Enka music has a compelling melody, but lyrics that are intentionally written to give a bittersweet and nostalgic effect. Enka is a perfect example of when it’s best to listen to your heart.
When 23-year-old Tomioka Yūsuke was just a broke college student seeking employment in Tokyo, he says, “I heard Enka music at a store, and it brought me to tears. The lyrics captured my personality perfectly.”
This discovery marked the beginning of his dream to become an enka singer. He would later come to be known as one of the most famous Japanese enka singers of all time — and his tenacity would serve as an inspiration for others.
What is Enka Music?
Enka is a type of Japanese music, and there are many types of enka. Its most famous representative is the Kasuga song. The song is very popular among enka lovers, and it depicts a wandering gambler or a scruffy, unreliable guy who has no hope of making it in the world. The lyrics are often melancholic and tragic, and they are typically performed with heavy vibrato.
Although enka songs are trendy in the United States, the Japanese music industry failed to recognize the genre. It was only after the Cold War and the rise of western music that Enka’s popularity increased. It is considered a subgenre of Japanese folk music, whose roots date back to the nineteenth century. The songs are primarily sentimental and have a slow, mellow flow.
History of Enka Genre
The Enka genre has a very long and exciting history in Japan. It is a style of Japanese music that originated in the 1960s. Thousands of albums have been recorded, but it is nearly impossible to find the classic enka LPs from the 60s and 70s. This article will take a look at the genre and its history. This will provide a general overview of the evolution of the enka genre in Japan.
After World War II, the genre slowly declined and was subdivided into many other styles. In the mid-1990s, it was suffering even more, with fewer albums being made and sold. The genre eventually died out, and enka songs rarely became hits or sold hundreds of thousands of copies. However, during this time, the enka genre became more popular than it had ever been. In the 1990s, the enka genre began to recover and influence other genres.
In the early 1990s, the genre had fallen out of popularity due to the arrival of J-pop megahits. The genre eventually recovered its market share in the late 1990s and made its way to the top 100. In the mid-1970s, the genre was revived and sung by Hibari Misora, Hideo Fuji and Saburo Kitajima. Kiyoshi Hikawa was the most famous male enka singer.
The popularity of the genre grew dramatically in the late 1980s. The genre’s popularity is increasing in Japan, but the music genre has been a minor problem for decades. Fortunately, enka music is now very popular with young Japanese. Today, the genre is even popular in America. A few years ago, a black man, Jero, moved to Japan and taught English. After making his debut, he became famous and toured all over Japan.
After the war, the Enka genre’s popularity soared. The genre’s popularity had increased, but it was still struggling to gain recognition in Japan. Despite the many great enka composers, its popularity has decreased to its lowest point since the 1930s. While the genre is still a significant part of Japanese culture, it has grown popular in the past decade. Its modern-day versions were more popular than its predecessors, and the genre is now considered a sub-genre of the music industry.
Enka Artists and Bands
The genre of enka music came into its own in the 1960s and later. It is generally considered an older audience type. This is because most of the male vocalists that established this style of music have long since passed away. Other enka singers who made a name for themselves in the genre of popular song are Saburo Kitajima and Hiroshi Itusuki.
Keiko Fuji was a major star of enka and became one of the most influential artists of the genre. Her first single translates as “Woman in Shinjuku“. She made her debut at the age of 18 and was instrumental in revitalizing the genre. She was soon followed by Ayako Fuji, Ringo Sheena, and Yuko Nakazawa. The enka music scene has changed a lot over the past century, and its influence is as strong as ever.
There are several enka genres and styles. Those who are new to the music are often surprised to find that it is similar to traditional Japanese music. However, modern enka is a reinterpretation of the traditional style.
It is a post-war expression of contemporary nationalism in Japan. While modern enka has many influences from the classical version, it still maintains the tradition of vocalism and ryukoka.