|Cultural origins||1950s Japan. Name is derived from a music of the late 19th century.|
Enka (演歌?) is a popular Japanese music genre considered to resemble traditional Japanese music stylistically. Modern enka, 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 ryūkōka 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 Hachiro Kasuga, Michiya Mihashi, and Hideo Murata. The revival of enka in its modern form is said to date from 1969, when Keiko Fuji made her debut. The most famous male enka singer is Kiyoshi Hikawa.
- 1 The term
- 2 Musical style
- 3 History
- 3.1 19th century–1920s: Sōshi enka and violin enka
- 3.2 1920s–1940s: The era of ryūkōka
- 3.3 Late 1940s–1954: The arrival of new singers
- 3.4 1955–1959: Early history of modern enka
- 3.5 1960s: Commercial success
- 3.6 1970s: Maintaining popularity
- 3.7 1980s: Losing definition
- 3.8 1990s: Decline
- 3.9 2000s: Musical hybridity
- 3.10 2010s
- 4 International popularity
- 5 Enka artists
- 6 See also
- 7 Footnotes
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
The term enka was first used to refer to political texts set to music which were sung and distributed by opposition activists belonging to the Freedom and People's Rights Movement[clarification needed] during the Meiji period (1868–1912) as a means of bypassing government curbs on speeches of political dissent – and in this sense the word is derived from "enzetsu no uta" (演説の歌?), meaning "speech song."
The genre called enka is also said to be an expedient classification for record labels as well as J-pop. For example, Harumi Miyako, who has been usually considered as an enka singer, said "I don't think that I sing 'enka'" and "In fact, there was no such term as 'enka' when I debuted."[fn 1]
Modern enka's mainstream scale is called "Yonanuki Tan-Onkai" (ヨナ抜き短音階?) or "Minor Scale without Four and Seven (re and sol)," and is a modified version of "Yonanuki Chō-Onkai" (ヨナ抜き長音階?) or "Major Scale without Four and Seven (Fa and Ti)," which came from an older Japanese scale, the "Ryo Scale" (呂音階 Ryo Onkai?). One of the earliest Japanese songs that was said to have partly used it is Rentarō Taki's "Kōjō no Tsuki," which was called shōka (唱歌?) or "school song" in the Meiji period. The seventh- scale degree is not used in "Kōjō no Tsuki", a song of B minor.
The music, based on the pentatonic scale, has some resemblance to blues. Enka lyrics are usually written similarly around the themes of love and loss, loneliness, enduring hardships, and persevering in the face of difficulties, even suicide or death. Although enka is a genre of kayōkyoku, it is considered to be more expressive and emotional, though there is no clear consensus on the matter.
Archetypal enka singers employ a style of melisma—where a single syllable of text is sung while moving between several different notes in succession—known as kobushi. Kobushi occurs when the pitch of the singer's voice fluctuates irregularly within one scale degree: This compares with vibrato, which vibrates in a regular cycle. The kobushi technique is not limited to enka, as can be heard in the Italian song "Santa Lucia." In the late 1930s and early '40s, the music of composer Masao Koga began to resemble Buddhist shomyo-chanting possibly because his record label asked him to produce music. Although Koga became a composer whose work is considered seminal to the creation of the genre, present-day enka is different from Koga's primary music because the singing styles of many postwar singers were different from the kobushi of Koga's musical note. Modern enka singer Takeshi Kitayama himself admitted in 2006, "I was even confused because [Koga's] musical note was different from that of an old singer."[fn 2]
Enka suggests a traditional, idealized, or romanticized aspect of Japanese culture and attitudes. Enka singers, predominantly women, usually perform in a kimono or in evening dress. Male enka performers tend to wear formal dress, or in some performances, traditional Japanese attire. Nods to traditional Japanese music are common in enka. The melodies of enka are fundamentally Western harmonies, and electronic instruments are used, such as synthesizers and electric lead guitar with plenty of distortion, but its musical instruments also include traditional Japanese instruments such as the shakuhachi and the shamisen.
19th century–1920s: Sōshi enka and violin enka
The political songs called enka in the Meiji period (1868–1912) are also called Sōshi Enka (壮士演歌?) to distinguish it from modern enka. Street singers were called enka-shi (演歌師?). The first enka song is said to be "Dynamite bushi" (ダイナマイト節?).[why?] The songs during this time include Otojiro Kawakami's "Oppekepe Bushi."[why?]
