There is a variety of popular music in the world. Popular Japanese pop songs are often called “enka”, such as American country music, French chansons, Italian Cannes, and Turkish arabesques. Enka is a piece of good music to play if you want it mellow and soft while doing your daily chores such as carpet cleaning. It is also a piece of good music to play if you want to feel inspired.
Enka, the Country-Western Music of Japan
Anthropologist Jared Diamond historically likens Korea and Japan to twin brothers in his book [Gun, Kyun, Iron]. It may be uncomfortable these days at this time. However, if you look at the culture and art traditions or the music fields of various fields, you may want to think that this analogy is not appropriate. Although there were some differences, similar music was produced by record companies such as Colombia, Victor, and Polydol, and musicians from the Korean peninsula went to Japan to study music.
So how did Enka start?
Popular music reveals people’s hidden desires and hearts. Among them, let’s pay attention to the genre of incarnation. It may be regarded as an old song, but Enka is a window into the times and Japanese hearts.
Enka began in 1877 with political propaganda when the liberal rights movement took place. Enka is a combination of speech and song. The three major elements of modern Enka are harbors, tears, rain, and rain. Expresses the Japanese’s distinctive farewell, regret, and perfume. The theme is fleeting life and love.
Initially, the name Enka appeared in a political speech that was intended to be delivered to people on the subject of freedom and human rights at that time. Later it came to refer to a Japanese song that sings repentance about human sorrow, joy, decay, and disappearance.
The traditional Japanese string instrument, the samisen, is sometimes accompanied by a violin and accordion. Enkashi who sings such a song appears. However, in the early days of Showa (1926-1989), the music and music market was formed, which was affected by the activities of the Enka City. They were forced to earn a living as a wandering musician in downtown.
Early in the Enka song, Western-style was emphasized. Fujiyama Ichiro, Awaya Noriko and Kirishima Noboru were all vocal singers from the music school. They strongly criticized Enka’s later creations.
Most of the Enka scale is the 5th scale, which changes the average scale of Japanese folk songs. The Yonanuki scale was created during the Westernization of the traditional Japanese scale Miyakobushi. Yonanuki, the short scale, is mi-pa-ra-shi-do, and Yonanuki, the major scale, is do-re-mi-sol-la. In the West, the Scottish scale is traditionally similar to this scale. A good example is Auld Lang Syne, which was used as our national anthem.
Enka mostly uses the five scales of Japanese folk songs, and Masao Koga (Old Man’s 1904 ~ 1978), the father of Enka, modulated it and created and settled its own ` high priced melody ”. Know more about the Enka music from jmagazine (source).