Yaida Hitomi has been scoring on the Japanese scene since the start of the 2000s, winning the adoration of teenagers and romantically minded adults with her sweet folkish guitar pop that she dubs "heart rock." She bought a cheap guitar at the age of 19, and by 22 she was handling the instrument well enough to have her first EP, Howling (2000), sell more than 10,000 copies, despite being released on a small independent label. After that Yaida was picked up by Toshiba-EMI (which had to battle other big companies to sign her), and, curiously, started her major-label career by going to England. A small club tour under the name Yaiko earned her a certain U.K. fan base, but it was in Japan where the real success waited for her. After two successful singles, her first album, Daiya-Monde (2000), written by Yaida herself (just like all her subsequent records), shot to number one on the Oricon charts.