Kiyoshi Hikawa

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Kiyoshi Hikawa
氷川 きよし
Kiyoshi Hikawa in Shimbashi - may 28 2018.jpg
Performing in Shimbashi, 2018
Background information
Birth nameKiyoshi Yamada (山田 清志)
Born (1977-09-06) September 6, 1977 (age 45)
Fukuoka, Japan
Years active2000–present
Labels Columbia Music Entertainment
Website Official (in Japanese)

Kiyoshi Hikawa (氷川 きよし, Hikawa Kiyoshi) is a Japanese enka singer who was born on September 6, 1977 in Minami-ku, Fukuoka, Japan. [1] His real name is Kiyoshi Yamada (山田 清志, Yamada Kiyoshi) [1] and he is known as "The Prince of Enka" (演歌界の貴公子, Enkakai no Kikōshi) due to his young age and popularity. [2] When he is marketing non-enka music, he goes by the name KIYOSHI, using capitalized letters of the Roman alphabet, instead of kanji or hiragana.


His record company is Columbia Music Entertainment, and his agency is Nagara Productions. He was given his stage name by Takeshi Kitano, [1] who initially supported his career. Today, Hikawa makes frequent appearances on NHK Kayō Concert (NHK歌謡コンサート), as well as NHK's annual Kōhaku Uta Gassen.


Hikawa was born on September 6, 1977 in Minami-ku, Fukuoka, Japan. [1] As a high school student, Hikawa was a member of the school's performing arts club (芸能部, geinō-bu) and trained to be a singer after graduation from high school in 1995, Hikawa travelled to Tokyo, where he became an apprentice under the supervision of Hideo Mizumori. He served under Mizumori for three years.

In 2000, Hikawa made his professional debut with his single "Hakone Hachiri no Hanjirō." [3]

Hikawa released the single "Hatsukoi Ressha" on February 9, 2005. It became his first number-one single on the Japanese Oricon weekly single charts. In 2006, he won the grand prix award by his song "Ikken" at the 48th Japan Record Awards. On February 4, 2009, he released single "Rōkyōku Ichidai", which became his second number-one single on the Oricon weekly charts. On May 20, 2009, he released album Enka Meikyoku Collection 10: Rōkyōku Ichidai, which debuted at No. 2 on the Oricon weekly album charts only behind Eminem's album Relapse . He released his second single of the year, "Tokimeki no Rumba", on August 19, 2009. The single debuted at No. 1 on the Oricon weekly charts with the first week sales of about 68,000 copies, making him the first solo enka singer to make three number-one singles in Oricon history. [4] He released album Enka Meikyoku Collection 11: Tokimeki no Rumba on November 11, 2009.

At Jump Festa 2017, it was announced that Hikawa would sing his first anime theme song, which was Dragon Ball Super 's second opening theme, "Genkai Toppa x Survivor". It was composed by Takafumi Iwasaki and the lyrics were written by Yukinojo Mori. [5] [6]

On January 21, 2022, Hikawa announced through his firm's website that he would temporarily suspend his singer activities from December 31 of 2022. [7]


Hikawa is popular with young and old people alike. Although enka is in a downward trend in Japan, Hikawa is responsible for popularizing enka amongst the 20s demographic, who traditionally do not listen to it. Hikawa usually dresses in trendy casual clothes, sometimes appearing in the more traditional kimono normally worn by enka singers.

Since 2019, Hikawa has begun dressing in both masculine and feminine fashion on-stage and off, coming out as "genderless" in 2020. [8] That same year, he made history by performing on Kouhaku without being assigned to either the Red (female) or White (male) team. [9]

World-wide exposure

Hikawa has traveled around the world, including to the United States. In 2003, he was the guest of honor at Hawaii's week-long Aloha Festival, where he participated in a parade with various Japan-based hula halau, and ended the week with a concert.


Related Research Articles

Enka (演歌) is a Japanese music genre considered to resemble traditional Japanese music stylistically. Modernenka, however, is a relatively recent musical form, which adopts a more traditional musical style in its vocalism than ryūkōka music, popular during the prewar years.

Ryūkōka is a Japanese musical genre. The term originally denoted any kind of "popular music" in Japanese, and is the sinic reading of hayariuta, used for commercial music of Edo Period. Therefore, imayō, which was promoted by Emperor Go-Shirakawa in the Heian period, was a kind of ryūkōka. Today, however, ryūkōka refers specifically to Japanese popular music from the late 1920s through the early 1960s. Some of the roots of ryūkōka were developed from Western classical music. Ryūkōka ultimately split into two genres: enka and poppusu. Unlike enka, archetypal ryūkōka songs did not use the kobushi method of singing. Ryūkōka used legato. Bin Uehara and Yoshio Tabata are considered to be among the founders of the modern style of kobushi singing.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kiyoshi Hikawa discography</span>

Japanese enka singer Kiyoshi Hikawa has released thirty-eight studio albums, three extended plays (EPs), forty-two singles, eight promotional singles, and twenty-eight video albums. In 2000, Hikawa released "Hakone Hachiri no Hanjirō" (箱根八里の半次郎) as his debut single. This single reached number eleven on the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart and has sold over a million copies nationwide. His second single "Ōi Okkake Otojirō" (大井追っかけ音次郎) reached the top 10 in Japan and attained a double platinum. His tenth single "Hatsukoi Ressha" (初恋列車) was released in 2005 and earned him his first number one hit, later certificated Gold by Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ). With the huge commercial and critical success as an enka singer, Hikawa is often referred as the "Prince of Enka".

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Hikawa Kiyoshi: Profile. (in Japanese) Columbia Music Entertainment. Accessed May 6, 2008.
  2. デイリースポーツ社 (September 22, 2013). "「月刊 氷川きよし」25日発売の第2弾テーマは「誕生日」/お知らせ/デイリースポーツ online". Daily Sports . Kobe Shimbun . Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  3. Hikawa Kiyoshi – Oricon Style Music. (in Japanese) Oricon, Inc. Accessed May 6, 2008.
  4. 氷川きよし3冠達成! 演歌ソロ史上初3作目の首位獲得に「奇跡です」 (in Japanese). Oricon. August 25, 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
  5. "Gods And Heroes Of 'Dragon Ball Super – Universal Survival Arc' Gathered For New Opening Preview Shots". Crunchyroll. February 4, 2017. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  6. "Dragon Ball Super's New Opening Sequence Previewed in Screenshots". Anime News Network. February 4, 2017. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  7. 氷川きよしが年内いっぱいで歌手活動一時休止へ「リフレッシュする時間を」 日刊スポーツ. 2022-01-21
  8. "氷川きよし、全身黒のワンピース姿に称賛の声「性別なんてどうでもいい」".
  9. "Kiyoshi Hikawa—"Prince of Enka" Gifted End-of-Year Award, Stuns Fans with his New "Genderless" Style at Kōhaku Uta Gassen".
Preceded by Japan Record Award for Best New Artist
Succeeded by