03. The Culture of Popular Music in Occupied Japan


1. Toshiko Akiyoshi, “Third Movement”

From: The Subject Is Jazz, 1958. NBC TV show.


Toshiko Akiyoshi: piano; Eddie Safranski: bass; Ed Thigpen: drums.



Toshiko Akiyoshi appeared in a TV show in the U. S.—The Subject Is Jazz, NBC, 1958 – , and played “Third Movement” composed by her and “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart” composed by Duke Ellington.


2. Chiemi Eri, “Tennessee Waltz” 

From: “Tennessee Waltz” / “Come On-a My House”. King Records C-791, 1952, 78 rpm.


Chiemi Eri: vocals; King Orchestra: backing orchestra




Pee Wee King (music) and Red Stewart (lyrics) wrote this song and successfully recorded it in 1948 before Patti Page made it an enormous hit in 1950. Chiemi Eri, who used to sing in U.S. military bases in Japan, recorded the song in 1952, when she was fifteen years old, with translated lyrics (by Takashi Otowa) being alternated with the original. This cover of the Page’s version made the song very popular in Japan.


3. Kazuya Kosaka, “Texas-kara-kita Otoko” (Man from Texas)

From: Dakareta Hanayome (Embraced Bride), a film directed by Yoshiaki Banshō, Shōchiku, 1957.


Kazuya Kosaka: vocals; Wagon Masters: backing band



This song was written for a comedy film, Dakareta Hanayome, depicting an urban life and romance in Tokyo, by Yutaka Makino (both lyrics and music) along with another song, “Saboten-no Hana-ga Saiteiru” (Cactus Flowers Are in Bloom) written by Tōru Funamura (music) and Yashio Okuno (lyrics). Both are sung by Kazuya Kosaka, a country & western singer, in a restaurant where some characters get together in the film.


4.  Gorge Kawaguchi & Big Four, “Drum Boogie”

From: Video of Music Festival 83: Crossover Osaka, in Osaka, in 1983.


George Kawaguchi: drums; Hachidai Nakamura: piano; Hidehiko Matsumoto: tenor sax; Mitsuru Ono: bass



George Kawaguchi & Big Four, the most popular combo in the postwar jazz boom, was formed in 1953, and temporarily got reunited several times in the following decades, as is shown here.


7. Peggy Hayama, “Kiyoshi Kono-yoru” (Silent Night)

From: Peggy Hayama, “Silent Night” (Side B unknown). King Records CL-132, 1953, 78 rpm.


Peggy Hayama: lead vocals; Hiroshi Watanabe & Stardusters: backing orchestra.




Peggy Hayama, an eminent jazz singer, sings this song first in Japanese translation and then in the original with the backing of Hiroshi Watanabe & Stardusters, an eminent jazz orchestra in the postwar era.


8. Izumi Yukimura, “Kanashii Canaria” (Blue Canary)

From: Izumi Yukimura, “Kanashii Canaria”/ “Till I Waltz Again with You”. Victor A-5167 (P-4434), 1954, 78 rpm (45 rpm).


Izumi Yukimura: vocals; Victor All Stars: backing orchestra.



Dina Shore recorded this song successfully in 1953, and it was soon covered by Izumi Yukimura (b. 1937), one of three distinguished female teenage singers in the postwar era. She sang it both in original (by Vincent Fiorio) and in translation (by Seiichi Ida). Two other teenage singers were Misora Hibari and Chiemi Eri.