«enka» - best artists

Modern enka (演歌 — from 演 en performance, entertainment, and 歌 ka song) came into being in the postwar years of the Shōwa period. It was the first style to synthesize the Japanese pentatonic scale with Western harmonies. The vocal style is greatly influenced by traditional Japanese music while instrumentation is often orchestral, occasionally utilizing traditional instruments such as the shinobue or shamisen. Enka lyrics, as in Portuguese Fado, usually are about the themes of love and loss, loneliness, enduring hardships, and persevering in the face of difficulties, even suicide or death. Enka suggests a more traditional, idealized, or romanticized aspect of Japanese culture and attitudes, comparable to American country and western music.