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Biography of Puffy AmiYumi
Screenshot from video True Asia
Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura are the vocal talents for the Japanese pop group Puffy AmiYumi. Since entering the world stage with their 1996 single True Asia the group has gone on to record over ten CDs and build an international following.

Utilizing the talents of producer/songwriters Tamio Okuda and Andy Sturmer the group has crafted a highly varied musical style over the years. Their many influences range from the Beatles and ELO to the Who and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Ami and Yumi have also written many of their own lyrics and some of their own music.

Their resume includes hosting a long running Japanese variety show, inspiring the American made cartoon Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, singing at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and being appointed Goodwill Ambassadors to the US by the Japanese government.

With a decade of success behind them and legions of fans supporting them the duo shows every sign of continuing to charm audiences for years to come with that magical Japanese pixie dust that Ami and Yumi bring to their music.

- Longer Biography Under Construction -

Working Title: "A Fairy Tale Made in Japan"
By Andrew of Puffy AmiYumi World

Part One

Once upon a time two girls were born in the distant nation of Japan. The first, Ami, entered the world on September 18, 1973 in a place called Machida - the "town of fields." Machida was on the western edge of the teaming city of Tokyo, yet it was still filled with the beautiful sights of rolling hills, Shinto shrines and terraced rice paddies. On a fair day one could even see that one thing able to bedazzle the eyes of any young girl; the fabled outline of Mount Fuji.

About a year and a half later on January 30th another baby girl, Yumi, was born. This second child would grow up far to the west in a place called Neyagawa within the huge city of Osaka. Throughout Japanese history these two regions, the East and the West, had competed for power and prestige. Each had its own traditions and ways of speaking. The two girls would be molded by their different homes, each a representative of its unique customs and vocabulary.

Though separated by age and geography both girls grew up with a deep love of music. Both listened to Japanese pop and rock as well as the many western bands popular in the country. After graduating from high school both also made a decision to try their fortunes in the often unforgiving Japanese music industry.

Ami sent an audition tape to Sony Music in 1995. Years later she would famously say "I just wanted to look at the rejection letter and see what they would put in the note to say sorry." But someone at Sony was keen enough to see potential in this young aspiring talent from Machida.

Yumi tried out on her own for a talent company and again someone recognized potential. The two were paired together and potential talent became real talent. Their voices, impressive enough on their own, blended together with a perfect harmony. The former front man of the group Unicorn was brought in to write and produce several songs for the duo. Andy Sturmer, the American singer and songwriter for the Jellyfish happened to be working with Tamio at the time. He coined an American-sounding name for the duo. Ami and Yumi were now Puffy.

Asia no Junshin (True Asia) was picked for their debut single. It was expected to be little more than a fun, upbeat pop song. But it soon became clear that they had all hit upon something very special. Ami and Yumi took the music and lyrics and somehow sprinkled it was a distinctly Japanese pixie dust of their own making. Asia no Junshin (True Asia) was released on May 13th, 1996. A CD of 7 tracks was released on July 22nd using their joined name; AmiYumi. Neither Ami nor Yumi had any notion that they were beginning a journey together that would still be going at full force over eleven years later.

More to come.
 
Puffy Fact Sheet

Little Yumi Little Ami

1973

  • Ami Onuki was born on September 18, 1973 in Machida, Tokyo (in the year of the Ox). She has blood type A+ and is officially listed as being 5' 2" tall.

  • Ami once said her favorite school subject was art.

    1975

  • Yumi Yoshimura born on January 30, 1975 in Neyagawa, Osaka (in the Year of the Tiger). She has blood type A+ and is officially listed as being 5' 4" tall.

  • Because Yumi grew up in Osaka she learned the Kansai dialect, while Ami learned the Kanto dialect of Tokyo. During the "talking to the audience" portions of their US concerts they often do a comparison of Japanese sayings in the two dialects.

    1995

  • Ami sends audition tape to Sony, later saying "I just wanted to look at the rejection letter and see what they would put in the note to say sorry."

  • Yumi tries out for the same management company.

  • Talent agency puts them together. Tamio Okuda (ex-Unicorn) being a major force.

    1996

  • Spring Release first single Asia No Junshin
  • Did ads for Kirin Beer
  • Summer of release first full CD: AmiYumi.

    1997

  • SoloSolo CD released.

    1998

  • Jet CD released and tour

    1999

  • Fever Fever CD released and tour
  • Yumi married Takanori Nishikawa of TM Revolution on April 2nd.
  • Pa pa pa pa Puffy TV show begins in Japan
  • PRMX CD released

    2000

  • Perform live for first time in US at the South By Southwest convention in Austin, Texas
  • The Very Best of Puffy CD released
  • RUN! PUFFY! RUN" DVD released (1996)
  • TOUR! PUFFY! TOUR DVD released (1997)
  • Jet Tour 98' DVD released
  • Jet 1998 DVD released
  • Fever Fever 1999 DVD released

    2001

  • First US CD release, Spike. Listed in the top 10 albums of 2001 in Billboard's Critic Choice.
  • PUFFY SPIKE Daisakusen DVD released
  • Listed as "singer" on Jdorama Waterboys (Ami at least)

    2002

  • July 6 Rolling Debut Tour of US begins
  • TV show ends
  • Yumi separates from Takanori Nishikawa in July.
  • Happy news from Ami from September 29.
      "I'm going to be a mother soon!

      I'm doing fine and I don't have any problem with my physical condition, but as everything has been the first experience for me, I'm afraid it took a while for me to announce this news to you.

      I will continue working with great support from my family, friends, and especially Yumi and the staff until the baby is born. I might have to take a break from time to time and make our fans wonder where I am, but please don't worry. I will work hard as much as I can for the forthcoming new single to be released in November followed by a new album, so I'd be grateful if you could continue supporting Ami, Yumi and Puffy!

      Right now, I'm spending enjoyable days with even more pleasure added to my happy daily life."

  • Greatest Hits CD An Illustrated History released in US.
  • Hit Parade CD released in Japan.
  • Rolling Debut Revue - Canada USA Tour 2002' DVD released
  • The movie Mohou-han (Copycat Killer) released featuring credit as "Actress of CM 'Dendou-Jitensha" for both Ami and Yumi.

    2003

  • Nice CD released
  • PRMX Turbo CD released
  • Feb to April Yumi in LA learning English
  • March 15 Ami gives birth to baby girl
  • Yumi officially divorced in July.
  • April 28th Ami entered in family registry as married to Teruhiko Kobashi.

    2004

  • Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi CD released
  • November 19 Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi cartoon airs on Cartoon Network
  • 59 CD released
  • Yumi plays Ryoko Tajima in the film Inu to arukeba: Chirori to Tamura (Walking the Dog)

    2005

  • Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with their own float and balloon picture 1   picture 2
  • April 28 appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • November 29 the DVD Let's Go! from the cartoon show Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi released in US.
  • October TV Tokyo begins airing Japanese dubbed version of cartoon
  • Funclips Funclub" DVD released
  • Tour "East Coast of America"
  • Yumi plays "Nozomi Akai" in horror movie The Neighbor No. 13 (Rinjin 13-go)

    2006

  • Jan 16 appointed Goodwill Ambassadors
  • The DVD Rock Forever! from the cartoon show Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi released in US.
  • Splurge CD released.
  • Splurge/10th anniversary tour
  • Tour! Puffy! Tour 10 Final DVD released.

    2007

  • "Fan's Choice" Greatest Hits CD Hit and Fun released on Valentine's Day in Japan.