One of my students is a fanatical fan of “Julie” and she has taken me on three occasions to see him perform in concerts and at another time in a play.
To listen to and to watch him perform click on the Sawada Kenji (light blue) link at the foot of his publicity photograph above.
Kenji Sawada is an outstanding artist and has been performing for more than 40 years.
He was born in Iwami in 1948 (The year of the rat) and was raised in Kyoto. He is a singer, composer, lyricist and actor. He became famous as the lead singer of the Japanese band – The Tigers and was a Japanese teen idol. Eventually he became a solo artist although acting was his major form of imaginative expression and fame. In the 1970s he wore trendy clothes and make-up and was a significant fashion pacesetter. I recall my mother saying to me once when she was visiting Japan and saw him on TV “..that he is laughing all the way to the bank.” and I guess he still is.
I think it is imortant that I point out that Kenji Sawada is an exponent of the shamisen a traditional Japanese musical instrument which is similar in size to a guitar although its neck is thinner and has no frets.It has three strings which were in the past made from silk however today nylon is used. The strings are plucked with a pick or by a wooden stick called a bachi.
Kenji Sawada is one of only two Japanese artists to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine (a USA periodical that covers music, politics and pop culture) the other person being no other than Yoko Ono – second wife of the late John Lennon of The Beatles fame.
Kenji Sawada has appeared in a number of films and his performances in:
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) and The Happiness of the Katakuris (2002) received copious accolades.
Kenji Sawada continues to perform at a hectic pace and remains extremely popular with an amazing group of ardent fans. I recommend that you attend one of his concerts when he next visits your locality. It will astound you and provide you with yet another interesting perceptive of Japan.
In passing, the Internationally famous English born Australian reared, Bee Gees wrote a couple of songs for Kenji Sawada and one of them ” Smile For Me” was a Japanese number one hit.
Smith’s School of English Koenji
Wow! Performing for more than 40 years is quite impressive. Thanks for writing about this man and your recommendation to attend one of his concerts.