In the Taishō period (1912–26), enka-shi began to incorporate the violin, thus their songs were called violin enka. An enka-shi of the period was Toshio Sakurai (桜井敏雄?), who in turn taught Haruo Oka.
In present-day Japan, Road Traffic Law regulates the appearance of street performers. However, Japanese performers such as Utaji Fukuoka (福岡詩二?) have still sung enka from the Taishō period. When the 1995 earthquake struck, Soul Flower Mononoke Summit, a musical project of the rock band Soul Flower Union, played sōshi enka to help buoy the spirits of disaster victims.
1920s–1940s: The era of ryūkōka
In the early Shōwa period in the late '20s, record companies produced ryūkōka in place of street performers (enka-shi).? Enka-shi began to use guitar and were dubbed nagashi (流し?). Haruo Oka debuted with the 1939 song "Kokkyō no Haru" (国境の春 lit. "Spring at the Border"?) on the Japanese record label King Records. However, the term enka became uncommon in the postwar years.
Late 1940s–1954: The arrival of new singers
As jazz became popular in early postwar Japan, Japanese singer Hibari Misora released her debut song "Kappa boogie-woogie" on Nippon Columbia in 1949 at the age of only 12. She went on to sing jazz songs throughout the 1950s and 1960s. She later did many enka songs in the 60s and 70s.
In 1948, Hachiro Kasuga won King Records' first talent contest. He joined the record label the next year where Haruo Oka was his senior. His debut single "Akai Lamp no Shū Ressha" (赤いランプの終列車 lit. "Last Train with Red Lamp"?) was released in 1952. The Kabuki-style song "Otomi-san" (お富さん lit. "Miss Otomi"?) was originally made for Oka, but was sung by Kasuga, and in 1954, "Otomi-san" became a very popular hit in Japan. Kasuga took part in the NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen for the first time with "Otomi-san" that year. The song's composer, Masanobu Tokuchi, was born on Okinawa Island and grew up in Amami and became an important figure for introducing the Ryukyu Islands' music into the Japanese mainstream.
1955–1959: Early history of modern enka
Although "Otomi-san" was popular, Kasuga himself was not completely satisfied with it and recorded the song "Wakare no Ippon-sugi" (別れの一本杉 lit. "Farewell One Cedar"?) by Toru Funamura. The song was released in 1955 and was later regarded as a true enka song.[why?] The song, ironically, was also influenced by tango music's rhythm because Funamura felt that tango seemed similar to enka in its local color. "Wakare no Ippon-sugi" was later covered by singers as diverse as Michiya Mihashi, Hideo Murata, Keiko Fuji, Hibari Misora, Saburō Kitajima, Takashi Hosokawa, and Hiroshi Itsuki.[when?] Kasuga was later called the first enka singer.[why?]
Michiya Mihashi, who originally sang Japanese folk min'yō music and learned tsugaru-jamisen, released his debut single "Sake no Nigasa yo" as a recording singer in 1954. Mihashi's "Onna Sendō Uta" was a hit in 1955. Funamura's friend Kimio Takano, the lyricist of "Wakare no Ippon-sugi", died in 1956 at the age of 26. Hibari Misora's music turned to enka when she was no longer regarded as a teen idol.
Around the postwar period, rōkyoku (or naniwa-bushi), famous during the war, declined in popularity mainly because their speaking lengths were considered too long. Enka, on the other hand, which became popular around that time, was said to be a shortened version of rōkyoku because several enka singers such as Hideo Murata and Haruo Minami were originally rōkyoku singers and enka has many themes in common with the genre. One notable rōkyoku singer who had an influence on enka was Kumoemon Tochuken, whose student's pupil was Murata. Minami debuted on Teichiku Records in 1957 and Murata on Nippon Columbia in 1958. Murata covered the song "Jinsei Gekijō" (人生劇場 lit. "Drama of Life"?), composed by Masao Koga. Haruo Minami was known for wearing a kimono, which was at the time considered an unusual style for a male singer.
1960s: Commercial success
In the early 1960s, rockabilly influenced by Elvis Presley began to gain popularity. Kyu Sakamoto, who came from Japanese rockabilly, joined Japanese popular music. However, many Japanese music critics complained about rockabilly, and Hideo Murata's 1961 "pure Japanese style"-like song "Ōsho," composed by Toru Funamura, became a million-selling single in Japan. When Kyu Sakamoto took part in the Kōhaku Uta Gassen for the first time with the song "Ue o Muite Arukō" (aka "Sukiyaki") in 1961, Hideo Murata also made his debut with the song "Ōsho" at the same show.
