Enjoying Sakura With This Enka Tune By Yukino Ichikawa

The song I choose for this week’s prompt is Yukino Ichikawa’s latest single “Hizakura” (秘桜; secret cherry blossoms). It is an enka tune. If you don’t know what enka is, it is a popular Japanese musical genre that resembles traditional Japanese music. Enka used to be popular in the Showa era (1926 to 1989). Many elderly Japanese still love enka, while younger people don’t like it a lot as they favor more rock, pop, R&B, and modern tunes. Ironically, if you walk into a music store or an electronic shop, you will see enka still being released on cassette tapes.

Yukino Ichikawa’s “Hizakura” was written by Ou Yoshida. Since 1969, Yoshida has written many enka songs from famous enka singers like Fuyumi Sakamoto, Hibari Misora, Yoshimi Tendo, and Naomi Chiaki. He had six songs that won awards at the Annual Japan Record Awards. In 2007, he received the purple medal of honor from the Japanese government for his artistic contributions.

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