Fukuyama Masaharu (福山 雅治 , born February 6, 1969) is a Japanese musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actor from Nagasaki Prefecture.
Propelled by the success of dorama “Hitotsu Yane no Shita” (under the same roof), where he played ‘Chi-nichan’, the second older brother in the Kashiwagi family, he had his first million-selling single, “It’s Only Love/Sorry Baby” in 1994.
♪ It’s only love ♪
His 1995 single “Hello” became the second highest selling single that year.
“Sakura Zaka” and “Niji” are among Masaharu’s popular songs. His 2000 single “Sakura Zaka” sold more than 751,000 copies in its first week and remained at the top of the Japanese Oricon chart for 3 consecutive weeks; it sold about 2,299,000 copies on the Oricon charts overall.
♪ Sakura Zaka ♪
“Niji” was a theme song for the Japanese drama “Water Boys”. His triple A-side single “Niji/Himawari/Sore ga Subete sa”, released on August 26, 2003, debuted at No. 1 on the Oricon single charts and topped them for five consecutive weeks.
He has cemented his status as the best-selling male solo artist in Japan, having sold 21.27 million copies so far.
♪ Niji ♪
In 2007, after a four-years absence from drama, Fukuyama returned to television, starring as the brilliant but eccentric Physics Associate Professor, Manabu Yukawa, in the widely acclaimed television drama “Galileo”.
He won “Best Actor” at the 55th Television Drama Academy Awards for the role. He also formed a band, KOH+, with his co-star in the drama Kou Shibasaki.
♪ Dearest ♪
In 2008, NHK selected Fukuyama to portray Sakamoto Ryōma, the title character, in the 2010 year-long prime-time television Taiga drama “Ryōmaden”. It took six months and three offers from NHK for him to accept the role.
In 2009, he held his 20th anniversary national arena tour which covered 36 performances in 12 cities over 4 months straight with a total audience count of 500,000.
Two weeks before the tour started, he held 4 shows at the Nippon Budokan his first ever solo concerts there, as part of his almost yearly thanksgiving concert ritual.
While the Tour was still ongoing, on Aug 29 and 30, he went back to his hometown Nagasaki and held two open-air concerts at the Mount Inasa Park Outdoor Stage, with simultaneous public viewing free of charge for 50,000 Nagasaki citizens at the nearby Nagasaki Baseball Stadium (commonly known as the Big N to locals).
The master ringtone (Chaku Uta) download of his song “Hatsukoi” began on November 6, 2009. It sold about 150,000 downloads in five days, and, on November 13, 2009, it was announced that the song would be released as a physical CD single on December 16, 2009.
The single debuted at number 1 on the Oricon weekly charts, with sales of around 151,000 copies in the first week of the release.
He performed “Hatsukoi” at the 60th NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen on New Year’s Eve 2009, his first appearance at the event since 1993.
♪ Hotaru ♪ (Firefly) (2010)
★ Japanese star Fukuyama Masaharu’s marriage crushes hearts and stock value (Masha loss) ★
A new word—“Masha-Loss”—was coined by fans disappointed that their idol was no longer single and available.
When Japanese star Fukuyama Masaharu got married in 2015, what got crushed went beyond the hearts of his adoring fans. The aftermath explains why many Asian stars either stay single or marry in secrecy so that they don’t risk extreme consequences.
He rose to fame in 1992 and has enjoyed a celebrated career of over 20 years as a famous singer-songwriter, musician, and actor.
He remains one of Japan’s most popular male singers with sales of 23 million copies of records. He won Best Actor for his role in the TV crime drama Galileo. He starred in the annual big historical drama Ryomaden in 2010.
He also played the lead role in the movie “Like Father, Like Son” in 2013, which won the Jury Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival.
Another title he held was being one of the most eligible bachelors in Japan. When he finally married at the age of 46, fans were still shocked. Many fans have posted comments online expressing sadness from a broken heart.
His agency, Amuse Entertainment, tried to be cautious. He married his long-time girlfriend, actress Fukiishi Kazue (33), on her 33rd birthday, which was Monday, September 28. The agency announced the news after the stock market closed that afternoon.
Unfortunately, Amuse’s stock crashed the next day and suffered a loss of 4 billion yen, or more than US$3.3 million.
Even though they dated for many years before getting married, the couple each issued a statement that sounded like an apology hoping for fans’ acceptance.
He said via the faxed statement, “We had a friendship which over the past few years grew into a relationship. We started to see each other as partners supporting each other’s lives. I am hoping we will receive support from our fans and staff to create a happy family.”
And his new wife said in her statement, “My sincere apologies for informing (you) about our marriage in a written letter.” She added, “I want to build a loving family filled with smiles.”
News that Masaharu Fukuyama, wife to become parents sends fans into frenzy
And she has given birth!
When he first heard his baby’s cries and first saw his baby, he began to shed tears. He was even tearful while writing the announcement.
May they live happily ever after 😃
♪ Kazoku Ni Narou Yo ♪ (Let’s Become a Family)
( English Cover by Matt Cab)