Young enka singer Yukio Hashi appeared in 1960, Saburō Kitajima in 1962 and Harumi Miyako in 1964. Sachiko Kobayashi debuted with the 1964 single "Usotsuki Kamome" (ウソツキ鴎 lit. "Liar Common Gull"?) at the age of only 10. The most well-known and beloved performer of enka is Hibari Misora (1937–1989), known as the "Queen of Enka" and "Queen of Shōwa" for the period in which she lived and was celebrated. Misora's song "Yawara," composed by Masao Koga, won the grand prix award at the 1965 Japan Record Award. Masaru Matsuyama also made his debut in 1965, but was not able to achieve commercial success and changed his stage name to Hiroshi Itsuki in 1971.
Mina Aoe appeared with the single "Kōkotsu no Blues" (恍惚のブルース lit. "Ecstasy Blues"?) in 1966, pioneering the "enka-blues" genre. Shinichi Mori debuted with the 1966 single "Onna no Tameiki" (女のためいき lit. "Woman's Sigh"?). His 1969 song "Minatomachi Blues" (港町ブルース lit. "Port Town Blues"?) topped the Japanese Oricon single charts for five weeks and sold over one million copies. Keiko Fuji came out with the 1969 single "Shinjuku no Onna" (新宿の女 lit. "Woman in Shinjuku"?) at the age of 18. The term enka which had not been used in the postwar era, was revived by her performance.
1970s: Maintaining popularity
Keiko Fuji's 1970 song "Keiko no Yume wa Yoru Hiraku" won the mass popularity award of the 12th Japan Record Awards and the grand prix award of the first Japan Music Awards. That year, she also took part in the 21st Kōhaku Uta Gassen with the song. Her 1970 album Shinjuku no Onna/'Enka no Hoshi' Fuji Keiko no Subete (新宿の女/"演歌の星" 藤圭子のすべて Woman in Shinjuku/'Star of Enka' All of Keiko Fuji?) established a record-breaking consecutive number-one record to top the Oricon charts for 20 "consecutive" weeks. It is a record that still stands.
The best-selling enka after the Oricon charts began in 1968 is Shiro Miya and Pinkara Trio's 1972 "Onna no Michi." The song topped the Japanese Oricon single charts for 16 consecutive weeks and sold over 3.25 million copies, to become the second best-selling single in Japan behind "Oyoge! Taiyaki-kun."
Hiroshi Itsuki's song "Yozora" won the grand prix award at the 15th Japan Record Awards in 1973. Shinichi Mori released the single "Erimo Misaki"? in 1974. Although the song was composed by non-enka musician Takuro Yoshida, "Erimo Misaki" won the grand prix at the 16th Japan Record Awards that year. Harumi Miyako's song "Kita no Yado kara"? also won the grand prix at the 18th Japan Record Awards in 1976. New enka singers, who debuted in the '70s, include Sayuri Ishikawa and Takashi Hosokawa who were both Michiya Mihashi's pupils.
Masao Koga died in 1978, after a career of composing about 5,000 songs. Toru Funamura became self-employed in 1978, beginning live performances and returning to the original position? for his old friend Kimio Takano. Keiko Fuji announced her retirement in 1979 and went to the United States, where bizarrely enough, in 2006, the $400,000 she was carrying in cash was confiscated by the DEA. She denied any wrongdoing and in 2008 was cleared of all charges and the money returned to her.
1980s: Losing definition
Takashi Hosokawa's song "Kita Sakaba" won the grand prix at the 24th Japan Record Awards in 1982. He covered Naomi Chiaki's originally song "Yagiri no Watashi" next year. It was also won the grand prix at the following Japan Record Awards. The total sales of Michiya Mihashi's work surpassed 100 million records in 1983, making him the first artist to achieve that in Japan.
On June 11, 1986, Sanae Jōnouchi, a member of idol group Onyanko Club, released the enka single "Ajisai Bashi," written by Yasushi Akimoto. The single debuted at No. 1 on the Oricon weekly single charts. Ikuzo Yoshi's 1986 single "Yukiguni" became the Oricon's 300th number-one single in 1987.
