Hiroshi Itsuki

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Itsuki Hiroshi
Birth nameKazuo Matsuyama
Also known asMasaru Matsuyama (1965-1967)
Eiichi Ichijō (1967-1968)
Ken Mitani (1969-1971)
Born (1948-03-14) March 14, 1948 (age 71)
Fukui Prefecture, Japan
GenresEnka, Pop
Occupation(s)Singer, Composer
Years active1965–Present
LabelsTokuma Japan Communications

Hiroshi Itsuki (五木ひろし, Itsuki Hiroshi, born March 14, 1948) is a Japanese singer and composer. As of 1987, he had sold 20 million singles and 4 million LP albums.[1]

Itsuki is usually regarded as an enka singer, but he has also released a cover version of Southern All Stars' J-pop song "Tsunami".[2]


In 1965, Itsuki debuted under the stage name "Masaru Matsuyama," but did not initially achieve commercial success. Although he changed his stage name to "Eiichi Ichijō" in 1967, and then to "Ken Mitani" in 1969, there was no improvement in his music's commercial sales. In 1971, he changed his name to "Hiroshi Itsuki" and was given the song "Yokohama Tasogare" (よこはま・たそがれ) by Masaaki Hirao. Written by lyricist Yoko Yamaguchi, "Yokohama Tasogare" reached the top of the Oricon weekly single chart.[3]

His 2006 single "Takasebune" debuted at number 9 on the Oricon charts, becoming his first Top 10 single in 22 years, since his 1984 single "Nagaragawa Enka".[4] In 2008, he was featured in Morning Musume's Cover You album. He sang "Izakaya" with Ai Takahashi. Also in 2008, he collaborated with the girl group Cute, letting them record the song "Edo no Temari Uta", he himself was planning to include in his end-of-year album. Cute's producer Tsunku liked the song and thought that if performed by girls the enka lyrics will sound like "a modern fairytale".[5] In what was called a collaboration by Tsunku[6] and a rivalry between two performers by Sankei Sports,[5] they both released the song as CD singles, Cute on July 30, and Itsuki as his 132nd single on October 22. Cute's version, entitled "Edo no Temari Uta II", was nominated for the main Japan Record Award of 2008, which also meant receiving a Gold Award from the Japan Composer's Association.[7][8][9]



  1. ^ Barron, James (1987-06-29). "JAPAN'S SINATRA SINGS FOR FANS IN NEW YORK". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
  2. ^ "五木ひろしが「TSUNAMI」をカバー、「湘南」が「日本海」になる感じ" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2008-11-27. Retrieved 2009-05-20.
  3. ^ "Lyricist and literary award winner Yoko Yamaguchi dies at 77". Japan Times. 2014-09-16. Retrieved 2014-09-20.
  4. ^ 五木ひろしの新曲「高瀬舟」 オリコン初登場9位 [Hiroshi Itsuki's New Song "Takasebune" Debuted at #9 on the Oricon Charts] (in Japanese). Yomiuri Shimbun. 2006-05-11. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
  5. ^ a b "℃−uteと五木ひろしが楽曲を"競作" - 芸能 - SANSPO.COM". SANKEI DIGITAL INC. 2008-07-14. Archived from the original on 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  6. ^ Tsunku. 江戸の手毬唄Ⅱ (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  7. ^ "50th Japan Record Awards". Tokyograph. 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  8. ^ "EXILE, Jero win Japan Record Awards". Tokyograph. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  9. ^ "℃-uteが4枚目のアルバム「憧れ My STAR」発売". Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. 2008-12-17. Retrieved 2012-07-01.

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