Yuya Uchida (singer)

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Yuya Uchida
Yuya Uchida in 1963
Yuya Uchida in 1963
Background information
Birth nameYuya Uchida (内田 雄也)
Born(1939-11-17)November 17, 1939
Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan
DiedMarch 17, 2019(2019-03-17) (aged 79)
Tokyo, Japan
Occupation(s)Singer, record producer, actor
Years active1959–2019
Associated actsFlower Travellin' Band/The Flowers
Japanese name
Kanji内田 裕也
Hiraganaうちだ ゆうや

Yuya Uchida (Japanese: 内田 裕也, Hepburn: Uchida Yūya, November 17, 1939 in Nishinomiya – March 17, 2019) was a Japanese singer, record producer, and actor. With a career spanning six decades, he was a major figure in Japanese popular music.

He appeared in numerous films, such as Nagisa Ōshima's Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, and won two best acting awards. He also starred in the American film Black Rain.[1]


Uchida dropped out of high school at age 17 and began his music career in 1957.[2] He became friends with John Lennon after opening for The Beatles on their 1966 tour of Japan.[3][4]

Shocked after seeing Jimi Hendrix perform in London in 1967, Uchida returned home and wanted to introduce a similar sound to Japan.[5] He formed Yuya Uchida & The Flowers who released the album Challenge! in 1969, which is composed almost entirely of covers of Western psychedelic rock acts. After replacing all but one member and reverting to a producer/manager role himself, the group changed their name to Flower Travellin' Band and released another cover album, 1970's Anywhere, before relocating to Canada.[6] Before the move they recorded an album of original material in just two days;[6] Satori was released in North America in 1971 by GRT Records. The band produced two more albums, Made in Japan (1972) and Make Up (1973), before separating for 34 years.

In addition to his solo career and Flower Travellin' Band, he worked with a large variety of musicians both domestic and international, and recorded with The Ventures and Frank Zappa in the mid-1970s. In 1975 he produced an international music festival titled "World Rock Festival" which featured artists from around the world performing together.[7] That same year, Uchida also produced the self-titled album by Creation.[8]

He unsuccessfully ran for the 1991 Tokyo gubernatorial election.[9]

Uchida collaborated with pop idol Rino Sashihara for the 2014 duet single "Shekina Baby".[10]

Personal life and legal troubles[edit]

Yuya Uchida married actress Kirin Kiki in 1973. The two separated two years later but remained married. Their daughter Yayako Uchida is an essayist/singer and married to actor Masahiro Motoki,[2] who was adopted into the Uchida family as a mukoyōshi. Yuya was the grandfather to three children by his daughter.[11]

Uchida was arrested in September 1977 for violating Japan's Cannabis Control Law. Although Uchida admitted ten years later that he was smoking it at the time, the charges were dropped Nolle prosequi.[12] He was arrested again in 1983 for violating Japan's Firearm and Sword Possession Control Law. Uchida entered the offices of Udo Artists, Inc. with a kitchen knife and threatened a rock promoter for allegedly paying foreign artists far more money than Japanese ones. Again, he was never indicted.[12]

Uchida successfully underwent emergency eye surgery on May 31, 2005 for a blocked retinal artery, which would have led to blindness.[13] In mid-November 2005, his house was broken into and several watches and jackets were stolen.[14]

On May 13, 2011, Uchida was arrested for assault and trespassing after threatening his former girlfriend, whom he began dating in December 2009. The police said that Uchida allegedly hit the 50-year-old woman after she tried ending their relationship in March and began sending her threatening letters. The woman said she had her locks changed, but Uchida then had another locksmith open the door and entered her house on April 19.[15] Uchida acknowledged writing the letters and having spare keys made to her house, but denied threatening her.[2]


Yuya Uchida died from pneumonia in a Tokyo hospital on March 17, 2019, aged 79.[16][17] He received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 61st Japan Record Awards on December 30, 2019.[18]


