Fuyumi Sakamoto appeared on NHK’s Kachinuki Kayo Tengoku, a competitive singing program, in 1986 and became famous at the event’s Wakayama competition.
She moved Tokyo after being encouraged to do so by the late Kosho Inomata, a songwriter who was oversaw vocal instruction for the show.
For the eight months from April through November 1986, she served as a live-in apprentice to the singer, taking lessons and gaining a variety of life experience by serving as his driver and preparing his meals.
In March 1987, she made her debut with “Abaredaiko.” The following year, she competed for the first time in the Kohaku Utagassen singing contest with “Iwaizake.” Since then she has pursued a career that is not confined to the enka genre, releasing numerous hits such as “Yozakura Oshichi” and “Mata Kimi ni Koi Shiteru.”
I was born in Kuchikumano, whose name reflect its status as the gateway to the Kumano Kodo. I grew up in a place where Kumano always felt close at hand thanks to World Heritages like Yagami-oji and Inabane-oji.
When you visit Kumano Sanzan--Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine, Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine, and Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine--your heart is cleansed by their sublime and mysterious nature. When I see the Nachi Waterfall, Japan’s highest, I feel like I'm joining hands with nature.
Ikuzo Yoshi wrote the music and lyrics for the song “Kumanoji e,” which I released last year, based on his own visit to Kumano Kodo and pilgrimage to the area’s shrines. Singing that song has made the place even more special to me.
I would invite everyone to visit Kumano, a sacred place where the gods dwell.