Hitomi Shimatani

by Rinoa on September 1, 2005 · 16 comments · AddThis

Hitomi Shimatani
Hitomi Shimatani posing in CDData 2006
Name: Hitomi Shimatani
Birthday: September 4th 1980
Hometown: Hiroshima
Star Sign: Virgo
Height: 161 cm
Blood Type: O type
Hobbies: Karaoke, shopping, movies
Record Label: avex trax
Talent Agency: PROCEED

Hitomi Shimatani is a relatively popular singer in the J-Pop scene, who has made her debut back then in 1999. Apart from being a singer, Hitomi is a popular television personality and is an actress. She has a reputation of having powerful vocals and her beauty has labelled her as being one of the most beautiful personalities in Japan. Her trademark is her long hair.

Despite the fact that she is not extremely popular and is not one of avex’s biggest source of revenue, Hitomi still manages to attract a fair amount of attention. She has her personal fanclub called Eye-Land. Hitomi’s personality is rather well mannered and she is a compliant woman to work with, according to those who have done so. Hitomi frequents many music and radio programmes, just because she an interesting person. For these reasons she has made a lot of friendships and connections with various personalities, most notably the illustrious actress Yukie Nakama and Ryoko Kuninaka.

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The story of her rise to fame is quite interesting. Shimatani Hitomi was discovered among 200,000 contestants in The Japan Audition 1997. She auditioned as one of many young women and talent directors kept noticing how much she stood out from the rest of the girls in the group. Her face was very captivating. Her dancing was minimally good at best but her voice had a very clear and good range. They decided that she was good enough for Enka.

After graduating from high school in 1999, she made the all-important move to Tokyo and started lessons to polish her for her show business debut. In July 1999, she released her first enka single, Osaka no Onna. With her debut single, Hitomi managed to do something that no newcomer ever managed to do: she got the top spot at the Oricon Enka Charts. By the end of the year Hitomi would win two Best Newcomer Awards. The 32nd annual Nihon Yuusen Taishou Newcomer of the Year Award would be the most prestigious award she would earn in her early years of her career.

Hitomi's debut album
Hitomi's debut album

Hitomi had managed to attract the attention of many people and for this reason her managers realised that she was so pretty that she could attract not just the mature audience, but also the younger generation too. Thus they started to prepare for her pop debut, which took over a year to come to life. The rest is history.

Her pop music debut, Kaihoku, came out on September 27 of 2000, debuting at a modest #28 on the Oricon chart. A little over four months later, on February 7, 2001, she released her second single, “Papillon“. This song also failed to break into the top 20 in its opening week of release, but it made up for that fact by enjoying a very long chart life. This song was a cover of Janet Jackson’s “Doesn’t Really Matter”, which eventually worked up to #14 on Oricon in April, and it achieved hit status when it broke the quarter-million sales mark in June. It also introduced the Japanese to one of the most memorably unique pop refrains in recent times, combining words of greeting from a wide variety of foreign languages.

She released one more single at the end of May, “Ichiba ni Ikou“, before putting out her debut album, also “Papillon” on June 27th. This album was a Latin-flavoured collection, which also contained a cover of a Jennifer Lopez song which was titled “Motto“. Riding on the popularity of its’ title track, it scored a #7 ranking on the Oricon album charts in its’ first week. To date it has sold 147,000 copies, which is a very good result for a debut album. Three months later Hitomi would release her final single of 2001, “Yasashii Kiss no Mitsukekata“, which would rank at #17 and gain modest sales. Hitomi was slowly but surely on the way of becoming a popular artist.

Hitomi's Photobook
Hitomi's Photobook

In 2002, Hitomi would become a well established artist and start releasing a series of hits. Her first single in 2002, “Shanti” would become a moderate hit. However her following single, “Ama-iro no Kami no Otome” would become a huge hit, selling 375,000 copies and would garner a lot of attention all over Japan. This single would end to be so popular, that avex would release a remix single “Ama-iro Maxi” at the request of her fans. Hitomi’s schedule became extremely hectic. She would release her second album, “Shanti“, which would sell 433,000 copies and would become her highest selling studio album and her first #1 release. In November, Hitomi would release her first mini-album “Poinsettia”, which would be conceptualized for the Christmas season. If this was not enough, Hitomi would also perform her first live event in Shibuya and Hitomi would travel to Hawaii in order to release her first photobook. Finally Hitomi would be invited to the prestigious Kohaku event for the first time.