Other new enka singers around that time included Fuyumi Sakamoto and Ayako Fuji. Hibari Misora, at the age of 50, released the single "Midaregami" on December 10, 1987. "Midaregami" reached the No. 9 position on the Oricon weekly charts. Yasushi Akimoto wrote the lyrics of her 1989 single "Kawa no Nagare no Yō ni". However, she died in 1989 and the enka range expanded into the genre kayōkyoku while the genre kayōkyoku was vanishing.
Hachiro Kasuga died in 1991. As enka's traditional themes were no longer appreciated among younger Japanese and Western-style J-pop music became more popular, enka sales declined. However, the genre still had many adherents. Besides TV programs, enka could be heard in many restaurants, drinking establishments, karaoke bars and cafes. On the other hand, "bright" enka singer Yoshimi Tendo, who was ignored when the "dark" enka songs like Keiko Fuji's song "Keiko no Yume wa Yoru Hiraku" were popular, took part in the Kōhaku Uta Gassen for the first time in 1993. Other new enka singers such as Toshimi Tagawa and Fuyumi Sakamoto were also appearing on TV enka programs which kept enka alive. Taiwanese diva Teresa Teng was also singing in Japanese and covering enka songs from the 70s until she died in 1995 at the age of 42.
2000s: Musical hybridity
Enka's popularity among younger Japanese, however, increased in the first decade of the 21st century. Kiyoshi Hikawa debuted on Nippon Columbia in 2000 with the single "Hakone Hachiri no Hanjirō," which became a smash hit. The early solo releases of then-Morning Musume member Yuko Nakazawa were also enka. In contrast, Nana Mizuki, who learned enka as a child, became a voice actress and also appeared as a singer on King Records in 2000.
On August 25, 2004, Johnny & Associates' group Kanjani Eight debuted with the Kansai-limited release of "Naniwa Iroha Bushi" under the Teichiku Records. The song was based on "Kawachi ondo" and featured rap. The song was a hit and reached No. 8 on the Oricon weekly singles chart on the strength of Kansai sales alone. Then, on September 22, 2004, "Naniwa Iroha Bushi" was released nationwide and re-debuted on the Oricon weekly singles charts at the No. 1 spot, becoming the first enka single to reach the No. 1 in seventeen years since Yujiro Ishihara's 1987 single "Kita no Tabibito" according to Oricon.
Hikawa also released the single "Hatsukoi Ressha" on February 9, 2005, which debut at the No. 1 position on the Oricon charts, Hikawa's first number-one single on the Oricon weekly charts. Older female singer Junko Akimoto also debuted on King Records, releasing her first single "Madison-gun no Koi" on July 21, 2005. However,? her musical style was '70s kayōkyoku style.
Veteran enka singer Hiroshi Itsuki, at 58, released the single "Takasebune" on April 19, 2006 becoming his first Top 10 single in 22 years since 1984's "Nagaragawa Enka." It debuted at the number-nine position on the Oricon charts.
Hikawa's song "Ikken" won the grand prix at the 48th Japan Record Awards on December 30, 2006. Kanjani Eight was transferred to the pop/rock record label Imperial Records, the sub-label of Teichiku Records in 2007. In the same year, 80s superstar Akina Nakamori paid her respect to enka music by releasing an album—full of light enka songs.
Junko Akimoto released the single "Ai no Mama de…" on January 23, 2008, reaching the top of the Oricon weekly single charts in January 2009, making her, at the age of 61, the oldest solo singer to top the charts. That same year, Hikawa released two consecutive number-one singles — "Ryōkyoku Ichidai" and "Tokimeki no Rumba" — on the Oricon weekly charts. Fuyumi Sakamoto's 2009 song "Asia no Kaizoku", composed by Ayumi Nakamura, was an enka song featuring rock music. Sakamoto said, "If Ayumi sings the song, it's a rock song. If I sing the song, however, it's an enka song."[fn 3]
On January 1, 2010, 73-year-old Saburō Kitajima released the single "Fūfu Isshō" (夫婦一生 lit. "Couple in a Lifetime"?), emerging at No. 10 on the Oricon weekly charts, making him the first solo artist to reach the Top 10 in his 70s. After Fuyumi Sakamoto appeared on Masahiro Nakai's TV program Nakai Masahiro no Kinyōbi no Sumatachi e on March 19, 2010, her double A-side single "Mata Kimi ni Koi Shiteru/Asia no Kaizoku" reached the Top 10 for the first time, ranked at No. 9 on the Oricon charts. The single became her first Top 10 single in 21 years since "Otoko no Jōwa," which had ranked in the Top 10 on the Oricon charts in 1989.
