Katsutaro Kouta

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Katsutaro Kouta
Background information
Birth name Katsu Shinno
Born (1904-11-06)November 6, 1904
Nigata prefecture, Japan
Died June 21, 1974(1974-06-21) (aged 69)
Genres Ryūkōka, Min'yō
Occupation(s) Singer
Years active 1930–1974

Katsutaro Kouta (小唄 勝太郎 Kouta Katsutarō?, November 6, 1904 – June 21, 1974) was a Japanese female geisha and ryūkōka singer. The genre like her songs was called "New-Minyo".[1] The era when she had a high popularity with another popular geisha singer Ichimaru was called the "Katsu-Ichi Era".[2]


Katsutaro was originally a geisha. She debuted as a recording artist with the song "Sado Kouta" (佐渡小唄?) in 1930. She released song "Shima no Musume" (島の娘 lit. Island Girl?) in 1932. The song became a big hit in 1933, selling 600,000 copies.[3] However, the song also angered members of the Home Ministry because the song described illicit sexual relations.[4]

In 1933, Katsutaro and Issei Mishima released duet song "Tokyo Ondo", composed by Shinpei Nakayama. It sold 1.2 million copies and became the highest selling single in Japan at that time.[5]

She took part in the Kohaku Uta Gassen three times. On September 25, 2005, a monument to Kouta was established in her birthplace, Niigata.[6]


  • Shima no Musume (島の娘 Island Girl?) : 1932
  • Tokyo Ondo (東京音頭?) : 1933
  • Manshu Gurashi (満州ぐらし Life in Manchu?) : 1936
  • Kenkoku Sakura (建国さくら National Foundation Sakura?) : 1940


  1. ^ "Yokohama's New-Minyo" (in Japanese). Yokohama Archives of History. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  2. ^ "The day that singer Ichimaru died" (in Japanese). Nippon Television. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  3. ^ 新潟市議会請願第2号文書表 (in Japanese). Niigata City. 2003. Retrieved 2009-01-21. [dead link]
  4. ^ ビクターの新鋭作曲家・佐々木俊一 (in Japanese). JANJAN. 2006-05-04. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  5. ^ 踊り踊って東京音頭 昭和8年 (in Japanese). NHK. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  6. ^ "Katsutaro Kouta" (in Japanese). Niigata City. 2005-10-02. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 

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