Here's a Japanese female singer that writes and sings in a style that i really love. Her name is Tsuji Ayano (つじあやの）. She plays a ukelele and is well-known for singing the OST for Hayao Miyazaki's (宮崎駿) Studio Ghibli anime film Cat's Returns (猫の恩返し) - Kaze ni Naru (風になる, translation - I become the Wind）. She's not really that famous in Japan but her songs are really heart-warming, gentle and happy and her lyrics are really meaningful and sweet if you understand them. And when combined with the delicate twang of her ukulele she makes those qualities uniquely hers. She was born and grew up in the historic city of Kyoto and was a folk fan in high school and throughout college. Tsuji Ayano debuted on the indie scene in 1998 and some fateful meetings with the right people led to her commercial debut and steadily growing popularity.
Generally I feel so free and happy after listening to her tracks. I listen to her tracks the night before I sit for exams and sumhow they worked. I really like her tracks Tsuki ga Naiteru (月が泣いてる, translation - The Moon Cries） and Arikitari na Romansu (ありきたりなロマンス, translation - Ordinary Romance) from her wonderful album Ren Ren Fu Ka (恋恋風歌）. Her cover of Disney's "When you Wish upon a Star" which is sang in Japanese is also really nice and is included in the double CD album "Cover Girl".
Her new single entitled Autumn and Winter is released on the 5th of October. Do listen to a sample of some of her tracks at Speedstar here. (Streaming Media)
Tsuji Ayano - Kaze ni Naru
Tsuji Ayano - Yubikiri (From her new single)
She refers to herself in the first person, as "Boku"（僕） and second person as "Kimi"（君） in many of her songs. Generally it is impolite for girls to use "Boku". "Boku" is mainly used by boys to refer themselves although most modern japanese girls also use "Boku" in this age. So her lyrics would sound as if a little boy is singing for his sweetheart.
Please check Tsuji Ayano out, her music won't dissapoint you, I promise you!
Here are some unofficial english translated lyrics of her songs. Do visit her official site at Speedstar Records here and don't forget to check out her official blog here which she updates pretty frequently. Sorry it is available in Japanese only.