Enka has had a strong influence on music in Taiwan, which was once a Japanese colony.
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 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.
- Aiko Moriyama
- Akemi Misawa
- Akemi Mizusawa
- Aki Yashiro
- Akina Nakamori (also a pop singer)
- Akira Kobayashi (also an actor)
- Akira Mita (also an actor)
- Asami Mori
- Asami Hayashi
- Atsumi Hirohata
- Aya Shimazu
- Ayako Fuji
- Ayako Yashio
- Cheuni (Korean singer)
- Chikai Oka (also a composer)
- Chiyuki Asami
- Chiyoko Shimakura
- Cho Yong-pil (Korean singer)
- Eigo Kawashima
- Eiko Segawa
- Eisaku Ōkawa
- Etsuko Shimazu
- Frank Nagai
- Fumiko Utagama
- Fuyumi Sakamoto
- Genta Chiba
- Gorō Kagami
- Hachirō Izawa
- Hachirō Kasuga
- Haruka Yabuki
- Haruo Minami
- Harumi Miyako
- Hibari Misora (also an actress)
- Hideo Murata
- Hideyo Morimoto
- Hiroko Hattori
- Hiroko Matsumae
- Hiroshi Itsuki
- Hiroshi Kadokawa
- Hiroshi Kitaoka
- Hiroshi Kanō
- Hiroshi Mizuhara
- Hiroshi Moriya
- Hiroshi Takeshima
- Hiroyuki Nishikata
- Hitomi Ayase
- Hitomi Matsunaga
- Hitomi Shimatani (later a J-pop singer)
- Ichirō Toba
- Ikue Asazaki
- Ikuzō Yoshi
- Itsurō Ōizumi
- Iwasa Misaki
- Jirō Atsumi
- Jirō Kanmuri
- Jōji/George Yamamoto
- Junko Ishihara
- Junko Misaki
- Kanjani Eight (group)
- Kaori Kōzai
- Kaori Mizumori
- Kaori Uesugi
- Katsuki Nana
- Kazuha Yasuda
- Kazuko Mifune
- Kazuo Chiba
- Kazuo Funaki
- Kazusa Wakayama
- Keiko Fuji
- Keiko Matsuyama
- Keisuke Hama
- Kenichi Mikawa
- Kenji Niinuma (His wife is Hiroe Yuki, former world badminton champion).
- Killer Bee
- Kim Yeon-ja (Korean singer)
- Kiyoko Suizenji
- Kiyoshi Hikawa
- Kiyoshi Maekawa
- Koji Tsuruta (also an actor)
- Komadori Shimai (sisters)
- Kōtarō Satomi (also an actor)
- Kunio Naitō (also a professional shogi player )
- Kumi Iwamoto
- Kye Eun-sook (Korean singer)
- Risa Yoshiki
- Machiko Kitano
- Madoka Ōishi
- Maeda Yuki (sings traditional enka with modern influence)
- Maiko Takigawa
- Maki Kotomi
- Masako Mori
- Masao Sen
- Masuiyama Daishirō II(also a former sumo wrestler) )
- Maya Sakura
- Meiko Kaji (also an actress)
- Michiya Mihashi
- Midori Kayama
- Midori Sasa
- Mieko Makimura
- Mika Shinno
- Mika Tachiki
- Mina Aoe
- Misaki Iwasa (AKB48)
- Mitsuko Nakamura
- Miyako Ōtsuki
- Miyuki Kawanaka
- Miyuki Nagai
- Murakami Sachiko
- Nana Mizuki (birth name Nana Kondō)
- Naomi Chiaki
- Natsuko Godai
- Nobue Matsubara
- Osamu Miyaji(Tonosama Kings)
- Reiko Izuhara
- Rikuo Kadowaki
- Rimi Natsukawa
- Ryotarō Sugi
- Saburō Kitajima
- Sachiko Kobayashi
- Sanae Jōnouchi
- Saori Hara
- Sarbjit Singh Chadha (Indian singer)
- Satomi Kojō
- Sayuri Ishikawa
- Shin Kōda
- Shinichi Mori
- Shinji Tanimura
- Shinobu Otowa
- Shirakawa Chiemi
- Shirō Miya(Pinkara Trio)
- Shohei Naruse
- Takao Horiuchi
- Takashi Hosokawa
- Takeo Fujishima
- Takuya Jo
- Takeshi Kitayama
- Teresa Teng (Chinese-Taiwanese singer who also sang enka)
- Teruhiko Saigō
- Teruhisa Kawakami
- Tetsuya Gen
- Toshie Fujino
- Toshimi Tagawa
- Tsukasa Mogamigawa (also a visual-kei drummer)
- Tsuzuko Sugawara
- Vanesa Oshiro
- Watanabe Mika
