Enka Music

Enka music captivates listeners with its mesmerizing melodies and lyrics that evoke a sense of bittersweet nostalgia.

Enka music emerged in the 1960s, and its popularity surged during the J-pop craze of the late 1990s. The earliest Enka songs, such as “Usotsuki Kamome,” were recorded in 1964.

The genre is considered a subgenre of Japanese folk music, but the songs are primarily sentimental and feature a slow, mellow flow.

Enka Genre

Enka Artists and Bands

It is generally considered catering to an older audience, as most male vocalists who established this style of music have long since passed away.

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.


Enka Music


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.

While modern enka has many influences from the classical version, it still maintains the tradition of vocalism and ryukoka.