Famous People in Japan

Ono Yoko

Date of Birth 18 February 1933
Place of Birth Tokyo

Known as the wife of John Lennon, Yoko Ono is obviously one of the most famous Japanese (even though she's a U.S. Citizen now) in the world. However, as John said, "Yoko is the most famous unknown artist in the world. Everyone knows who she is, but nobody knows what she does," not many people know about her life and art works.

If you look up her history, you'll find she never belongs to one certain category. She's a conceptual artist, composer, vocalist, recording artist, activist and humanitarian etc...

Yoko Ono was born in a family descended from the Yasuda combine. When her father who was a banker took up the position of manager of their New York branch, she went over to U.S. with him. She started studying philosophy and music at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Then she joined Fluxus which was an underground group of artists, musicians, dancers and poets and began producing art works as an avant-garde artist.

It was after her first marriage to a composer, Toshi Ichiyanagi (1956-1963) and her second marriage to an art promoter, Tony Cox (1963-1968) broke up, that Yoko (36) and John (28) got married in 1969. They started to perform for various peace movements (event "Bed-In for Peace" in Amsterdam and Montreal (1969); event "War is Over" in 12 cities worldwide (1970).) Yoko was also active in performing music with the Plastic Ono Band. In 1974, she visited Japan to participate in the "One Step Festival (Anti-Destruction of Forests Movement)" as a member of the Plastic Ono Super Band. She participated in numerous political activities and Avant-Garde Festivals.

In 1975, Yoko and John had their beloved son, Sean Taro Ono Lennon. However, the happiness didn't last very long. It was after Yoko and John had released "Double Fantasy," which was a Grammy Album of the Year 1981, that John was killed by an assassin in 1980.

Since then she's been keeping on with her activities as an artist and a musician supporting the peace movement and nature-conservation movements.

"All my work is a form of wishing. Keep wishing while you participate." (Yoko)

With John Lennon Solo albums
Two Virgins (1968) Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band(1970)
Life With the Lions(1969) Fly(1971)
Wedding Album(1970) Approximately Infinite Universe(1973)
Live Peace in Toronto(1970) Feeling the Space(1973)
Some Time in New York City(1972) Season of Glass(1981)
Double Fantasy(1980) Starpeace(1985)
Milk and Honey(1984) Walking on Thin Ice(1981)


"Who's Who on the World 1998" published by MARQUIS, 1997 ACORNS--http://www.dnp.co.jp/millennium/yoko/acorns_W/ENGLISH/09_60.htm
OBSCURA JAPAN--http://www.soho-net.ne.jp/tako/yoko%27spr.html

Reported by: Yoshida Sachiko
Data verified by: Noshita Rika
Date of Report: December 1998

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