- Yasuo Tanabe
- Yolanda Tasico (Filipino singer)
- Yoshimi Tendō
- Yoshio Tabata
- Yōko Nagayama (also a pop singer)
- Youko Masaki
- Yujiro Ishihara (also an actor, producer)
- Yuki Maeda
- Yukio Hashi
- Yuri Harada
- Yutaka Yamakawa
- Yuki Nagaho
- Yuuki Nishio
- Yūko Maki
- Yuko Nakazawa (also a J-pop singer in Morning Musume)
- Yūko Oka
- Original text: "わたし、自分が演歌をうたってるとは思ってませんから。"
- Original text: "昔の人が歌った音資料と楽譜が違って戸惑いもしました"
- Original text: "この曲もあゆみさんが歌ったらロックなのに、私が歌ったら、演歌になる"
- Christine Reiko Yano. Tears of Longing: Nostalgia and the Nation in Japanese Popular Song. Google Books. via Harvard Univ Asia Center. 2003. 42. ISBN 978-0-674-01276-9
- "The day that enka singer Hachiro Kasuga died" (in Japanese). Nippon Television. 2008-10-22. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
- "Music and Contemporary Society" (in Japanese). JASRAC contribution course in Keio University. 2002-10-21. Retrieved 2009-01-18.[dead link]
- Martin, Alex, "'Enka' still strikes nostalgic nerve", Japan Times, 18 November 2008, p. 3.
- 世界は演歌に満ちている (in Japanese). Masayuki Tamaki Official Website. 2005-12-12. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
- "Yonanuki Onkai" (in Japanese). Japan Arts Council. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
- 佐世保で生まれた日本初のワルツ｢美しき天然｣ ～その１～ (in Japanese). Kyushu Railway Company. June 1997. Archived from the original on 2002-05-09. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
- "Kōjō no tsuki" (in Japanese). Hokkaido University. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
- "Enka still strikes nostalgic nerve". The Japan Times. 2008-11-18. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
- 第６部・演歌巡礼＜２＞前川清 べたつかぬ距離感で歌う (in Japanese). Nishinippon Shimbun. 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "松岡正剛の千夜千冊『J－POP進化論』佐藤良明" (in Japanese). Matsuoka Seigo no Senya Sensatsu. 2000-12-28. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- 俗にいう演歌の「こぶし」って一体ナニ？ (in Japanese). R25.jp. 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- 古賀政男生誕百年「はなまつりコンサート」 (in Japanese). Yumi Aikawa Official Website. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
- 第６部・演歌巡礼＜７＞古賀政男 日本的歌唱を熟知し作曲 (in Japanese). Nishinippon Shimbun. 2006-12-19. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
- Roberson, James E. and Suzuki, Nobue. Men and Masculinities in Contemporary Japan. Google Books. via Routledge. 2003. 78. ISBN 978-0-415-24446-6
- 明治の声の文化 (in Japanese). University of Tokyo. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
- Lesley Downer. Madame Sadayakko: The Geisha Who Bewitched the West. Google Books. via Gotham. 2004. P-53. ISBN 978-1-59240-050-8
- 第４回松尾芸能賞受賞者一覧 (in Japanese). Matsuo Entertainment Development Foundation. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
- 日本の伝統・大道芸は妙技だ。街に復活せよ！ ＝東京・浅草（下） (in Japanese). livedoor. 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
- "Street spirits plug in and out". The Japan Times. 2006-09-29. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
- Kiyomaro Kikuchi (2006-03-23). 昭和流行歌の幕開け《波浮の港》 (in Japanese). JANJAN. Retrieved 2009-01-16.
