Yuko Nakazawa

Yuko Nakazawa
中澤 裕子
Born (1973-06-19) June 19, 1973
Other names Yū-chan
Children 2

Musical career

Years active 1997present
Associated acts
Website Hello! Project.com

Yuko Nakazawa (中澤 裕子 Nakazawa Yūko, born June 19, 1973 in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese pop and enka singer, and actress, best known as one of the original members of the all-female J-pop group Morning Musume. She is also a member of Japanese pop group Dream Morning Musume.


Yuko Nakazawa was one of five runners-up in a 1997 talent contest for a new Japanese rock idol. After the contest, musician and producer Tsunku offered Nakazawa and the four other runners-up (Natsumi Abe, Kaori Iida, Aya Ishiguro, and Asuka Fukuda) the chance to be taken under his wing under one condition: they must sell 50,000 CDs of their debut song "Ai no Tane" with five days of live promotion. The quintet accomplished that task in four and thus Morning Musume was born. The group has since grown increasingly popular and is infamous for its fluctuating lineup, with members leaving and joining frequently.

In 1998, shortly after Morning Musume's formation, Nakazawa began a solo career, beginning with enka styled songs. She gradually moved to a more pop sound, but has recently gone back to enka with her eleventh single, "Urara." Her solo work has allowed her voice to shine in a way it rarely did in Morning Musume, as she mostly sung harmonies with only a few solo lines.

Nakazawa has been a regular featured singer on Hello! Project's "Folk Songs" series. She was also placed in Akagumi 4 in Hello! Project's 2000 summer shuffles and Puripuri Pink in Hello!Project's 2005 summer shuffles, as well as participating in H.P. All Stars along with most of the rest of Hello!Project in 2004.

Being the oldest of the 1st generation of Morning Musumeshe was 24 at the time of formation and nearly 28 upon leaving the groupNakazawa held the role of the group's leader until her graduation on April 15, 2001. She has cited her reasons for leaving as being her age (she was 14 years older than the youngest member of the troupe, then 13-year-old Ai Kago, at the time of her departure) and her desire to pursue other things by the time she was 30.

Since then, Nakazawa has done some work in Japanese dramas such as Beauty 7 and Home Maker, performed in various plays, and continued in her solo singing career at a steady pace with reasonable success. She worked closely with Morning Musume and hosted their weekly show Hello! Morning (first regularly, then occasionally), until its end in early 2007.

It was announced on October 19, 2008 by Hello! Project that Nakazawa, along with the rest of Elder Club will graduate from Hello! Project on March 31, 2009.[1] On February 1, 2009, during the "Hello Pro Award '09 ~Elder Club Sotsugyō Kinen Special~" concert held at Yokohama Arena, Nakazawa passed on her leadership position in Hello! Project to Ai Takahashi of Morning Musume.[2]

In 2010, It was announced Yuko Nakazawa will be joining the new group, "Dream Morning Musume" alongside other former-Morning Musume members.

Personal life

In March 2012, it was announced that Nakazawa had married an information technology company president one year her senior in a private ceremony.[3]


For releases as a member of Morning Musume, see Morning Musume discography.


# Title Release date Peak rank Short description
Studio albums
1 Nakazawa Yūko Dai Isshō
(中澤ゆうこ 第一章)
December 12, 1998 #59
  • Included singles: Karasu no Nyōbō, Odaiba Moonlight Serenade
2 Dai Nisshō ~Tsuyogari~
July 22, 2004 #31
  • Included singles: Junjō Kōshinkyoku, Shanghai no Kaze, Kuyashi Namida Porori, Futarigurashi, Tokyo Bijin, Get Along with You, Genki no Nai Hi no Komoriuta, Do My Best
Folk Songs Series
1 Folk Songs November 29, 2001 #9
2 Folk Songs 2 May 22, 2002 #20
3 FS3 Folk Songs 3 October 23, 2002 #17
4 FS4 Folk Songs 4 May 21, 2003 #25
5 FS5 ~Sotsugyō~ (FS5~卒業~) February 25, 2004 #36
Other albums
Guilty Pleasures 3[4]
(Scott Murphy)
December 3, 2008 #20
Legend[5] December 10, 2008 #182
  • Compilation album


