Hibari Misora

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Hibari Misora
Hibari Misora
Hibari Misora in 1953
Birthday/Birthplace Kazue Katō
May 29, 1937
Deceased June 24, 1989(1989-06-24) (aged 52)
Profession(s) Singer
Musical career
  • Kayōkyoku
  • Jazz
  • Enka
Active Years 1945–1989
Official Website Official site

Hibari Misora ​​ (美 空 ひ ば り, Misora ​​Hibari ?, May 29, 1937 – June 24, 1989) was an enka-style singer and Japanese actress. She was also a Living National Treasure, often considered one of the best singers of all time, and was the first woman in Japan to receive the People’s Honor Award (国民 栄 誉 賞, ‘ Honor Award of the village ‘?), which was bestowed on him for his outstanding contributions to the music industry.Also, Hibari Misora ​​is one of the most commercially successful musical artists, and at the time of his death, he had recorded nearly 1,200 songs and sold 68 million albums, posthumously, the demand for his recordings increased considerably, and by the year 2001 he had sold more than 80 million albums, his work “Kawa no nagare no yōni” (川 の 流 れ のよ う に, “Kawa no nagare no yōni”?) Is often represented by several artists and orchestras in his tribute, the most notable being those performed by The Three Tenors, Teresa Teng, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, and the Twelve Girls Band.

Hibari_Misora’s Biography

Life and career

His birth name was Kazue Katō (加藤 和 枝, ‘ Katō Kazue’ ?), and he was born in Isogo-ku, Yokohama, Japan. His father was Masukichi Katō (加藤 増 吉, Katō Masukichi?), A fisherman, and his mother Kimie Katō (加藤 喜 美 枝, Katō Kimie?), A housewife. Misora ​​showed much musical talent from her youth after singing for her father at a farewell party of World War II in 1943. Her father invested a lot of money from family savings to support the launch of a musical career for her daughter, and in 1945 Misora ​​debuted in a concert hall in Yokohama, at the age of eight, under the name of Kazue Misora ​​(美 空 和 枝, ‘ Misora ​​Kazue’ ?), A name proposed by her mother. A year later he appeared on an NHK broadcast, and impressed with his song the Japanese composer Masao Koga. He considered her a child prodigy with the courage, understanding and emotional maturity of an adult.

For the next two years, she became a gifted singer and the venues for her concert tour were running out. He started recording in 1949 when he was twelve, when he changed his stage name to Hibari Misora ​​(美 空 ひ ば り, ‘ Misora ​​Hibari’ ‘) and participated in the movie Nodojiman-kyō jidai (の ど 自 慢 狂 時代, ‘ Nodojiman-kyō jidai’ ?) The film allowed him to achieve national recognition. Later that year he recorded his first single album Kappa Boogie-Woogie (河 童 ブ ギ ウ ギ, ‘ Kappa Bugiugi’ ‘) for Columbia Records, becoming a commercial success, selling more than 450,000 albums. Then he recorded “Kanashiki kuchibue”, which appeared on a radio broadcast and was a national success.

As an actress, she participated in about 160 films from 1949 to 1971 and won several awards. His performance in Tokyo Kiddo (1950), in which he played the role of a street orphan, made it a symbol of Japan’s national deprivation and optimism after World War 2. His third single album, “Watashi wa machi no ko “, was the theme of the film.

As a singer, she became known for her representation of enka, a sentimental form of popular Japanese music that emerged at the beginning of the 20th century, and was famous for her live performances and her singing that captured the feeling of pain of those who They had suffered.

Throughout his career he recorded more than 1,401 songs, being “Yawara” the song that sold more units with 1.8 million in sales.

In 1973 Tetsuya Katō, the brother of Misora, was prosecuted for activities related to criminal gangs. Although NHK did not recognize any connection, Misora ​​was excluded from Kouhaku uta gassen for the first time in 18. Offended, she for many years refused any opportunity to appear in NHK.


Several health problems afflicted her in her old age. In April 1987, while traveling to a representation in Fukuoka, Misora ​​collapsed suddenly. They quickly took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, caused by chronic hepatitis. She was admitted to a hospital in Fukouka, and eventually showed signs of recovery in August. A new song started recording in October, and in April 1988 he performed at a concert at the Tokyo Dome. Despite the pain in his legs he sang 39 songs.

However, his improvement was temporary because his liver was weakened by decades of heavy drinking and his condition worsened. On June 24, 1989, after being admitted to a hospital in Tokyo, she died of pneumonia at the age of 52 years. In many regions of Japan, mourning was done for her.

As of 1990, television and radio stations put their song “Kawa no nagare no yōni” (川 の 流 れ の よ う に, “Kawa no nagare no yōni”?) on their birthday as a sign of respect to his memory. In a national poll by NHK in 1997, the song was voted the best Japanese song of all time by more than 10 million people.


In 1994, he opened the Hibari Misora ​​Museum in Arashiyama, Kyoto. In this multi-story building you could see visual material and objects that presented the history of Misora’s life and career, as well as various Misora ​​belongings. The museum was visited by more than 5 million visitors until its closure on November 30, 2006, because the building was to be rebuilt. The main elements were transferred to the section of the Shōwa era in the Edo-Tokyo Museum until the reconstruction was completed. The new Hibari Misora ​​Theater opened on April 26, 2008 and there is available a CD of a previously uncharted song.

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