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Noriko Sakai: Pop Music Singer and One of the World's Most Beautiful Women That Survived a Personal Scandal

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Noriko Sakai during a tour in Hong Kong in 2000

Even with short hair, Noriko Sakai shows that she is very beautiful! She is seen here in Hong Kong during a tour and an event.

Even with short hair, Noriko Sakai shows that she is very beautiful! She is seen here in Hong Kong during a tour and an event.

Why is Noriko Sakai Famous?

Noriko Sakai, a native of Fukuoka, Japan, is best known for her career as a pop music singer. She rose to fame after the release of her single I want to be a boy (Otoko no Ko ni Naritai) on February 5, 1987. That first single sold 40,000 copies. Noriko Sakai has released many other singles. Some of these include Happy Again, Love Letter, Diamond Blue, Here I Am, Words of Love, and Miracle. She has also released many full-length albums in her career of more than 30 years. She released seven long playing releases which is another way of describing a full length album but she has been around a long time in the music business. Noriko Sakai has also released two box sets. These are Noriko Box and Complete DVD box.

When did Noriko Sakai start her career?

Noriko got her first exposure to the entertainment industry back in 1985. At that time she signed with BOMB Magazine after she was discovered at the Grand Prix Beauty Pageant. A year later in 1986, Noriko made her debut as a Japanese pop “idol” signing a contract with Sun Music. She has appeared in various TV shows over the years. Noriko’s first full length release is called Fantasia-Noriko Part 1. Sakai hit the peak of her popularity in the 1980s and 1990s. Some people have called Noriko Sakai “the most beautiful woman in the world.”

Noriko Sakai's personal scandal and aftermath

Sakai would make major news headlines in 2009. She was charged with illegal possession of stimulants. This became known as the Noriko Sakai drug scandal. On November 9, 2009, she received a suspended sentence of 3 years. She faced 18 months of prison time if she were to violate that sentence.

She was contemplating retiring from the entertainment business and is currently a spokesperson for an anti-drug campaign at the request of the Chinese government. I had known about Noriko Sakai for years but only recently started to listen to her music. Sakai stands at 157 centimeters tall and weighs 43 kilograms. In November 2012, Sakai announced that she was returning to the entertainment industry after finishing her suspended sentence that was the result of the drug scandal. Sakai was very lucky because this scandal could have destroyed her career in entertainment.

"A Dress of Mirror"

Various image scans of Noriko Sakai

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Noriko Sakai's acting work and endorsements

Noriko Sakai has also been seen in commercials advertising various beauty products. I and all of the rest of her fans would like to see Noriko become a better person as a result of the adversity she has faced. She has a very quiet and soothing voice when she speaks. She has received a few awards for her acting. The first one of these came in 1995 when she won an award for Best Actress for Hoshi No Kinka at the Japan Drama Awards. A year later she received another best actress award for Zoku Hoshi No Kinka at the Japan Drama Awards.

Noriko Sakai Endorsements

Noriko Sakai has had endorsement deals for various companies including Nissan Motors, Chubu Electric Power, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, and Nissan Food Products.

Noriko Sakai performs the song Love Letter

Sakai's return to entertainment and appearance at the Asia Pop Music Festival

Sakai would return to the stage in December 2012. She would star in a stage play about a main character during the Sengoku Period. The play would stop running on December 25, 2012. It attracted an audience of 7,500 people in ten days. Sakai was at a release event for her mini-album called Namida Hitotsubu at Tower Records in Shibuya in January 2014. Sakai was present at the Asia Pop Music Festival in Hong Kong. This event took place on March 28, 2014. It featured singers from 7 different countries and Sakai was one of those lucky seven that was chosen! She is popular in China. This event was also important for the reason that Sakai made a statement about the relationship between Japan, China, and South Korea. She said that music does not have any boundaries. Through the power of music, people can forget about everything and become one. Sakai said that her goal was to bring warm feelings to everyone which would lead to smiles everywhere. The event had 8,000 people in the audience and Sakai even sang in Chinese!

"Active Heart"

Interesting Facts about Noriko Sakai

  • Noriko Sakai married in 1998, gave birth to a son the following year and divorced following a highly controversial and publicized drug scandal. She regrets the decision to use drugs and has said that she will have to do all that she can to recover from the damaging effects of her actions. She blames mental and physical exhaustion over the years for her behavior.
  • Sakai continues to be popular in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • She previously used the nickname NORI-P but eventually stopped as she started an acting career.
  • Noriko Sakai has acted in many movies but since most of the names are in Japanese, I have only listed some of them because this will make it easier for readers to follow along.
  • Moonlight Jellyfish in 2004, SS-Special Stage and Yesterday in 2008 are a few of these movies.
  • She was a student at Sozo Gakuen University studying welfare and nursing care. I first started to look into the life and career of Noriko Sakai back in 2012.
  • She was born on Valentine’s Day in 1971.

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

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