24 June: Tribute to Hibari Misora

OV Digital Desk
4 Min Read
Hibari Misora

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Hibari Misora (29 May 1937 – 24 June 1989) was a Japanese singer, actress and cultural icon.

Life and Career

Hibari Misora was born on May 29, 1937, in Yokohama, Japan. She grew up in a troubled family environment, with her parents divorcing when she was young. Misora faced numerous hardships, including poverty and the death of her younger brother during World War II. Despite these challenges, she developed a passion for singing from an early age and began performing in public at the age of eight.

Misora’s career took off in the 1950s when she signed with the Nippon Columbia record label. Her powerful and emotional vocal performances, combined with her charismatic stage presence, quickly made her a sensation in Japan. She recorded numerous hit songs, including “Kanashii Sake” (Sad Sake) and “Ringo Oiwake” (Apple Alley), which became signature songs throughout her career.

In addition to her singing career, Misora ventured into acting and appeared in over 160 films. Her talent and versatility as an actress earned her critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base. She starred in various genres, including dramas, comedies, and musicals, showcasing her acting range and captivating audiences with her performances.

Tragically, Hibari Misora passed away on June 24, 1989, at the age of 52. She died due to complications from liver disease, leaving behind a legacy of unparalleled success and a void in the entertainment industry. Her untimely death deeply saddened her fans and the Japanese public, as she had become an iconic figure in Japanese popular culture.

Award and Legacy

Hibari Misora received numerous awards and accolades throughout her career. She received a Medal of Honor for her contributions to music and for improving the welfare of the public, and was the first woman to receive the People’s Honour Award, which was conferred posthumously for giving the public hope and encouragement after World War II.

Misora’s legacy is immense and enduring. Her unique voice, emotional delivery, and ability to connect with audiences made her an iconic figure in Japanese music. Even after her death, her music continues to be cherished, and she remains one of the best-selling artists in Japan, with over 68 million records sold.

Beyond her artistic accomplishments, Misora played a significant role in shaping the post-war Japanese entertainment industry. Her success as a self-made woman from a humble background inspired generations of aspiring singers and actors, especially women, to pursue their dreams.

Today, Hibari Misora is remembered as the “Queen of Enka,” a genre of sentimental Japanese popular music. Her songs are considered classics, and her influence on Japanese music and culture is immeasurable. She remains an enduring symbol of talent, resilience, and inspiration, and her legacy continues to resonate with people in Japan and beyond.

On 29 May 2017, Google celebrated Hibari Misora’s 80th birthday with a doodle.

Share This Article