Ringo Shiina (椎名 林檎, Shiina Ringo) is a Japanese musician born on November 25, 1978. Right now, most of her energy is focused on her band, "Tokyo Jihen".
She once called herself in "Shinjuku-kei Jisaku-Jien-ya (新宿系自作自演屋, the person who performs in a play of her own writing in the Shinjuku style?)". She currently considers herself a singer of mood-songs and a light music player.
She was ranked number 36 in a list of Japan's top 100 musicians provided by HMV.
Yumiko was born in Urawa (Present: Saitama), Saitama Prefecture to Kōtarō and Akiko Shiina, an oil company executive and full-time homemaker. She was born with an esophageal atresia in which the esophagus narrows as it approaches the stomach. Treatment of this involved several operations, at least one of which requiring her right shoulder blade to be cut open. These surgeries left Shiina with large scars on her shoulder blades, said to give the impression that an angel's wings had been removed.
Her first exposure to music came from her father's interest in jazz and classical music; additionally, her mother had majored in dance in college and practiced ballet. Her parents owned a large collection of music, a piano, and a guitar, and her father also was a devoted reader of music magazines. She began to take piano lessons at the age of 4 and studied classical ballet starting at the age of 5.
While very outgoing as a young child, Shiina became shy and quiet after her family moved to Shimizu (Present: Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka), Shizuoka Prefecture on account of her father's job. Her parents remember her as a mostly trouble-free child, except that she could not stand being alone and would throw tantrums if she could not have a friend to play with. Otherwise she was generally retiring and spent her early school days without attracting attention.
Following that, the family moved (again because of her father's job) to Sawara-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture and Shiina entered junior high school there. Fukuoka became an important city for her, though she lived there for only six years. While there she once again became an outgoing person. Her official biography originally announced that she came from Fukuoka, and she often answered interviews in Fukuoka dialect "Hakata-ben" at the time of her debut.
Entering junior high, she realized that it was impossible to become a ballet dancer. Her body had become less symmetrical, owing to the results of the operations in her infancy. The new piano and ballet teachers who didn’t know her circumstances pointed out in succession that she couldn’t give power equally to the right and left parts of her body, and she noticed that. She stopped taking ballet lessons, and stopped studying piano soon afterwards. On the other hand, she started listening to a wider range of music other than classical music or the records of her parents. She got absorbed in drama and longed to be a dramatist or to be involved in stage design. She was asked by her drama teacher to add music to the lines of a play, and taking advantage of this opportunity, she began her musical activities. She formed a band with her classmates and performed in the school festival. She played drums at the beginning, but finally sang as the lead singer. Although the band broke up, she began to make demos and began to aim to be a professional musician.