In Memoriam: How Aki Yatsushiro Rushed to Community FM Even Though She was Paid Nothing | FRIDAY DIGITAL

In Memoriam: How Aki Yatsushiro Rushed to Community FM Even Though She was Paid Nothing

Entertainment Reporter Toshio Ishikawa's "Behind the Scenes" of the Entertainment World: ......

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Aki Yashiro (left) and Harumi Miyako at the legendary “Tsumagoi” joint concert in heavy rain.

Toshio Ishikawa reports on the entertainment world: “The other side of the story”

I’m shocked. 

Aki Yashiro was found to have died on December 30 last year while taking a rest due to collagen disease. She was only 73 years old. I had known about her illness since it was announced last August, but I never expected it.


In a word, Ms. Yashiro was a truly open and honest person.

She had a life of her own, and she went into show business to provide for her parents.

“I enjoy being able to sing as various characters. I can feel the feelings of the people I am singing about.”


Fourteen or fifteen years ago, when a friend of mine started a program titled “Jikkuri Enka Ouendancho” on Rainbow Town FM, a community FM station in Koto-ku, Tokyo, of which she is the president, Ms. Yashiro appeared as the first guest on the program.

Everyone on the show, including myself and Ms. Yashiro, was paid nothing. Even so, they valued our “friendship” and gladly came to the show.


Since then, many singers, including Kaori Mizumori, Yukino Ichikawa, and Joji Yamamoto, have cooperated with us, but having Ms. Yashiro on the show was a big deal, and she really raised the value of the program. Although the form of the program has changed slightly, I believe that Ms. Yashiro’s presence was a major factor behind the program’s continuation to this day.

I was suddenly told by Ms. Yashiro,

“You are a crybaby, aren’t you, Mr. Ishikawa?”


The reason for this is that Ms. Yashiro, who sang the theme song, “Toriyanse,” was on location in Sakaiminato City, Tottori, for the movie “Gokudo no Tsumatachi: Brilliant Bonds” (released in 1995). At that time, Ms. Yashiro was told by Shima Iwashita, the star of the film,

“When Ishikawa-kun was still a young advertising man, he was assigned to be in charge of me and we went on location. At that time, he cried, saying, “I feel lonely and want to go home.””

She told me that she had heard this from Ms. Shima, but I don’t remember it (laugh). 

Ms. Yashiro still has the memory of “Mr. Ishikawa is a crybaby, isn’t he?”


The most memorable moment was the joint concert with Harumi Miyako in Tsumagoi, Shizuoka Prefecture.

The concert was held in the midst of an approaching typhoon. Harumi was dressed in a kimono and Yashiro in a dress. The concert went on even though the weather was getting more and more suspicious.

When Ms. Yashiro started to sing “Ame no Miajo (Love Affair in the Rain),” the rain turned into a torrential downpour.

“Ame Ame Fure Fure Fure”

Everyone on the roofless stage and the fans in the venue were soaking wet. The rain was getting heavier and heavier, perhaps in time with the song.

“I felt sorry for the fans, but I had never sung in such rain before. It was a great memory for both of us.”

The enthusiasm of the fans was as great as the rain. It was 42 years ago.

Although Ms. Yashiro was loved by such fans and many entertainers, three years ago she put an end to their 27-year married life. Ms. Yashiro asked me to marry her.

“I’ll be your wife.”


Mr. M., her partner, had aspired to be a singer, but had just returned to his hometown after failing,

“Why don’t you train the younger generation?”

He was brought back to the office by Mr. Yashiro. She supported him as a manager, and after Mr. Yashiro became independent, they set up an office together.

After five years of secret dating, they were married in Hawaii. Ms. Yashiro was 44 and her husband was 40.

I called Ms. Yashiro several times to ask her the reason for the divorce, but eventually I was unable to reach her.

Mr. M said, “I worked very hard until the 50th anniversary of Yashiro’s death. I don’t have any regrets, and I’ve decided to go our separate ways.”

I thought that was enough for me at the time. 

Victory over illness.

“I want to sing again.”

But the kind heart of Ms. Yashiro was left behind as a reminder of the world of the performing arts.

  • Text Toshio Ishikawa, entertainment reporter

    Born in Tokyo in 1946. He has a unique career path from Shochiku Advertising Department to women's magazine reporter to entertainment reporter. He has appeared on "The Wide" and "Information Live Miyaneya" (both on Nippon Television Network Corporation), and currently appears regularly on "Mentai Wide" (Fukuoka Broadcasting System), "Su Matan" (Yomiuri TV), and Rainbow Town FM.

  • PHOTO Kyodo

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