In 2003, Hitomi would steadily continue working hard on her musical career. She would start releasing music with a hint of ethnicity, which would prove to be fairly popular with the audience. Her most prominent release would be the hit single “Perseus“, with an Eastern melody. This song would become a signature song of Hitomi. It would also become Hitomi’s first attempt at more advanced dancing with a set choreography. Two months later, Hitomi would release her third studio album “Gate ~ Scena III ~“, which would rank at #2 on Oricon and sell almost 200,000 copies. This album was heavily influenced by ethnic music, especially Latin. In autumn of the same year, Hitomi would also receive a very important tie-in with the Doraemon Movie, “Nobita’s Wannyan Space-Time Legend” and this would become her first single geared towards children. Finally in December, Hitomi would release her best compilation which would sell well over 462,668 copies. This would also be her first album which would include a DVD Version.

Damens Walker

Shimatani herself admits that she loves music because of the way that singing allows her to assume different roles, by expressing the feelings of characters whose personalities differ from her own. This inclination probably led Hitomi to start her acting debut in 1999 with the dorama “Tetsu niisan“. Two years later Hitomi would play the part of a rock singer called Akira in “Shinjukuzame Koorimai“. She was the love interest of veteran star Tachi Hiroshi, acting as Detective Samejima. A lot of fuss was made by the media about a steamy kiss scene between the two that took place in the drama, but Shimatani was fonder of Tachi for his kindness and the various things he taught her about the art of performing in front of the camera. Shimatani found this acting experience captivating, stating that if the chance presented itself, she would love to do it again. She got her wish in August 2002, when she got to appear in one episode of the NTV summer serial drama “Tantei Kazoku“, playing the lead singer of an idol trio being stalked by a mysterious assailant. Later on in 2003, she would get cast in “Boku dake no Madonna“, where she would meet Koizumi Koutaro. The curious thing is that she would end up dating him both in the dorama and in real life, according to rumors. Three years later, she would be invited to act in “Damens Walker” and she would also make her debut in the movie industry in “The Prince Of Tennis – The Movie” as Ryuzaki Sumire.

Love Letter
Tsuioku+Love Letter Promotion

2004 was looking rather bleak when the first two singles failed to sell over 30,000 copies. However, in August, Hitomi would release the Inuyasha tie-in “ANGELUS“, which would become a hit. This single was quite appealing to many fans because Hitomi took up the sexy image for the first time. A month later, Hitomi would release her 4th studio album, “Tsuioku + Love Letter“, which would sell relatively well. For this reason, Hitomi would have her first concert tour.

The following year would be a rather experimental year for Hitomi Shimatani. She would release her first urban single “Garnet Moon“, which would become a huge hit. Hitomi’s image would be more mature and sexy and she would also perform a rather polished choreography. However a month later, Hitomi would surprise her fans with her special concept album, “Crossover“, which would follow a classical direction. Despite the low sales Hitomi would create her own genre called “crossover”, which would be a hybrid between dance-pop music and classical melodies. Although her sales took a downward spiral, Hitomi received a lot of attention from the classical communities and she would be invited to perform in numerous concerts. Hitomi Shimatani’s 20th single was the last single she’d release in 2005. On the 12th October, she released an album titled “Heart & Symphony“, which would earn awards for its’ dramatic elements. avex would also rearrange her older hits and sing them in her “Crossover” concerts. She would also sing her “Ama-iro no Kami no Otome“, with a crossover rearrangement in the Kohaku event.

“I shall sing with a lot of emotion on the the last day which rounds off the year”

PRIMA ROSA Promotion

In the following year, Hitomi would release three singles which would fail to become hits. However her “Destiny -Taiyou no Hana-/Koimizu -tears of love“, would attract the attention of many international fans and would become her best representation for her “crossover” genre. She would also return to her ethnic roots with the Latin-inspired single “PASIO“. After failing to attract the attention of the Japanese audience, Hitomi would record a duet single with Masayuki Suzuki in January. In February Hitomi would release her first rock single, “Dragonfly” but these singles would also get rather low sales. Finally in May, Hitomi would release her 6th studio album “PRIMA ROSA“. This album has only sold 15,218 copies to date, which would become her lowest selling album. However, Hitomi is not discouraged and she is already busy working on her following single, which is set to be the NTV’s wrestling relay theme song.

On a final note, if any of you readers desire to learn more about Hitomi Shimatani and her career, feel free to visit Crossover, which is a community dedicated to this talented artist.



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About the author

Rinoa enjoys spending her free time writing articles, most particularly reviews, biographies and news articles. Her favourite artist is Ayumi Hamasaki but she enjoys listening to a wide range of musical talents from all over the world.