# Title Release date Peak rank
1 "Karasu no Nyōbō" (カラスの女房) October 5, 1998 #19
2 "Odaiba Moonlight Serenade" (お台場ムーンライトセレナーデ) December 2, 1998 #29
3 "Junjō Kōshinkyoku" (純情行進曲) June 9, 1999 #24
4 "Shanghai no Kaze" (上海の風) July 12, 2000 #18
5 "Kuyashi Namida Porori" (悔し涙ぽろり) February 15, 2001 #13
6 "Futari Gurashi" (二人暮し) August 1, 2001 #13
7 "Tokyo Bijin" (東京美人) August 28, 2002 #14
8 "Get Along with You" May 21, 2003 #30
9 "Genki no nai Hi Komoriuta / Nagaragawa no Hare"
February 11, 2004 #42
10 "Do My Best" May 26, 2004 #52
11 "Urara" (うらら) September 27, 2006 #32
12 "Danna-sama" (だんな様) October 10, 2007 #57

Videos / DVDs

# Title Release date
1 Folk Days ~Ichii Sayaka with Nakazawa Yuko~ (Folk Days~市井紗耶香with中澤裕子~) February 28, 2002
2 Nakazawa Yuko Singles M Collection 1 (中澤裕子シングルMクリップス①) November 27, 2002
3 Shishi wa Mini ga Osuki ~At Studio Dream Maker~ (紳士はミニがお好き!~At Studio Dream Maker~) January 22, 2003
4 FS3 Live February 26, 2003



TitleStart dateEnd dateTV station
Beauty 7 (ビューティ7) 2001-07 2001-09 Nippon Television
Mukai Arata no Dōbutsu Nikki ~Aiken Rossinante no Sainan~
2001-01 2001-03 Nippon Television
Ginza no Koi (ギンザの恋) 2002-01 2002-03 Nippon Television
Gokusen (ごくせん) 2002-04 2002-06 Nippon Television
Densetsu no Madame (伝説のマダム) 2003 Nippon Television
Kochira Hon Ikegami Sho (こちら本池上署) 2004-01 2004-03 TBS
2004-10 2004-12
2005-06 2005-09
Home Maker (ほーむめーかー) 2004-04 2004-06 TBS
Getsuyou Golden (月曜ゴールデン) 2007-04-23 TBS

Variety shows

TitleStart dateEnd dateTV station
Hello! Morning (ハロー!モーニング。) 2000-03 2007-03 TV Tokyo
Idol wo Sagase! (アイドルをさがせ!) 1999-01-05 1999-12-28 TV Tokyo
2001-04 2002-03-26
M no Mokushiroku (Mの黙示録) 2001-10-07 2004-09-28 TV Asahi
Hello Land (ハローランド) Fuji Television
NHK Junior Special (NHKジュニアスペシャル) NHK
Osaka Hatsu Genki Dash! Doyah (大阪発元気ダッシュ!Doyah) 2001 2005-02-12 NHK
Cchu~Nen (っちゅ~ねん!) 2005-04 2006-03 Mainichi Broadcasting System
Chichin Puipui (ちちんぷいぷい) 2006-04-11 2006-09-26 Mainichi Broadcasting System
Morita Kazuyoshi Hour: Waratte Ii to mo (森田一義アワー 笑っていいとも!) 2001-10 2003-03 Fuji Television
2005-01-18 2006-07-03


Mini Moni ja Movie: Okashi na Daibōken!
2002-12-14Fairy QueenToei Company
Tetsujin 28-go (鉄人28号)2005-03-19Ejima Kana (江島香奈)Shochiku

Radio shows




TitleRelease dateProduced byISBN
Feather2001-08Wani BooksISBN 4-8470-2671-3
Watashi ga Omou, Konna Onna (私が思う、こんな女)2001-11Wani BooksISBN 4-8470-2739-6

Essay books


  1. "Elder Club members to graduate from Hello! Project". Hello!Online. October 19, 2008. Retrieved December 23, 2008.
  2. "The end of an era: Elder Club graduates". Hello!Online. February 1, 2009.
  3. "Nakazawa Yuko gets married on April 1st". Tokyo Hive.
  4. "Guilty Pleasures III" (in Japanese). Universal Music LLC. Retrieved January 6, 2009.
  5. "Legend" (in Japanese). Up-Front Works. Retrieved January 6, 2009.
Honorary titles
First Leader of Morning Musume
Succeeded by
Kaori Iida
First Leader of Hello! Project
Succeeded by
Ai Takahashi
Preceded by
Michiyo Heike
Oldest Member of Hello! Project
September 7, 1997 - April 1999
Succeeded by
Miho Shinoda
Preceded by
Miho Shinoda
Oldest Member of Hello! Project
October 10, 2000 - March 31, 2009
Succeeded by
Ai Takahashi
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