In Japan, there are two major ways to do Karaoke:
(1) at a Karaoke Box:
You are assigned your own room for you and your party to enjoy. It is a good option to enjoy karaoke with your friends or fellow workers.
(2) at a Karaoke Snack Bar:
It is a small individually-owned bar that usually has a single Karaoke machine, so you need to share a karaoke machine with other guests.
About Karaoke Snack Bars, please refer to the following article for details. (Only Japanese)
At a Karaoke box, your party can enjoy karaoke on your own ways, however, at the karaoke snack bar, you need to be careful to choose songs depending on the atmosphere and the other customers. In such bars, it is not so “cool” to sing only anime songs or songs popular among young generation.
In this edition, I will introduce a selection of famous Japanese songs that make you special.
There are 10 songs for each male and female singer.
All songs are very popular among 50’s to 60’s Japanese, that melody is not so quick and lyrics are simply understandable.
If you go to karaoke with senior Japanese business people and sing a few these songs, you will be no doubt to be considered “you are so SHIBUI（You have really good taste）!”
■ Songs by male singers
Natsu no owari no harmony (Yoosui Inoue / Kooji Tamaki)
This song is covered by many singers and known to people of a wide range of ages.
Mata au hi made (Kiyohiko Ozaki)
Hajimari wa itsu mo ame (ASKA)
Nani mo ienakute …natsu (JAY WALK)
Sake to namida to otoko to onna (Eigo Kawashima)
HERO (Kai Band)
There are many songs with the same title. Please search on the “Kai band.”
Azusa 2 goo (Kariudo)
Saigo no ame (Yasushi Nakanishi)
Kowarekake no Radio (Hideaki Tokunaga)
Kanashii iro yane (Masaki Ueda)
Those who speak Kansai dialect should master this song!
■ Songs by female singers
Ito (Miyuki Nakajima)
This is a very popular song at weddings.
I couldn’t find the original video, so I will introduce other singers are singing instead.
This video that amateur singing at a wedding is also popular.
Amagi goe (Sayuri Ishikawa)
Love is Over (Ouyang Fei Fei)
Kawa no nagare no yooni (Hibari Misora)
Hibari Misora is called a “Diva of Shoowa.”
Ano kane o narasu nowa anata (Akiko Wada)
Toki no nagare ni mi o makase (Teresa Teng)
Mata kimi ni koishiteru (Fuyumi Sakamoto / Billie Bang Bang)
This song was originally a male duo “Billie Bang Bang”, but it became more famous with the cover of Enka singer “Fuyumi Sakamoto.”
Miserarete (Judy Ongg)
Koi ni ochite (Akiko Kobayashi)
Olivia o kikinagara (Anri)
Nagori yuki (Iruka)
You can easily find the lyrics of any song by searching for the keywords “song title & lyric”.
It will be a good study of Japanese to find your favorite song and remember the lyrics.
So why don’t you try to sing your favorite Japanese songs in Japanese, whether you are good at singing or not good at singing?
If you are working in Japan, you will often go to karaoke in a second party etc.
If you sing at karaoke and you can enjoy it with the Japanese, you can enjoy deepening relationship with your business partners.
The difficult thing for foreigners will be choosing a song that will be appreciated by Japanese people.
So, I will teach you the site introducing the ranking of Japanese songs by age.
1950’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1950/song.html
1960’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1960/song.html
1970’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1970/song.html
1980’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1980/song.html
1990’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1990/song.html
2000’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/2000/song.html
* You can jump to the ranking of TOP 50 for each year from the link above.
* If you click on each song title, you will be connected to YouTube so you can listen to that song.
The point is “Choose songs that were popular when people going along were around 18 to 22”.
Because people listen to music the most during these ages.
For example, in my case, I often listened music from 1996 to 2000, so I checked the yearly ranking of 1996 to 2000. As a result, I found that each TOP 50 songs by year were very familiar.
If a person going to karaoke with you is around 50 years old, that person may often listens to songs of 1984 to 1988, so it is better to check these pages.
If you know old Japanese songs, it will be a good conversational material. Also, learning the song lyrics is useful for Japanese study.
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