{ 1 trackback }

Animation 3D: Hitomi Rig Test… they say it’s "awesome"; "sexiest thing I ever seen" « hellaheaven
May 6, 2011 at 7:23 am

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

wujiehui December 28, 2010 at 6:24 am

beautiful girl…..


lynda UNITED STATES September 29, 2009 at 1:34 pm

A very good article and singer!!!


Andrew March 17, 2008 at 7:49 pm

Awesome, awesome, awesome! For some reason, I love Hitomi even more now…I’m on a quest to complete my collection of her albums and singles and this was a nice article to come across. Thank you!


Ceasar UNITED STATES August 26, 2007 at 3:18 am

This article was very helpful about her she is really talented with singing and acting not only that she really beautiful


Tenoh Haruka April 1, 2007 at 11:09 pm

I GOT THAT EMAAAAIL!!! lol, its nice to look back at the entries from like months ago, and see wat everyone writes, hehe, just writing my little piece in blog-history…. Hitomi, if you ever read this, know that we love you, DEARLY! and never stop singing, beacuse you impacted maaaany lives, and changed them for the better, and your message keeps reaching us in our daily lives and personally i dont know what i would have done if i didnt meet your music that fateful day….yoroshiku onegaishimasu! AISURU SHIMATANI-SAN DESU!!!


Tenoh Haruka March 26, 2007 at 8:07 pm

hehe, my real name is Jose, but i use tenoh haruka as my alias (lol) beacuse its sailor uranus’s real name, hehe, am i the only guy in here that likes sailor moon enough to use his favorite scout’s name…hehe, i think i am., lol but yea, we all apreciate your forum rinoa, (wink) keep up da good work, and im still waiting on that prima rosa one, but bah, take your time, it’l be all the sweeter when i get that email!


Rinoa March 26, 2007 at 1:58 pm

I’m glad you really love and appreciate Hitomi’s career, Tenou. I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t followed the single since the beginning, since most of her fans got to know her because of an anime tie-in =P In any way I’ve recently revamped this biography and now it’s pretty much up-to-date. I do hope you guys enjoy this update!


Tenou Haruka February 28, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Your right, all of you guys. When i heard the 30 second preview for mermaid, i FELL IN LOVE with the organs, it sounded kind of evil. and yet serene beacuse of her voice and that magnificent tone she has. but i still love her. i bought every single cd and single she has made, and i love most of her songs. im not going to lie, some got old quick in my book, but all the way from osaka no onna, to pasio, to dragonfly. I am shamed that i havent been with her since the begining, but better late than never…..ne?


Matthew Ramsden UNITED KINGDOM October 16, 2006 at 1:22 pm

Hello.. another singer Channel-Ai has got me into liking :D


Harumi UNITED STATES November 11, 2005 at 3:03 pm

A lovely article. I wish Shimatani Hitomi could have stayed a little longer in Enka. It’s a musical genre that requires great skill, and from what I’ve seen of her, she has the talent to pull it off.

Her style now is so refreshing and beautiful, better than all the common Jpop artists out there now. I look forward to new developments from her!


spellcheck UNITED STATES September 4, 2005 at 6:06 am

Wonderful article. Before I read this, I knew nothing about her, I only knew of her. I would have never guessed that she was going to sing Enka! That’s pretty cool. I like “~Mermaid~” too. It’s very unique and I like how she mixed the classical/organ/pop sound. Great job! You may be spawning Hitomi fans!


Leanne UNITED STATES September 3, 2005 at 6:57 pm

I really liked reading your article! I didn’t know she was an actress as well! I wonder how her voice will be like in rock. Maybe she should make a rock single like Mika did! So cool~ New album in October? Cool, can’t wait.

good job!


Spyro GREECE September 3, 2005 at 3:34 pm

it was a great article rinoa ^_^
i was a bit shocked learning about enka..come on! a really young pretty adult girl for such music? sounds funny..but i love her career and the way her style has evolved, go shimatani!


eyn CANADA September 2, 2005 at 2:20 pm

The Enka bit sure is interesting, but I don’t really enjoy those Enka songs (intended for older people). I’m glad Avex change her into a J-Pop artist later on because I think she certainly did better compare to her Enka career.

I’m interested about the Crossover album after reading and maybe I should give it a try. Experimental music style can turn out to be very interesting, and I found ~Mermaid~ is a very good start for such music. :)


Lainay UNITED STATES September 2, 2005 at 1:04 pm

Very good article!! Wow, I never woulda guessed her beginning was Enka! I actually learned a lot outta this article, thanks for writing it!! I like ~Mermaid~ a lot! ^^


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