04. The Birth of Enka


1. 北島三郎, “ギター仁義”

1. Saburō Kitajima, “Guitar Jingi” (Guitar Justice)

From: “Guitar Jingi” single. Columbia ‎– SAS-66, 1963, 45 rpm.


Saburō Kitajima: vocals.



2. 坂本 九九, “上を向いて歩こう”

2. Kyū Sakamoto, “Ue-o Muite Arukō” (I Look Up When I Walk)

From: “Ue-o Muite Arukō” (I Look Up When I Walk) / “Anoko-no Namae-wa Nanten-kana” (What Is Her Name, I Wonder). Toshiba JP-5083, 1961, 45 rpm.



This internationally-renowned song topped the Billboard charts in 1963.

3. 西田 佐知子, “アカシアの雨がやむとき”

3. Sachiko Nishida, “Acacia-no Ame-ga Yamu-toki” (When the Rain of Acacia Stops)


This song came to be remembered as an anthem (or requiem) of the campaign against the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in 1960, the biggest political movement in post-war Japan. Though it wasn’t sung in the campaign, the wish expressed in the lyrics, “Being exposed to the rain of acacia, I want to die in silence”, was affectively associated afterwards to the memory of the accidental death of a female college student, Michiko Kanba, during the demonstration march, and a “decadent” atmosphere of the song was related to the memory of “defeat” of the movement.


4. 藤 圭子, “圭子の夢は夜ひらく”

4. Keiko Fuji, “Keiko-no Yume-wa Yoru Hiraku” (Keiko’s Dream Unfolds at Night)

As Keiko Fuji’s third single, a cover of Mari Sono’s “Yume-wa Yoru Hiraku” (music by Yukiaki Sone) was released on April 25, 1970, and topped the charts. The new lyrics were written by Masao Ishizaka, and the music was arranged by Ryōichi Harada.