- Kikuchi, Kiyomaro (2006-08-31). 異色歌手の登場：岡晴夫と田端義夫 (in Japanese). JANJAN. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
- "Jazz & Standard Complete Collection 1955-66". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
- 歌舞伎ソング・《お富さん》のブーム (in Japanese). JANJAN. 2007-02-15. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
- "Hachiro Kasuga Profile" (in Japanese). Aizubange, Fukushima. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- "Deracine Ching-dong" (in Japanese). Soul Flower Union Official Website. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
- 船村徹さん、演歌を愛し歌い続けて５０年 (in Japanese). Sanspo. 2003-05-18. Archived from the original on 2003-06-22. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
- 別れの一本杉は枯れず (in Japanese). HMV Japan. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
- "Michiya Mihashi" (in Japanese). goo. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
- "When we had heroes". The Japan Times. 2001-07-22. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- 第６部・演歌巡礼＜８＞初代桃中軒雲右衛門 受け継がれゆく浪花節 (in Japanese). Nishinippon Shimbun. 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
- 訃報・三波春夫さん (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 2001-04-15. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
- "Special 2. Japanese popular music (4)" (in Japanese). Toshiba. November 2006. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
- "Toru Funamura" (in Japanese). Columbia Music Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "12th Kōhaku Uta Gassen" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
- "7th Japan Record Awards" (in Japanese). Japan Composer's Association. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- 訃報・青江三奈さん (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 2000-07-04. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
- "Minatomachi Blues" (in Japanese). Japan Dredging Reclamation Engineering Association. September 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- オリコンのアルバム１位が千作品に 最多はユーミン (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun. 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- "Keiko Fuji" (in Japanese). Tsutaya. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
- 12年ぶりの記録を打ち立てた女性… (in Japanese). Oricon. 2005-04-12. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
- ランキング特集『オリコン首位獲得シングル1000曲（1968～2007）』 (in Japanese). Oricon. 2007-02-21. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
- "Midaregami" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
- "Yoshimi Tendo" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 2004-12-26. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- 才色兼備の声優シンガーはオリコン2位！アニメ界を牽引する水樹奈々を直撃！ (in Japanese). Nikkei Business Publications. 2008-12-10. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
- 運命的な出会いから生まれたデビュー曲 (in Japanese). Nikkei Business Publications. 2008-08-11. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- 五木ひろしの新曲「高瀬舟」 オリコン初登場９位 (in Japanese). Yomiuri Shimbun. 2006-05-11. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
- "Bleach's, Major's Opening Singles Debut at #2, #10". Anime News Network. 2009-01-25. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
- 坂本冬美、中村あゆみが作詞・作曲の新曲「アジアの海賊」発売 (in Japanese). Yomiuri Shimbun. 2009-01-22. Retrieved 2010-01-07.
- "北島三郎「73歳3か月」で最年長TOP10入り、19年ぶりに歴代記録抜く" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
- "『金スマ』効果！ 坂本冬美のシングルが49週目で21年ぶりTOP10入り" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
- Pei-feng Chen, "Images of Multi-colonial Taiwan in Three Types of Enka: Self-reconstruction through Highlighting Differences in Similarities," Taiwan Historical Research, June 2008
- "Unsung Indian, this Singh is king in Japan". DNA India. October 8, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
- "fuyumi-fc.com". fuyumi-fc.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "日本コロムビア | 新沼謙治". Columbia.jp. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "氷川きよし | 日本コロムビア". Columbia.jp. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- TEICHIKU RECORDS(Japanese)/
- "夏川りみ オフィシャルサイト". Rimirimi.jp. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "北島三郎｜北島音楽事務所". Kitajima-music.co.jp. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "小林幸子 トップページ｜SACHIKO PROMOTION, INC". Sachiko.co.jp. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "石川さゆりオフィシャルウェブサイト". Ishikawasayuri.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "森進一公式ホームページ". Jvcmusic.co.jp. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "谷村新司 Shinji Tanimura Official Site". Tanimura.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "原田悠里｜北島音楽事務所". Kitajima-music.co.jp. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
Yano, Christine R. Tears of Longing: Nostalgia and the Nation in Japanese Popular Song. Harvard University Asia Center: 2003.
- Barbara's Enka Site including introductions to artist and album reviews
- Enka: Suffering and Nostalgia for an Imagined Past A nice introduction to enka, which also analyzes its lasting popularity