Julie and Hideki were great,” Aki Yashiro told this magazine. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Julie and Hideki were great,” Aki Yashiro told this magazine.

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She participated in “NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen” 23 times, including two consecutive years as the last performer (in 2004).

On January 9, it was learned that Aki Yashiro, the “Queen of Enka,” passed away on December 30 last year due to rapidly progressive interstitial pneumonia.

Ms. Yashiro complained of poor health last August and was diagnosed with collagen disease; in September, she announced that she would suspend her activities for the rest of the year in order to focus on treatment. In September, she announced that she would be taking a break for the rest of the year to focus on her medical treatment. I will do my best and look forward to seeing you all again! he commented.

Mr. Yashiro was born in Yatsushiro City, Kumamoto Prefecture in 1950. After graduating from junior high school, she worked for a local bus company, but when she was 15, she overcame her father’s opposition and moved to Tokyo to become a singer. After working his way up through the ranks at clubs in Ginza and elsewhere, he made his debut in 1971 with the introduction of Mr. Hiroshi Itsuki, who was singing at the same club.

In 1973, “Namida Koi” became a big hit, selling 1.2 million copies, and she became a popular singer. The world of emotion that Ms. Yashiro sang in her distinctive husky voice in such songs as “Funauta” (’79) and “Ame no Moyo” (’80) became famous songs that have been sung down to the present day.

In the June 5, 2008 issue, this magazine interviewed Mr. Yashiro on the third anniversary of the death of singer Hideki Saishiro (63 years old). Although a great singer who has left his mark on the history of the entertainment world, he called himself “Mr. Yashiro” and answered our questions in a calm, girlish tone that left a deep impression on us. Ms. Yashiro shared her memories of the time in ’79 when Mr. Saishiro and Ms. Yashiro were competing fiercely against each other in the awards race with “Young Man” and “Funauta,” respectively, as follows.

[Joon] We used to see each other every day back then. We had live broadcasts every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, so really every day. In those days, stars were not allowed to go out privately. There were some who went for a drive or something, but it was taboo for celebrities to meet each other outside, and most of the fun was just talking on the phone.

It was always the same group of people, and Hideki was with us. After we were excited about who was going to win the grand prize at the site, we would talk on the phone again after we got home. We would talk on the phone again after we got home after the excitement of who would win the grand prize. He was a very serious person, and would say, “I practice guitar at home.

But we could only talk on the phone. We couldn’t go out for a drink together like today’s idols. People today are very frank.

Even a young boy like Hideki was not allowed to go out with his girlfriend by the office or the music industry. Even Mr. Yashiro, who was not an idol like Hideki, did so. I think Mr. Yashiro was one person to whom Hideki could confide his true feelings.

He also talked about Kenji Sawada, 75, who at that time was at the top of the male idol scene along with Mr. Nishijo.

Julie and Hideki’s performance was amazing, even when they were working together. They were so cool. Every time Julie came out with a new song, he would say, “Oh my God, you’re doing this? Julie was doing such cool performances every time she came out with a new song. Perhaps Hideki was aware of Julie’s performance. It is essential for a star to look beautiful on stage. Both of them were great at that.

But the power and beauty of Ms. Yashiro’s singing on stage will surely remain in the memories of those who saw her. We pray for her repose.

Toshiwasure Nippon no Uta” (TV Tokyo) (1982)
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