Enka (Japanese演 歌) is a music genre that is produced almost exclusively in Japan and is popular.

Just build as the German folk hit on elements from traditional folk music, Japanese pop keep strictly to the pentatonic scale, which also forms the basis of traditional Japanese folk music. In live performances of singers usually wear a traditional kimono. Enka are often sung by a single singer, a number of Enka titles but are also duets.

In enka lyrics often deal with the loneliness, but also the desire for perceived as exotic places in their own country is a common motif. Thus comes about Kushiro, the most remote and coldest major city in Japan, in many enka as a motive for solitude and exoticism ago. The Japanese saying " enka wa sake to namida to onna to otoko " (演歌 は 酒 と 涙 と 女 と 男) means something like " Enka 's sake, tears, woman and man " (from Eigo Kawashima there is an eponymous song).

Enka are the favorite pieces of music of the older Japanese and ( Japanese pub of a kind) are preferably sung karaoke in Sunakku. In contrast, younger Japanese J-Rock and J-Pop are dominant.

But lately it came several times to genre overruns in both directions. Another part of this example, the pop singer Kiyoshi Hikawa 2003 with his song Hakone Hachiri no Hanjiro (箱根 八里 の 半次郎). This song is musically and melodically clearly a traditional pop, but has a witty and colloquial text. Also Keisuke Kuwata and his band Southern All Stars make music that combine many elements of enka and rock music.


Enka is a specific genre of music which since the 20s in Japan, its colonies Chosen and Taiwan but also in South East Asia and China enjoys great popularity. In Chosen developed from the derived Trot. The Enka sounds peaked in the 1950s and 60s. Have their origin in the enka Meiji period around 1880. Then as the first political parties were founded, it was their leaders are not allowed to speak openly. So they brought their political program in lyrical form and dedicated singers who then spread this. The lyrical style was taken over from the traditional waka poem.


  • Jiro Atsumi
  • Ayako Fuji
  • Miyako Harumi
  • Kiyoshi Hikawa
  • Takashi Hosokawa
  • Sayuri Ishikawa
  • Hiroshi Itsuki
  • Saburō Kitajima
  • Sachiko Kobayashi
  • Kaori Kozai
  • Mikawa Ken'ichi
  • Akemi Misawa
  • Hibari Misora
  • Eiji Miyoshi
  • Shin'ichi Mori
  • Aiko Moriyama
  • Yōko Nagayama
  • Mitsuko Nakamura
  • Fuyumi Sakamoto
  • Eiko Segawa
  • Chiyoko Shimakura
  • Yoshimi Tendō
  • Ichirō Toba
  • Joji Yamamoto
  • Ikuzō Yoshi
  • Jero