Welcome again to JJNN for Tuesday August 26th, 2008. Today we will be taking about Japanese music.
There are many different types of music in Japan. You can hear all of the stuff here that you would normally hear back home in America, but also there are different types of Japanese music. Japanese music ranges from J-rock and J-pop to traditional Japanese music. One of the categories of music that falls between those two is called enka.
Enka is a style of music that became popular after WWII. It has a style that goes with it that is very distinctive. Once you are told one song is enka you can figure out if another song is enka because it will have the same feeling to it. You can see the video of an enka song kalled "Kita Sakaba" below.
If you ever hear a Japanese song that sort of sounds like that it will probably be enka.
Lately there are even foreign enka singers. The most famous foreign enka singer now is named Jerome Charles White, Jr. In Japan they just call him Jero. He sings enka, but it is a slightly different style because he mixes traditional enka with other types of music. It is very popular because no one has thought of doing that before Jero. Here is a video of Jero.
Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 演歌(えんか). It is pronounced enka and means enka. When I first got to Japan I really hated enka. I thought it sounded terrible. But, after a while I got used to the sound and I like enka now. Not that you will ever catch me singing enka at a night out at karaoke.
That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.