Item# URA039

Product Description

Enka is a popular Japanese music genre considered to resemble traditional Japanese music stylistically. Modern enca, however, is a relatively recent musical form which arose in the context of such postwar expressions of modern Japanese nonmaterial nationalism as nihonjinron, while adopting a more traditional musical style in its vocalism than ryukoka music, popular during the prewar years.

Modern enka, as developed in the postwar era, is a form of sentimental ballad music. Some of the first modern enka singers were Kasuga Hachiro, Mihashi Mihashi, and Murata Hideo. The revival of enka in its modern form is said to date from 1969, when Fuji Keiko made her debut.

The first non-Japanese singer of enka was Sarbjit Singh Chadha from India. His enka album was released in 1975 and became a success in Japan, selling 150,000 copies. He went back to India a few years later, but returned to Japan in 2008.

In 2002, Yolanda Tasico became the first Filipino enka singer, going to Japan with his singles "Shiawase ni Naroo," "Nagai Aida," and many others. In the United States, while enka remains popular among a section of the (typically older) Japanese-American population, enka has many fans among non-Japanese. There are some enka orchestras and performers active in the country, such as the San Jose Chidori Band, which occasionally performs at O-Bon festivals in the summer. In 2008, Jero became the first black enca singer with his debut single "Umi Yuki" (lit. "Sea Snow"), written by Akimoto Yasushi emerging at No. 4 on the Oricon charts, wearing his hip hop street attire.