In Memoriam ’23: Yukihiro Takahashi and his “partner” who answered, “We’re dating,” in a direct interview with this magazine. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

In Memoriam ’23: Yukihiro Takahashi and his “partner” who answered, “We’re dating,” in a direct interview with this magazine.

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At a “YMO” concert at Toji Temple in Kyoto in July ’07 (Photo/Getty)

Musician Yukihiro Takahashi, 70, passed away on January 11, 2011. As the drummer and vocalist of the Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO), Takahashi created a worldwide techno-pop boom in the 1980s. He also produced, provided music, and collaborated with other musicians, leaving a tremendous impact on the music scene.

While a junior college student in 1972, Takahashi joined “Sadistic Mika Band” as a drummer. After the band broke up, he formed “YMO” in 1978 with Ryuichi Sakamoto (died in March 2011 at the age of 71) and Haruomi Hosono (76). The following year, “YMO” went on a world tour, sparking a huge boom in Japan that was ignited overseas. Young people everywhere imitated the three members’ “techno cut” hairstyle, and in Harajuku, the Takenoko tribe danced to “Raideen,” a song composed by Mr. Takahashi.

Mr. Takahashi is also active as a fashion designer, not only working on his own brand, but also on stage costumes for “YMO,” whose unique worldview is symbolized by the red peoples’ clothes. He also worked as a personality on “All Night Nippon” and appeared in movies as an actor. Sometimes he even tried his hand at comedy.

It was in 1993 that this magazine caught up with Takahashi and his wife Kiyomi (68). That year, “YMO,” which had “dispersed” in 1983, was to be revived and hold a “rebirth” concert at the Budokan in June. About a month before the concert, this magazine had spotted the two living in a house in Tokyo. I often see [Yukihiro] with a woman carrying a shopping bag. I thought she was his wife,” said a neighbor.

One afternoon, when I asked them about their relationship as they were about to go out, Takahashi calmly said,

We are in a relationship.

They were going out one afternoon, and when I asked them about their relationship, Mr. Takahashi calmly replied, “We are dating.

I also asked Kiyomi, who was standing behind him, about marriage,

I asked her about marriage, to which she replied, “I’m not sure about that. ……

She smiled and said, “I’m not sure about that.

Kiyomi, who had been modeling for “non-no” and other magazines since she was 19, had already retired by the time of this magazine’s report. However, she returned to modeling in 2010 and was praised as a “miracle 50-something. She is still modeling today as a “miraculous 60-something,” and it was with the encouragement of Ms. Takahashi that she resumed her activities.

Ms. Takahashi and Kiyomi moved to Karuizawa about 10 years ago, and their friendship has been seen at restaurants and other places.’ In 2008, Mr. Takahashi was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and Kiyomi was always by his side during his long battle with the disease. In July 2009, Ms. Takahashi posted an Instagram photo of herself celebrating Kiyomi’s birthday at a French restaurant. In the photo, the two are looking at the camera with peaceful expressions. Takahashi posted the following sentence.

If it weren’t for this person, I wouldn’t exist today. I couldn’t express my gratitude properly, so I’d like to express it this time as a token of my gratitude.

Mr. Takahashi has been battling an illness in preparation for his comeback. He was unable to perform at the 50th anniversary concert held in September of last year, and commented, “I am continuing my rehabilitation as hard as I can, but it seems that it will take longer than expected. However, his condition deteriorated at the end of last year, and his wish was never fulfilled. We would like to pray for their repose.

Mr. Takahashi always drove his car carefully and slowly. Kiyomi was talking to him enthusiastically from the passenger seat (June 4, 1993).
The two of them walk side by side at a perfect distance from each other (June 4, 1993).
Going home” together late at night.
  • PHOTO Shoichiro Tsuboi

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