It’s good to see this young man get some recognition over there. After all, he’s one of the few college graduates, much less computer scientists, to make the jump from amateur karaoke to the pros in the enka genre, reminding us of all those music majors and teachers in the United States in the 30s and 40s who brought the blues and folk music into the mainstream.
But speaking of the 40s, “a traditional form of lounge music that flourished in 1940’s Japan”? C’mon, enka produced the first Japanese million-seller single in 1961 and continued to produce big hits and megastars for many more years. It is only in the last couple of decades that the genre has seen a serious decline, but it’s still more popular with the general public than, say, American folk music is in the United States. Or the blues. And “lounge music?” If so, then jazz is “lounge music”, as any self-respecting gaijin should be able to tell you.
There may be a story here to be told about how outsiders from the “riverbed people” to Korean residents have been integrated into the broader Japanese society through the entertainment industry.
Meanwhile, in Boston in game 5, Matsuzaka is froof that if you’re no good, that’s when it’s really good to be lucky.