Sakai Izumi (ZARD)

Sakai Izumi is the lead vocalist of the Japanese Pop Rock group ZARD. While other group members eventually left the band, Sakai Izumi stayed on and continued writing new songs under the ZARD name, thus ZARD became synonymous with Sakai Izumi.



ZARD was immensely popular in the 90s, having produced many songs that were used in Japanese television shows. Several ZARD songs were also used as the theme songs for popular anime.

Slam Dunk My Friend (マイ フレンド)
Yawara! Today Is Another Day
Mitsumete Itai ne (見つめていたいね)
Dragon Ball GT Don’t You See!
Chuuka Ichiban! Iki mo Dekinai (息もできない)
Detective Conan Unmei no Roulette Mawashite (運命のルーレット廻して)
Shōjo no Koro ni Modotta Mitai ni (少女の頃に戻ったみたいに)
Ashita wo Yume Mite (明日を夢見て)
Hoshi no Kagayaki yo (星のかがやきよ)
Natsu wo Matsu Sail no Yō ni (夏を待つセイル(帆)のように)
Glorious Mind
Ai wa Kurayami no Naka de (愛は暗闇の中で)


Ashita Moshi Kimi ga Kowarete mo

Sakai Izumi also regularly writes the lyrics for songs of other bands in the same music company Being, namely DEEN, FIELD OF VIEW and WANDS.

Two notable songs with lyrics by Sakai Izumi that have been used as the theme songs for anime are “Dan Dan Kokoro Hikareteku” (DAN DAN 心魅かれてく) by FIELD OF VIEW in Dragon Ball GT, and “Ashita Moshi Kimi ga Kowarete mo” (明日もし君が壊れても) by WANDS in Yu-Gi-Oh!.

Sakai Izumi has also covered these two songs herself and they were released in various ZARD albums. “Dan Dan Kokoro Hikareteku” was included in the album Today Is Another Day, while “Ashita Moshi Kimi ga Kowarete mo” was included in the album Toki no Tsubasa.

Sakai’s version of “Ashita Moshi Kimi ga Kowarete mo” had a powerful voice and feel to it. Her version was later rearranged with a stronger acoustic to emphasize on her voice and released in a compilation album ZARD Request Best ~beautiful memory~.



ZARD’s most popular song of all time is undeniably “Makenaide”.

Even the girls of Lucky Star has heard of “Makenaide” and they could all sing along with Izumi Konata in a karaoke session.

Image from: Team Hacchan

“Makenaide” has been used as a topic in a Japanese high school textbook “MY WAY English Communication II”, describing the positive impact that the song has on people. Sakai Izumi’s voice and lyrics has an encouraging effect that motivates and cheer on everyone, helping many to overcome hardship in difficult times.

負けないで もう少し
最後まで 走り抜けて

Don’t give up, just a little more
Keep running to the end

2 Responses

  1. Neofrerot says:

    I totally didn’t know her and her work before you made this article.
    After reading it, I listened to ALL her albums. Since then, I never stoped listening to her songs.
    Her versions of Ashita Moshi Kimi Ga Kowarete Mo is great too. I didn’t know she wrotte the lyrics of this song.
    Since she wrotte the lyrics of Totsuzen and DAN DAN, I listened to them too. Really cool!
    I was able to know her thanks to you.
    I owe you a lot!
    I’ll never stop listening to her songs.
    Thanks again!

  2. Wes says:

    Thank you for being interested in Zard and sharing your thoughts. Izumi Sakai was unique and like her grave marker says: “Eternity.”

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