2010 was a notable year in Japanese music.
In particular it was a big year for Hikaru Utada (宇多田 ヒカル,). She held her first major US/UK tour and broke the record of being the artist with the most consecutive number of chart topping albums in Japanese music history. Later in the year, she announced that she would be taking a hiatus from her music career to focus on her personal life.
AKB48 (エーケービー フォーティーエイト) is a forty-eight member girl group. They are the largest female theater idol group in Japan. You can see AKB48 every week performing at a theater in Akihabara. This year they sold their 18th single titled “Beginner”. The single sales are said to be the highest first week sales ever for a female idol group.
This was a very busy year for Arashi (嵐). The group provided a theme song for the 2010 Winter Olympics and released their new album this year. The members of this boy band all starred in a drama called Saigo no Yaksoku (最後の約束) or “Last Promise” and was award the “Artist of the Year” by the Japan Gold Disk Awards.
This year was very good to KAT-TUN as well. The group released their album “No More Pain” and a single called “Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki” (君が嫌いな君が好き). Popular member Jin Akanishi (赤西仁) revealed that he was leaving the group to pursue a solo career. Akanishi toured the US and sang his songs mostly in English.
It was an interesting year for Mika Nakashima (中島 美嘉). She released her album “Star” later this year, but cancelled her first performance at the Nippon Budokan. The performance was supposed to commemorate ten years of her music career, but she had some medical issues with her ears. Nakashima was also involved in a drama called “Unubore Deka” and starred in the movie “Death Kappa”.