Date of Birth: June 19, 1973
Birthplace: Fukuchiyama, Kyoto, Japan
Blood Type: O
Height: 159cm (5'3")
Hobbies: Map driving
Special skills: "Nothing really..."
Strengths: "I'm easily impassioned"
Weaknesses: Short temper, easily depressed
Nicknames: Yuu-chan, "Big Sis"
Habits: Stretching top lip, touching bangs
Favourite color: Purple
Favourite flowers: Cherry blossoms
Something she can't handle: Seeing people cry
Fears: Natural disasters, live broadcasts
Favourite movies: "Phenomenon", "Legally Blonde", "City of Angels", "Shuri"
Favourite book: "Angel's Egg"
Favourite phrase: "Survival of the fittest"
Most used emoticon: :heartbeat:
Favourite season: Summery summers
Favourite foods: Squid, boiled fresh white rice
Disliked foods: Bananas, tomatoes, cilantro, miso soup with bean curd and onions
Favourite clothes: Miniskirts
Favourite song: "Tokyo Bijin"
Charm point: Nose
Yuko was one of five runner-ups in a 1997 talent contest for a new Japanese rock idol. After the contest, musician and producer Tsunku offered Yuuko and the 4 other runner-ups (Natsumi Abe, Kaori Iida, Aya Ishiguro, and Asuka Fukuda) the chance to be taken under his wing on one condition: that they sell 50,000 CDs of their song "Ai no Tane" in 5 days. The quintet accomplished that task in 4 and, thus, the birth of Morning Musume in 1997 (and their first official single "Morning Coffee" released in 1998). The group has since been increasingly popular and is infamous for its fluctuation of memberships, with members "graduating" and joining frequently.
Shortly after the formation of Morning Musume, Yuko began a solo career in 1998, starting out with songs in enka-style (traditional japanese folk) but gradually moving to pop, though often more slow, mature, and ballady than most songs in Hello! Project (the umbrella company which includes Morning Musume and other groups).
Yuko is also a regular featured singer in Hello! Project's "Folk Songs" series, where Yuuko and other Hello! Project groups/soloists sing covers of various folk songs. She was also placed in Akagumi 4 in Hello! Project's 2000 summer shuffles. In Morning Musume, Yuko mostly sings harmonies with a few solo lines.
Being the oldest of the 1st generation of Morning Musume (she was 24 at the time of formation and nearly 28 upon her graduation), Yuko was made leader of the group until her graduation in Spring 2001, when Kaori Iida and Kei Yasuda took on the leadership role. In explaining her graduation, Yuko said she wanted to pursue other things by the time she was 30. At the time of graduation, she was 14 years older than the youngest member of the troupe (then 13-year-old Ai Kago).
Since graduating, Yuko has done some work in Japanese dramas (such as "Beauty 7" and "Home Maker") and has continued in her solo singing career at a steady pace with reasonable success. She still works closely with Morning Musume, and has been a regular guest of their weekly show "Hello! Morning".
Some fans spell it "Yuko." Some prefer "Yuuko." Which is the right way? That's the crazy thing about trying to romanize things from a phonetic language -- both are correct. Basically, the extra "u" just means the "yu" syllable stretches out a bit longer and gets the emphasis in the word. Many romanizers find the extra "u" to be superfluous since the English-language reading would automatically give the emphasis to the first syllable anyway. Official merchandise usually spells it "Yuko" when it uses roman characters, but I prefer to keep the extra "u," primarily because it's impossible to get the right kanji for her name when writing in Japanese without it. It's more a matter of preference than right or wrong.
The title of this fanlisting is a pun that's so delightful I find it delicious. "Yuuwaku" is the Japanese word for "seduction." It's also the title of Yuuko's fanclub-only solo song from back in 2000. It's also a pun on her name. It's got lots of little levels built into that little title, right there. ;D
For those new to the idea, a fanlisting is essentially a list of fans of a certain musician, actor, TV Show, or anything. People from all around the world stop by and add on to show their support for the fandoms that they love.
(Much of the profile is borrowed from SMP's translation of a "50 Questions" article. The more in-depth information comes largely from her Wikipedia entry.)
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