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Hajime Chitose

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Hajime Chitose promoting Kataritsugu Koto (2012)

Hajime Chitose (元ちとせ) is a Japanese Shima-Uta, specifically Amami Folk, singer. At a young age she had won numerous folk-music awards for her singing and was even approached by a several record companies. However, she turned down these offers, opting instead to study to pursue a career as a beautician. When an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the products caused her to drop-out of beautician school, Hajime seriously considered a music career. She is signed with the major label EPIC Records and is managed by Office Augusta.

Profile

Biography

After being the Amami Folk Song Grand Prize Winner for three consecutive years in the early 1990's, Hajime was approached by Central Gakki records. The independent label signs Shima-Uta singers and distributes all of their releases in the Ryukyu Islands. She recorded an album full of Amami folk songs titled Higya Merabe in August of 1994 on cassette tape, her only album to be in that format. She was only 15 years old at the time of release, and as expected of Shima-Uta singers she plays the shamisen throughout. Two years later Hajime won the Amami Folk Song Grand Prize Award and put out another Amami folk song cover album. It was released in December of 1996 and was called Shima・Kyora・Umui. This was her first album to be released in CD format.

In late 2000 early 2001, Hajime signed with indies label atsugua records, a subsidary of Office Augusta. Office Augusta would later become her management office after she signed with EPIC Records. Here she put out two mini-albums, both in 2001; the first one was her self-titled cover mini-album Hajime Chitose on March 9th. Unlike her first two cover releases, she mainly covered foreign artists. The mini-album was also her first charting release, reaching #43 on the major Oricon charts, where it charted for 14 weeks and sold 60,000 copies.

Because of her debut mini-album's early success, Hajime recorded and released another. The mini-album would be Kotonoha, her first release of original material, on August 1st. This release did better than her self-titled one, reaching #37 on the major Oricon charts, where it charted for 15 weeks and sold 71,000 copies. After the successes of both of the mini-albums, Hajime got a major label record deal with EPIC Records.

On February 6th, 2002 Hajime released her debut single and first major release "Wadatsumi no Ki". The single reached #1 on the Oricon charts, where it stayed in the top 10 for three months and charted for 37 weeks. It sold 848,000 copies overall, and because of that it became the third highest selling single in 2002. Three months later, on the 22nd, she released her second single "Kimi wo Omou". This is the first of her singles to include cover songs. It reached #6 on the Oricon charts, where it charted for eight weeks and sold 111,000 copies.

Before the release of her third album, Central Gakki re-released Shima・Kyora・Umui on June 10th. This press featured a renewed album CD jacket and a cheaper price. Hai nu Mikaze, Hajime's major debut album, was released on July 10th. The album reached #1 on the Oricon charts, where it charted for 58 weeks. It sold 792,000 copies overall, therefore it became the #16 highest selling album in 2002. Because of its success the album was reprinted only four months after its initial release. Ending off 2002 was her third single "Kono Machi". It is her first song to have a tie-up, it was used as the theme song for the NHK drama Manten. The single reached #7 on the Oricon charts, where it charted for 20 weeks and sold 104,000 copies.

Discography

Hajime Chitose promoting "Anata ga Koko ni Ite Hoshii / Miyori no Mori" (2007)
Hajime Chitose promoting Cassini (2008)
Hajime Chitose promoting Orient and Occident (2010)
Hajime Chitose promoting "Towa no Shirabe" (2011)

Studio Albums

  • [1994.08.xx] Higya Merabe (ひぎゃ女童; Eastern Girl) (indies)
  • [1996.11.xx] Shima・Kyora・Umui (故郷・美ら・思い; Hometown.Beautiful.Thoughts) (indies)
  • [2002.07.10] Hai nu Mikaze (ハイヌミカゼ; Southern Wind)
  • [2003.09.03] Nomad・Soul (ノマド・ソウル)
  • [2006.05.10] Hanadairo (ハナダイロ; Light Indigo)
  • [2008.07.16] Cassini (カッシーニ)

