Kyu Sakamoto

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Kyu Sakamoto

Kyu Sakamoto (坂 本 九, Sakamoto Kyū ?, born Hisashi Oshima (大 島 九, Ōshima Hisashi?) (Kawasaki, December 10, 1941 – Osutaka-no -one, Ueno, August 12, 1985) was a popular Japanese singer and actor.

Kyu_Sakamoto’s Biography

Kyu Sakamoto was born in the city of Kawasaki, in the prefecture of Kanagawa (Japan), and was the smallest of the nine children of the marriage formed by Hiroshi and Iku, workers in a restaurant. When he began to study in secondary school he began to sing. In 1958 he joined the Japanese vocal music group The Drifters. His most popular song «Ue or muite aruko» (Mira を 向 い て 歩 こ う, «Ue or muite aruko»?) («Looking up as I walk»), better known as «Sukiyaki». It was a success in Japan and managed to place in the number 1 of the Billboard pop charts in the United States in the year 1963, being the only song entirely in Japanese language to achieve it. The text of the song is in itself sad – something unknown to music lovers – and its lyrics have nothing to do with the title imposed in the English-speaking countries, since the term sukiyaki corresponds in reality to a Japanese dish of cooked meat. However, Sakamoto managed to put another song on the charts, entitled “China Nights (Shina no Yoru)”, which reached No. 58 in 1963. Another theme of the most appreciated was “Ashita ga Aru Sa” (“There is always a tomorrow »), Which was retaken by the band Ulfuls in 2001.

Kyu worked intensively on behalf of disabled people in Japan. «Ashita ga Aru Su» was the theme of the II Paralympic Games, held in Tokyo in 1964.

In 1985 Sakamoto tragically died in the plane crash of Flight 123 of Japan Airlines. Before the plane hit, he was able to write a farewell note to his wife Yukiko Kashiwagi. With her he had two daughters, Hanako and Maiko.

More Facts about Kyu Sakamoto

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