Silly me, I thought Ms. Junko Akimoto was an “Enka” singer. Music experts say that she is actually a “Kayōkyoku” singer. Enka is based on a pre-war Japanese traditional singing style called “Ryukoka”, while Kayokyoku is a much more modern pop music by instrumentation and singing style. Enka has been likened to tango, Kayokyoku is likened to jazz. I’m not sure I could explain the distinction. I can remember back in 1979 when I could tell you the difference between Punk and New Wave music. But I digress …
Call it what you will, I think that Junko-san is grand. She’s beautiful.
I’ve grown to appreciate these genres — mostly because I can’t stand what is popular in America. These songs are all about secret longings, broken hearts, guilt and atonement. It is a lot like country music actually.
I first found out about Ms. Akimoto-san from an Iwasa Misaki music video.
You will hurt my feelings if you do not watch this. You all know that I am a big fan of Iwasa Misaki, and that Wasamin has launched a successful Enka singing career. It was mostly through Misaki-san that I have grown to appreciate the traditional Enka Japanese singing style.
In Miss Iwasa’s video cover of “Ai no Mama de (The Way Love Was?) it was widely quoted that Wasamin is “tutored by Japanese Enka singer Junko Akimoto”. This particular song, lyrics linked here — was Ms. Akimoto-san’s most famous single. “Ai no Mama de ..” reached the top of the Oricon weekly single charts in January 2009. She became the oldest singer (at age 61) to top the charts in Japan. Well … this still makes her a spring chicken in comparison to any of The Rolling Stones.
Starlight: Oh what time is it? I think that Hee-Haw is on.