Birth Name: 伊藤由奈 (Ito Yuna) / Yuna Ito
Origins: Japanese (father), Korean (mother)
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Current Location: Tokyo, Japan
Occupations: Singer, actress
Labels: STUDIOSEVEN Recordings, a division of Sony Music Records, Inc.
Years Active: 2005 – Present
05.25.2007: Best buzzAsia from Japan Award (MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2007)
12.16.2006: Audience Request Award (39th Yusen Taishou)
11.20.2006: Gold Artist Award (Best Hit Kayousai 2006)
03.09.2006: Best New Artist Award (Japan Gold Disc Awards 2006)
12.31.2005: Special Award for NANA (47th Japan Record Awards)
12.17.2005: Best New Artist Award (Japan Cable Awards 2005)
11.21.2005: Best New Artist Award (Best Hit Kayousai 2005)
What’s In a Name?
“Ito” is the sixth most common Japanese surname. It can either mean “thread” as in the meaning of a “life thread”, a “red thread” between lovers, or “intention”. Sometimes “Ito” can be referred to as “love” as well.
“Yuna” is also a common Japanese given name. “Yuna” possibly comes from the Japanese word “yunikana”, which means “individual” or “original”. In Okinawan, “Yuna” is translated as “night”.
Yuna Ito is the new rising star in Japan’s music business. The 22 year old half Japanese, half Korean Hawaiin has debuted under the synonym of “REIRA starring YUNA ITO” with her song “Endless Story”, which landed on number 2 of ORICON SINGLE RANKING. As Reira Serizawa from the most famous manga NANA, created by Ai Yazawa, Ito’s idenity was kept a secret until the very last…
Yuna Ito was born on September 20th, 1983, between a Japanese father and a Korean mother in Los Angeles, California. She grew up in the United States, Hawaii, and even spent her High School time there as she attended McKinley High School until 2001. When Yuna was little she used to sing to songs of both Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson and had always one dream: Becoming a star!
In early 2005 then Yuna auditioned for the role of charismatic vocalist Reira from TRAPNEST and eventually was chosen for the role. To make her debut even more exciting Yuna’s label SONY BMG JAPAN did everything to keep any information about Yuna a secret.
When finally NANA the movie opened in Japan, people were going crazy about the wonderful, “high-pitched”, voice of Yuna and the movie song “Endless Story” ended on its first day of selling on number 2 of Japan’s bill-board charts. Yuna was everywhere! On magazine covers, posters and eventually had her first TV appearance on MUSIC STATION, singing with all her love “Endless Story”. Even famous singer Mika Nakashima who was starring as NANA wrote a message toYuna, wishing her good luck for the performance and that she herself was sitting in front of the TV to follow her!
Only in 2006 then her 2nd single, entitled “Faith/Pureyes” should be put on the market. With “Faith” being ending theme to the drama “UNFAIR” and “Pureyes” being song for the BIOCLEN ZERO Commercial this single sold about 50.000 copies which was a dissapointment considering “Endless Story” had outsold Mika Nakashima’s “Glamorous Sky” with over 500.000 copies.
Next should come Yuna’s maybe biggest hit after NANA. “Precious” was announced as theme song for the 2006 blockbuster “LIMIT OF LOVE ~Umizaru~” and would become Yuna’s 3rd single set to be released on May 3rd. With it are coming 2 b-sides, “I’m Free” and “Secrets”, both co-written by Yuna herself. 2006 will be another exciting year for her.
Riding on the wave of success that “Precious” got Yuna on with over 150.000 copies sold, Sony announced a 2-Month Single Project. Not just is she singing “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” for the “COO” CM of Daihatsu, but also is singer of the Japanese ending theme of TV show “LOST”, “losin”.
Her last single for the year 2006 will be another theme song for “NANA2” that will be released in December under “REIRA starring YUNA ITO” since she will reprise her role as REIRA Serizawa. “Truth” is her 6th single so far, and last until her debut album comes out.
Despite being famous, Yuna travels back home very often. Just recently she hosted the “honjitsu Yuna Ito party” where she performed on a small stage for 90 lucky people.
Yuna attended McKinley High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, until 2001. – Since Yuna’s test scores were always great, her mother never was too fond of Yuna becoming a singer. – Her parents own several restaurants. The current one is located in Honolulu, Hawaii named Aki-no-No. – She is friends with J-Pop singers melody., Angela Aki, Sowelu, Mika Nakashima, Crystal Kay, and AI. – Angela Aki and Ito attended the same Japanese language school. – Her favorite music style is R&B. – English is her native language; Japanese is her 2nd. – Mika Nakashima, who starred as Nana Osaki in NANA, wrote a message to Ito at her very first MUSIC STATION and television performance wishing her good luck for the performance and that she herself was sitting in front of the TV to follow her. – Yuna’s favourite color is black. – She resides in Tokyo when she’s in Japan and in Honolulu when she is in the States.