Best Albums

Cover Albums

Live Albums

Mini-Albums

Singles

Digital Singles

DVDs

Other DVDs

Compilations / Other

Awards

  • [1992] Amami Folk Song Grand Prize Winner - Best Newcommer
  • [1993] Amami Folk Song Grand Prize Winner - "Shumichi Nagahama-bushi"
  • [1994] Amami Folk Song Grand Prize Winner - "Shonjoshu-bushi"
  • [1996] Amami Folk Song Grand Prize Award - "Kadoku Nabekana-bushi"
  • [2002] Women of the Year - 10th place
  • [2002] Oricon 35th Japan Record Sales Award - Best New Artist - Single Record Sales: "Wadatsumi no Ki"
  • [2002] Best Record of 2002 Award - Best Album: Hai nu Mikaze
  • [2003] MVA 2003 - Best New Video "Wadatsumi no Ki"
  • [2003] Japan Gold Disc Award - New Artist of the Year
  • [2003] Japan Gold Disc Award - Song of the Year: "Wadatsumi no Ki"

Sheet Music Books

  • [2002.03.16] Piano Piece #336 Wadatsumi no Ki Hajime Chitose (ピアノピース336 ワダツミの木 元ちとせ)
  • [2002.03.19] Piano Piece Wadatsumi no Ki / Nada Sousou (ピアノピース ワダツミの木 / 涙そうそう)
  • [2002.04.26] Piano Mini-Album Hajime Chitose Wadatsumi no Ki (ピアノミニアルバム 元ちとせ ワダツミの木)
  • [2002.05.22] Piano Mini-Album Hajime Chitose Kimi wo Omou (ピアノミニアルバム 元ちとせ 君ヲ想フ)
  • [2002.05.28] Hajime Chitose Guitar Hikigatari Kyokushuu (元ちとせギター弾き語り曲集)
  • [2002.07.29] Piano Solo Chuukyuu Hajime Chitose Hai nu Mikaze (ピアノソロ 中級 元ちとせ ハイヌミカゼ)
  • [2002.08.22] Guitar Hikigatari Hajime Chitose Hai nu Mikaze (ギター弾き語り 元ちとせ ハイヌミカゼ)
  • [2002.08.26] Piano Hikigatari Chuukyuu Hajime Chitose / Kotonoha (ピアノ弾き語り 中級 Hajime Chitose / コトノハ)
  • [2002.11.08] Piano Mini-Album Hajime Chitose Kono Machi (ピアノミニアルバム 元ちとせ この街)
  • [2002.11.11] Official Guitar & Bass Kono Machi・Hajime Chitose (オフィシャルギターピース この街・元ちとせ)
  • [2002.12.05] Piano Piece #394 Kono Machi Hajime Chitose (ピアノピース394 この街 元ちとせ )
  • [2003.06.11] Piano Mini-Album Hajime Chitose Sen no Yoru to Sen no Hiru (ピアノミニアルバム 元ちとせ 千の夜と千の昼)
  • [2003.07.03] Piano Piece #427 Sen no Yoru to Sen no Hiru Hajime Chitose (ピアノピース427 千の夜と千の昼 元ちとせ)
  • [2003.08.22] Piano Mini-Album Hajime Chitose Itsuka Kaze ni Naru Hi (ピアノミニアルバム 元ちとせ いつか風になる日)
  • [2003.09.17] Piano Piece #437 Itsuka Kaze ni Naru Hi Hajime Chitose (ピアノピース437 いつか風になる日 元ちとせ)
  • [2003.10.27] Piano Solo Chuukyuu Hajime Chitose Nomad・Soul (ピアノソロ 中級 元ちとせ ノマド・ソウル)
  • [2003.11.21] Piano Hikigatari Hajime Chitose Nomad・Soul (ピアノ弾き語り 元ちとせ ノマド・ソウル)
  • [2003.11.27] Piano Hikigatari Hajime Chitose My favorite songs (ピアノ弾き語り 元ちとせ)
  • [2006.01.26] Piano Piece #565 Kataritsugu Koto Hajime Chitose (ピアノピース565 語り継ぐこと 元ちとせ)

External Links