20 years with Ayumi Hamasaki

On April 8th, 1998 an unknown singer called Ayumi Hamasaki released her debut single titled poker face. In a bubbling music scene where there seemed to be a dozen new debuts every week, the song turned out to be modest success managing to break the top 20 on Oricon.

Little did the industry know, this simple pop tune would mark the beginning of a career that would forever change the Japanese and Asian music landscape.

To honor Ayumi and her 20th anniversary milestone some staff members and enthusiasts of the Japanese entertainment scene shared some of their memories involving the living legend. But first we’d like to share Ayumi’s small history with ARAMA! JAPAN.

For those who remember way back to our LiveJournal days, Ayu was the mascot for our Open Posts, which at the time was known as FFA (Free For All). This was also one of the images used for the rotation of “Moderator Posts”.


We also previously had a short lived “official” partnership with LiveJournal. The LJ team asked for photos of various celebrities so they could make ads for the affiliated communities, and Ayu was selected from the batch of photos we sent. No word was given as to why she was chosen, but between the FFA/Moderator Post image and our official ad she ultimately became the “face” of Arama.

Moving forward, when we broke free of the shackles and decided to branch off into our own domain Ayu was naturally one of the main subjects for the beta version of ARAMA! JAPAN.

Absolutely riveting information, I know.

There’s a very high chance this website might have never even existed had it not been for Ayu. Love or hate her, she’s had a impact on every single person who has ever had an interest in the Japanese Entertainment scene.

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