[Music genre] Why did enka decline? Japanese unique music


Enka is a music genre that is only seen in Japan, and is less popular. It is said that the Enka genre is now in danger of extinction. This is because the enka genre itself was only accepted in Japan, and it never caught on abroad. Enka has been in rapid decline since the 2000s, and there is a growing possibility that it will disappear completely.

What is Enka?

Enka is a popular genre of popular music in post-war Japan. Until the advent of JPOP, it was considered a major genre in Japan. In the 1970s, the word enka was completely recognized by the general public. Many of the scales used in enka are pentatonic scales that replace the scales that have been sung in ancient Japanese folk songs with equal temperament. As for the singing method, a unique singing method called bar is used, which gives it a unique feeling. They also tend to use vibrato deliberately and subtly. Enka singers have a culture of wearing Japanese clothes, and they always wear them when performing. Enka has been accepted by the Japanese public and has created one trend of popular music.

Enka Music


The genre of enka was born in Japan at the end of the 19th century during the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement. Enka was born as a song that satirized politics in order to oppose the government. At first, it was a speech, but gradually it became a song, and the violin accompaniment was introduced to strengthen the element of the entertainer. In the 1900s, it came to be recognized as a song, and enka singers began to appear. The melody was mostly in the style of jazz, which was very popular in America at the time, and the majority of the songs were sung in enka style. After the Second World War, with the spread of radio and television, music became quite popular among the general public. Enka was at its peak during the Showa period.


However, enka gradually declined in the Heisei period. That’s because the younger generation has become popular with a genre called JPOP, which is a Japanese version of Western pop music. In 1996, there was an unusual situation in which no single enka song was ranked within the top 100 on the Oricon chart. The restructuring of enka singers due to the withdrawal of the enka division of record companies was also carried out during this period, and the full-scale decline of enka began. Due to the decline of JPOP in the early 2000s, it temporarily revived, but since the 2010s it has become a completely forgotten genre. It is undeniable that there is a strong perception that enka is a genre limited to the elderly, and many of the younger generation have a negative reaction to it.

famous artist

Introducing a list of famous artists. The younger generation no longer sees it on the news. Popular songs became mainly Japanese music influenced by foreign countries, and this caused a shift away from Japanese music. Even in the karaoke program category, there are only people singing the lyrics of Western music and rock bands. The number of new enka lyrics I write is decreasing. The reality is that it is declining like classical music.

Hibari Misora

Known as the queen of Japanese music. She made her debut at the age of 9, and since she was praised as a genius girl singer with her natural singing ability, she has always been a singer who has been active in the front line. She is said to be a representative singer of the Showa era, and she was a symbol of Enka.

Aki Yashiro

Japanese singer, actress, talent. Since she was little, she has also performed in local singing competitions, etc., and she made her singing debut at the age of 18. She is also active as a jazz and blues singer, and she sings not only enka. She is a representative singer in the late Showa era.

Fuji Keiko

She is a Japanese enka singer and her husband is a music producer. She was a singer active in the 1960s and 1970s, and she covered a wide range of other singers’ hits, and she gained fans with many songs. She passed away in 2013.


Copied title and URL