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“Ringo Sheena” Represents J-Pop at Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics

The closing ceremony of 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro has left us with unforgettable excitement when the Olympic flag was figuratively handed over to Tokyo. We would like to introduce Ms. Ringo Sheena who served as production consultant of this ceremony. She is a leading musician of J-Pops, Japanese popular music. Photo by HuffingtonPost


Music Written by Ringo Sheena Used in the Ceremony

Two songs written by Ringo Sheena were used in the closing ceremony of 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The first one was the song for promotion video of Tokyo Olympics in 2020, “Chichinpuipui” (a word like abracadabra, which is used when magic is cast). And the second one, “Boenkyo no Soto no Keshiki (Views Outside of the Telescope)” was played when Tokyo’s night view was projected.

 “Boenkyo no Soto no Keshiki (Views Outside of the Telescope)” had been originally written for a stage drama titled “Egg”, which was a story of athletes aiming to compete in the Olympic Games. It is emotionally moving to think that the song was actually played at the Olympics.


Her Activities in Japan


Speaking of Ringo Sheena, “Nippon” is one of her most famous songs. This piece was written as the theme music of NHK Symphony Orchestra to be played at FIFA World Cup in 2014. I remember the song received favorable acclaim for its passion and eloquent expression of Japanese stylish aesthetics.

Ringo Sheena is known to write eclectic music, incorporating various music styles from jazz to hip-hop. Her fusion music is sometimes jokingly referred to as “Shinjuku Style”, and it has won many diehard fans. As a matter of fact, she was selected to receive the newcomer Fine Arts Award in 2009 from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technologyy and Technology in the category of popular culture, which was designed to promote development of arts.

In addition, there was a plan to publish her songs abroad at some point. However, the plan was reportedly aborted as it unfortunately occurred when she was about to take an interlude in her music activities.


Her History of Music Activities

Ringo Sheena has made her debut in 1998 with her song “Kofukuron (On Happiness)”. Her first album issued in 1999 was “Muzai (Not guilty) Moratorium”, and it has accomplished to be a long hit by remaining in music charts for as long as a year and a half.

However in 2001, she planned to take a hiatus from her music activities as she had been exhausted at her songs being interpreted not in the way they were intended. Ringo Sheena’s desire to continue music activities had diminished, but she wondered if writing songs for a music group might raise her motivation. She then organized a group called “Tokyo Jihen (Incidents)”.

Himitsu by Tokyo Jihen 

The group “Tokyo Jihen” made its debut in 2004 with a single CD titled “Gunjo Biyori (Ultramarine Days)”. Then her successful activities continued and the second album “Otona (Adult)” ranked number one on weekly sales charts.

However in the leap year of 2012, Tokyo Jihen was disbanded and the reasons are still unknown.

Ringo Sheena has resumed as a solo musician in 2013, publishing “Irohanihoheto / Kodoku no Akatsuki (Lonely Dawn)”, and her activities have continued to date.


Ringo Sheena has gained more public attention with the closing ceremony of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. It goes without saying that her music was used in a world -wide event because she is recognized as a truly talented musician. We would like to recommend you to take the opportunity to listen to her unique sense of the world.

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About the author

I hope to convey various information from tourist destinations in Japan to pop culture. I look forward to showing you about the excitement of my favorite Japanese manga.

View all articles by Takuma