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Yūzō Kayama

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Yūzō Kayama
加山 雄三
Yūzō Kayama
Kayama in 2021
Born (1937-04-11) April 11, 1937 (age 87)
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter, actor
Years active1960–2022

Yūzō Kayama (加山 雄三, Kayama Yūzō, born April 11, 1937) is a Japanese popular musician, singer-songwriter and actor.

Life and career[edit]

With Shinsuke Suematsu (Award Ceremony for the Persons of Cultural Merit, November 4, 2021)

Son of mid-twentieth century film star Ken Uehara,[1][2] and actress Yoko Kozakura, (ja) Kayama graduated from Keio University.[2] Yuzo Kayama signed with Toho and made his film debut with Otoko tai Otoko directed by Senkichi Taniguchi in 1960.[2][1] He was cast in the leading role in the 1960 film Dokuritsu Gurentai Nishie directed by Kihachi Okamoto.[2] Kayama rose to stardom in the 1960s in the Wakadaishō ("Young Guy") film series.[2]

He showed his ability for drama when Akira Kurosawa cast him for his films Sanjuro and Red Beard.[1][2] In the 1970s, he starred such television dramas as Edo no Kaze and Daitsuiseki.[1]

As a guitarist, he took inspiration from the American instrumental group The Ventures, and performed a form of psychedelic surf music in the 1960s with his Mosrite guitar. One of his best-known instrumentals is "Black Sand Beach". "Kimi to Itsumademo" ("Love Forever"), another of his compositions, sold over two million copies, and was awarded a gold disc in 1965.[3] At that point it was the biggest selling disc in the Japanese recording industry's history.[3]

In March 2016, Kayama made a special art piece to commemorate 2,500,000 million downloads for the mobile game Terra Battle, that is featured as the background for the game's title screen.[4]

In 2017, he sung the 2020 Summer Olympic Games theme "Tokyo Gorin Ondo 2020", an modern adaptation of the 1964 Summer Olympic Games song "Tokyo Gorin Ondo" along enka singer Sayuri Ishikawa and rock singer Takehara Pistol (ja) .

He announced that, by the end of 2022, he would be retiring from concert activities. One of the last activities involves the song "Sarai" (ja), which he had written together with singer-songwriter Shinji Tanimura. The song was made as theme for the NTV charity program 24-Hr TV, and Kayama announced that 2022's edition of the program would be his last live performance of the song.[5]



Year Title Role Ref
1960 Otoko tai Otoko Toshio Masue
1961 Daigaku no Wakadaishō Yuichi Tanuma
1962 Chushingura: Hana no Maki, Yuki no Maki Asano Naganori
Ginza no Wakadaishō Yuichi Tanuma
Nihon-ichi no Wakadaishō Yuichi Tanuma
Sanjuro Iori Izaka
1963 Sengoku Yaro Kittan
Attack Squadron! Taki
1964 Yearning Koji Morita
1965 Eleki no Wakadaishō Yuichi Tanuma
Red Beard Dr. Noboru Yasumoto
1966 The Sword of Doom Hyoma Utsuki[6]
1967 Scattered Clouds Shiro Mishima [7]
Japan's Longest Day Morio Tateno
1968 Admiral Yamamoto First Lieutenant Ijuin [8]
1969 Battle of the Japan Sea Takeo Hirose
1971 Battle of Okinawa Higa
1974 ESPY Hōjō
1977 Mount Hakkoda Captain Kurata
1995 Thunderbolt Coach Murakami


Year Title Role Ref.
1974–1975 Karei-naru Ichizoku Teppei Manpyo [9]
1975–1981 Edo no Kaze Chiaki Joenosuke
1978 Daitsuiseki Eiichi Nitta
1990 Tobu ga Gotoku Shimazu Nariakira
2009 KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops Himself

Family tree[edit]

Iwakura Tomomi
Iwakura Tomosada
Iwakura Tomoaki
Yōko KozakuraKen Uehara
Yūzō KayamaMegumi Matsumoto
Nobuhiro IkehataTetsuo YamashitaMayuko AzusaEmi Ikehata



  1. ^ a b c d "加山雄三 Yuzo Kayama biography" (in Japanese). Kinema Junpo. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "加山雄三" (in Japanese). kotobank. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 192. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  4. ^ 「Terra Battle Download Starter」2.5mil DL Kayama, Yuzo Interview
  5. ^ "二宮和也『24時間テレビ45』で加山雄三とスペシャル対談決定『サライ』制作秘話などに迫る". Dwango (in Japanese). Archived from the original on August 17, 2022. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  6. ^ Stuart Galbraith IV (May 16, 2008). The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography. Scarecrow Press. p. 227. ISBN 978-1-4616-7374-3.
  7. ^ "乱れ雲". eiga.com. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  8. ^ "連合艦隊司令長官 山本五十六". eiga.com. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  9. ^ "華麗なる一族". Family Gekijyo. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  10. ^ "長嶋茂雄さんら9人文化勲章 功労者に加山雄三さんら". Jiji.com. Retrieved October 26, 2021.

External links[edit]