  • "Lonely Johnny/Young One" (ひとりぼっちのジョニー/ヤング ワン, 1963)
  • "Young Heart o Urimono ni/Medal no Jōi" (破れたハートを売り物に/メダルのジョーイ, 1963)
  • "Kanashiki Akuma/Cutie Pie" (悲しき悪魔/キューティー・パイ, 1963)
  • "Blue Jean to Kawa Jumper/Gypsy Caravan" (ブルージーンと皮ジャンパー/ジプシー・キャラヴァン, 1964)
  • "Viva Las Vegas/Roll Over Beethoven" (ラスベガス万才/ロール・オーバー・ベートーベン, 1964)
  • "Swim de Ikou/Run Run Run" (スイムで行こう/ラン ラン ラン, 1965)
  • "Last Chance/Flower Boy" (ラスト・チャンス/フラワー・ボーイ, 1969, Yuya Uchida & The Flowers)
  • "Fantastic Girl/Yogiri no Trumpet" (ファンタジック・ガール/夜霧のトランペッ, 1969, Yuya Uchida & The Flowers)
  • "Manjoki Rock n Roll/Joki-yasu Boogie" (マンジョキロックンロール/ジョキ安ブギ, 1974, Yuya Uchida and the 1815 Super Rock 'n' Roll Band)
  • "Gonna Make It Tonight/Let's Twist No. 1" (1977)
  • "What's Happening, Mr. Dylan?/Annie Get Your Guns" (1978)
  • "Sake, Women & My Life/One Night Lullabye" (1979)
  • "The Long Goodbye/Farewell My Lovely" (1982)
  • "Killer in the Rain/Rolling on the Road" (1982)
  • "Annie for a Cheek Time/No More Comics" (1985)
  • "Shekina Baby" (シェキナベイベー, 2014, with Rino Sashihara)
  • Rock Surfing Hot Rod (ロック・サーフィン・ホット・ロッド, 1964, with Isao Bitoh)
  • Let's Go Monkey (レッツ・ゴー・モンキー, 1965, with Isao Bitoh)
  • Challenge! (1969, Yuya Uchida & The Flowers)
  • Y.U.Y.A 1815KC Rock'n Roll Broadcasting Station (1973)
  • Exciting! Rock 'n' Roll Party (1973, Yuya Uchida and the 1815 Super Rock 'n' Roll Band)
  • Hollywood (1975, Yuya Uchida and The Ventures)
  • A Dog Runs (ア・ドッグ・ランズ, 1978)
  • Farewell, My Lovely (さらば愛しき女よ, 1981)
  • No More Comics (1985)


Year Title Role Notes
1966 Kureji da yo: kisôtengai Kentarô
1966 Panchi yarô Momoji
1969 Burai: Barase Musician
1969 Dorifutazu desu yo! Tokkun tokkun mata tokkun
1977 Furenzoku satsujin jiken Koichi Doi
Jitsuroku furyo shoujo: Kan Tokio
1978 Pink Tush Girl Sen'ichi Yamada
Eroticna kankei Kôtarô Higaki
Kawajyan hankou zoku
1979 Ejiki
Sûpâ gun redei Wani Bunsho Tadao Toda , Robber of bank
1980 Akai bôkô Yuya
Shôjo shôfu: Kemono michi Ataru
1981 Yokohama BJ bûrusu
A! Onnatachi: Waika Jyoji
1982 Mizu no nai puuru Man
1983 Saraba aibô Komatsu
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence Military prison commander
Jukkai no mosukîto Hero
1986 Comic Magazine Toshiaki Kinameri
1987 Saraba itoshiki hito yo Detective
1988 Hanazono no meikyu Sosuke Mitsuya
1989 Zatoichi, Darkness Is His Ally Boss Akabei
Black Rain Nashida
1992 Sakana kara daiokishin!! Yuya
Erotikkuna kankei Kishin
1999 Kyohansha Elder Giliyaku
2002 Deadly Outlaw: Rekka
2003 Akame 48 Waterfalls
2004 Izo
2007 Tantei monogatari
2008 Johnen: Sada no ai
Rokku tanjô
2016 Hoshikuzu kyôdai no aratana densetsu (final film role)


  1. ^ "In 'Black Rain,' East Meets West With a Bang! Bang!". The New York Times. September 17, 1989. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Rock n Roll Never Dies". japan-zone.com. May 13, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  3. ^ "Bob Gruen, Rock and Roll Photographer - Update Fall & Winter 2005-06". Bobgruen.com. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  4. ^ "Beatlemania grips Japan". Asahi Shimbun. Archived from the original on July 4, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  5. ^ "Yuya Uchida Discography". uchidayuya.com (in Japanese). Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "We just stopped, took a break. It turned out to be for 36 years!". jrawk.com. Archived from the original on January 1, 2009. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  7. ^ 内田裕也の軌跡その1 (in Japanese). uchidayuya.com. July 15, 2000. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  8. ^ "Blues Creation". Japrocksampler. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  9. ^ 内田裕也の軌跡その5 (in Japanese). uchidayuya.com. September 20, 1998. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  10. ^ 内田裕也&さしこ 53歳差デュエット「シェキナベイベー」. Sports Nippon (in Japanese). April 23, 2014. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  11. ^ "Mokkun a Father Again". japan-zone.com. March 26, 2010. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  12. ^ "Boys of Summer". japan-zone.com. June 6, 2005. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  13. ^ "Pop Marketing". japan-zone.com. December 5, 2005. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  14. ^ "Rock musician Yuya Uchida held for assaulting girlfriend". Japan Today. May 13, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  15. ^ 歌手で俳優の内田裕也さん(79)が死去. TV Asahi (in Japanese). Archived from the original on March 18, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  16. ^ 内田裕也が79歳で死去. Natalie (in Japanese). Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  17. ^ "61st Japan Record Awards Announced". Arama Japan. Retrieved January 11, 2020.

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