Name: Toshihiko Takamizawa [高見沢俊彦] - singer/songwriter, guitarist, producer, novelist
Pseudonym: Takamiy [たかみー], Ouji [Prince], Paul McArthur [in BE∀T BOYS, THE ALFEE under an alias]
Birthdate: April 17, 1954
Birthplace: Warabi City, Saitama Prefecture
Blood Type: A
Academia: Meiji Gakuin Senior High [graduated], Meiji Gakuin University, Department of English Literature [became honorary graduate in 2014]
Instruments: Guitar, piano, mandolin
Interests: Apple products, basketball, Ultraman, Godzilla
Artist: Led Zeppelin
Album: Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother
Book: Saredo Warera ga Hibi (But Our Days) by Sho Shibata
Anime: Tetsuwan Atomu (Mighty Atom), Galaxy Express 999, Space Battleship Yamato
Idol: Momoe Yamaguchi
Disneyland Attraction: Space Mountain
Movie: Godzilla, Ted
Actor: Johnny Depp
Place to Relax: Where the Internet is connected, where he can freely play guitar, on a European street corner
Sweets: Roll cake, ice cream
NBA Player: Michael Jordan
As a child, Takamizawa wanted to be a poet, but in elementary school, at the influence of his elder brother, he developed an admiration for The Beatles. In middle school, Takamizawa belonged to the basketball club and acted for three years as team captain. Even now, he has a love for basketball and has even written a book entitled "Basketball Diaries: Heart Beat Dunk". His favorite player is Michael Jordan, and it would seem his favorite basketball team is the Chicago Bulls (his Chicago Bulls guitar is featured on the cover of the aforementioned book!). When Takamizawa entered high school, he very much admired the high-pitched vocal style of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, and formed a cover band to perform songs from such artists. At this school, he met Sakurai Masaru, THE ALFEE's future bassist.
In 1973, at the invitation of Sakurai and another Meiji Gakuin University student, Sakazaki Kohnosuke, Takamizawa participated in Confidence [THE ALFEE's previous name]. In 1974, under Sakazaki's leadership, they changed their name to ALFIE and debuted after signing on with Victor Music Industries as a folk band. After two failed singles, the fourth member Miyake Yasuo left the band. They continued on with only three members and were set to release a new single in 1975, but Victor canceled it and terminated their contract. Around this time, Takamizawa studied musical composition and original lyric writing under Oono Masumi. ALFIE continued to perform as a back-up band for various musicians until Canyon Records offered them a contract. They debuted once more in 1979, this time under the name ALFEE with the single "Love Letter". From then on, Takamizawa became in charge of most of the songwriting.
Because Takamizawa had always loved the electric guitar, it was suggested that they incorporate such a sound into ALFEE's music. After that, they transitioned into a more rock style, and Sakazaki passed the title of leader onto Takamizawa in 1982. In ALFEE's early years, Takamizawa was a very shy individual and did not trust people, so he would rarely speak in interviews for fear his words would be misconstrued.
In 1991, during THE ALFEE's half-year activity pause, Takamizawa recorded his first solo album, Ism, in London, after which he performed a solo concert tour.
In 2004, on the stage of Saitama Super Arena on his 50th birthday, the other ALFEE members awarded Takamizawa the title of "Leader for Life".
In 2005, for the opening of the Pride of Berlin ~ Sanctuary of Resurrected Beauty exhibit at the Tokyo National Museum and Kobe City Museum (which was to commemorate Germany and Japan's relationship), Takamizawa compiled the album Berlin Calling with the theme song "Berlin Calling" and sub-theme "Berlin Rain". It included a self-cover of THE ALFEE's song "Freedom Over the Wall" from the album Journey, which was entirely written and composed by Takamizawa.
In 2007, he released his first solo album in 16 years, Kaleidoscope, immediately following the release of the single "Sennen Romance" (Thousand-Year Romance). In 2008 he continued his solo work after THE ALFEE's typical summer outdoor event was canceled, and released the single "Tsukihime" (Moon Princess), which employed a more metal sound, which has continued through his solo work up until now. In 2009 he was a guest performer at V-ROCK Festival. In 2010, he changed his solo work name from his real name to his pseudonym, Takamiy.
Takamizawa has been dyeing his hair since 1992. He has gone from red, to brown, back to red, to honey blond, and back to red again. About once a year, he cuts off 10 centimeters. Takamizawa says that even now, his mother calls to ask if he has cut his hair. He said in his appearance on Shabekuri 007 that instead of saying 'Hello' when she calls, she asks, "Did you cut your hair?" He has also worn wigs on stage, on CD jackets and the like. He is known for his flashy stage outfits and even more interesting pantsuits. In 2008 an exhibit called "Prince Takamiy's Dress Room" (☆) opened to the public for the month of August. Another exhibit opened in 2013, coinciding with Raijin solo concerts. Takamizawa often paints his nails silver or black, and can usually be seen wearing sunglasses (he says he has as many sunglasses as he does guitars). Furthermore, he has worn a pinky ring on his right hand since as far back as 1983. Based on personal research, such a ring represents power/authority, talent, self-appeal, unchanging thought, or acts as a talisman. When asked about it, he says, "I can't get it off anymore."
Affectionately, he is often referred to as an airhead, because of how many times over the past 40 years he has injured himself accidentally, fallen down on stage, fallen off of stages, broken various bones, and generally because he can be very clumsy.
