretty much after that, the rest is history.
Known as "Yukko" to her fans, Okada debuted with the single, "First Date" on April 21, 1984. Her 1986 single "Kuchibiru Network", reached number one on the Oricon weekly singles chart dated February 10, 1986. She was on her way to becoming a star and had she continued, would've been as big a star as Seiko Matsuda; another idol singer who was also very popular in her time. Yukiko would've always been remembered for her simple voice and being cute, petite, and innocent.
Sadly, on April 8, 1986, Okada was taken to hospital after being discovered in her apartment with a slashed wrist. Hideyoshi Aizawa, the founder of Sun Music, picked her up from the hospital, and she asked to be taken to the office. However, as soon as she was left alone, she ran to the roof and jumped, dying instantly.
Information on Okada is sparse in the west as her time was obviously before the rise of the internet, so if you have some time to spare, a 3-part fan documentary entitled "KANASHII YOKAN: The Life and Legacy of Yukiko Okada" chronicling Okada's entire life can be found here
It's now been over 30 years since her death, but Yukiko's memory is still fresh in peoples mind. On April 8 every year on the anniversary of her death, fans gather and lay a memorial for her, both on her grave and on the spot she died, proving that even though she is gone, she will never be forgotten.
- [1984.9.5] Cinderella
- [1985.3.21] FAIRY
- [1985.9.18] Jyūgatsu no Ningyo
- [1986.3.21] Venus Tanjō
Provides examples of:
- The '80s: Okada's debut and peak, during the decade in what's commonly believed to be the "Golden Age of Idols".
- Accidental Misnaming:
- A nervous Okada introduced herself as 'Yukko' and the name has since gotten stuck until becoming an Affectionate Nickname.
- On her TV debut as an idol, the host referred to her as "Ukiko Okada" and also mis-identified her song "First Date" as "First Lady".
- Cosmic Motifs: Venus Tanjō is a concept album about space and planets, including song titles like Jupiter.
- Face on the Cover: The sleeve art for her singles often feature a close-up shot of Okada in portrait form. Very de rigueur for 1980s idol packaging.
- Gratuitous English: Many of her songs include English phrases, most notably "Kuchibiru Network".
- Idol Singer: The most basic example of one.
- Moe Stare: You're blind if you've not seen this in her music videos. Or picture above...?
- Silly Love Songs: Why, of course. A lot of her songs involve romance of some sort. Her debut song, "First Date", as well as her no.1 hit, "Kuchibiru Network", are pretty much these.
- Teen Idol: She started her singing career at the age of 16.