Even if Mariya Takeuchi wasn’t directly responsible for the biggest Japanese musical breakthrough in the West in 2018, she would still struggle to describe her year as anything other than eventful.

The singer-songwriter is celebrating 40 years in the music industry, and has commemorated the occasion with a barrage of new releases and events. Highlights included her first-ever face-to-face meetings with fans in Tokyo and Osaka, the appearance of a new double-sided single, whose songs featured in the movie “Aiai Gasa” and NHK drama “Nukemairu,” and the release of “Souvenir The Movie,” a feature-length film showcasing footage from concerts throughout her career and rare behind-the-scenes moments.

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