He is also known for his collection of custom made ESP guitars, the most well known being the Angel Series. His guitars range in shapes from angels, random objects, cartoon characters, swords, and other religious iconography. The world over, Takamizawa is the leading modified guitar enthusiast. As of July 2012, he had 487 guitars in his collection. You can see his own designs via the Links page, where there is a button for his ESP artist's gallery.
Takamizawa has written various books, but has also been the main character in one! It is a novel of fiction by Kenichi Yamakawa and it is called Hachi no Oosama (I am King Bee), published in 1989. Takamizawa is the protagonist of this book. The book Yume Sagashi (Find the Dream) by Yoshiko Watanabe, released in January of 1983, details Takamizawa's roots from infancy up until THE ALFEE'S formation and the time when the book was released. It details the bonds between his parents, elder brother and friends, and it also holds the stories of Sakurai and Sakazaki. His own books include one about himself (Don't Give Up, the Dream Doesn't End), and an inspirational short story (Towards My Sea ~White Beluga~).
Because of THE ALFEE's 40th year anniversary, Takamizawa ceased his solo project in 2013 to focus on the band's activities. He restarted it in 2015 with a new single, "Yuuwaku no Taiyou" (Sun of Temptation), and tried a different style of music, which he dubbed "EDM" or "Electronic Dance Metal".
On March 18, 2014, THE ALFEE members graduated from their Alma Mater, Meij Gakuin University. They were each awarded an honorable Bachelor title. Takamizawa expressed that from now on, he wanted the band's name to be written as "THE ALFEE (大卒)" or "university graduates". This lasted throughout the year of 2014, and even made it onto the cover of Alfee Get Requests 2.
On April 24, 2014, Takamizawa, along with Rose of Versailles author Ikeda Ryoko, was appointed Tourism and Goodwill Ambassador for France. There was an event held on the same day, where the two legends talked about their own personal experiences in the country and showed photographs of trips. The following year, Takamizawa took fans who were willing to pay about $4,000 on a tour of France with him.
In 2016, in honor of all members being over 60 years old, THE ALFEE formed a new unit similar to the BEAT BOYS, called The KanLeKeeZ, which is a play on the Japanese word "kanreki", meaning 60 years old. Following in the tradition of Group Sounds, The KanLeKeeZ style is a bit more old school, and the members wear matching uniforms.
(Written by R.S. in 2016)
In 2015, as it was already mentioned above, Takamizawa resumed his solo project with a new single “Yuuwaku no Taiyo” (Sun of Temptation) for the first time in two years. Also his solo live concert “Takamiy 2015 Summer Limited Revival Vacation!” was held. (The third solo project) Under the catch phrase of EDM (Electric Dance Metal), Pom-Pom was used in the live concert. At the encore of the last day of his live performance at Pacifico Yokohama, Takeshi Takebe appeared as a guest musician and performed with Takamizawa.
In December of that year, the album “Series of Ultra Hero Songs Produced by Toshihiko Takamizawa” won Planning Award of the 57th Japan Record Grand Prix.
In February 2016, he appeared in “INNOVATION CLASSICS TOMOMI NISHIMOTO x TOSHIHIKO TAKAMIZAWA” sponsored by Billboard Classics at Bunkamura Orchard Hall and performed with Tomomi Nishimoto, an internationally recognized conductor.
In June of that year, The Ventures released an album "HITS & NEW" and the album included the song "Tokyo Lonely Night" composed and provided by Takamizawa.
In August of that year, he had concerts in Billboard Tokyo for three consecutive days as a part of his solo project. The concerts were titled "Midsummer Night's Dream: Takamiy 3 Days", and he performed on a total of six stages, two stages each day. Tickets for these concerts were sold for a high price in auction sites and ticket shops, and some tickets were sold for over 100,000 yen.
In 2017, "Billboard CLASSICS: INNOVATION CLASSICS 2017 TOMOMI NISHIMOTO x TOSHIHIKO TAKAMIZAWA” was held, in Tokyo in February and in Osaka in March, and Takamizawa performed with Nishimoto again.
In that year, he started writing a novel under the name 髙見澤俊彦 (Toshihiko Takamizawa in different Chinese characters). In August, his first novel "Onsa" (The Tuning Fork) was serialized in "All Yomimono" (All Reading Materials).
In October 2018, TAKAMIY JEWEL "Versailles Fleur de Lis Necklace" was released. Also, in the same month, the production of a guitar inspired by "Shin Godzilla" was announced. Takamizawa was the honorary store manager of "Godzilla Store Tokyo".
In December 2018, the serialization of his second novel "Himeru Koi, Mamoru Ai" (Secret Love, Guarded Love) was started from "All Yomimono for January 2019".
In February 2019, he appeared in the movie "Tonde Saitama" (Fly Me to Saitama), which was released on February 22, in a photo on a kite.
On March 3rd of the same year, Takamizawa was awarded the "Cavaliere Ufficiale (Knight Officer) of Saint Agatha" from the Republic of San Marino for his contributions in the field of arts and culture.
On July 13th of the same year, his first novel "Onsa" (The Tuning Fork) was published. The book included a newly written spin-off short story, along with the title story "Onsa" that had appeared in four issues of "All Yomimono" from September 2017 to April 2018. Immediately after publication, it ranked No. 1 in the Kinokuniya bookstore novel category (the second week in July) and No. 1 in the Sanseido bookstore literature and non-fiction category (July 9-July 15), and it became a bestseller at bookstores throughout the country. It was reprinted because of its popularity, and has sold a total of 32,000 copies.(Written by A.K. in October 2019)