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Misora Hibari

Kanji Name:美空ひばり

Misora Hibari is essentially a Japanese enka legend, who has even had TV dramas created about her life. She was born into a poor family, her father was a fishmonger. She was interested in music from a very early age, singing along to enka records in her home. She began to break into a career in music as early as age 7, and appeared on film for the first time at age 12 (in the movie Tokyo Kiddo, in which she played a street orphan).

Throughout her career, she would appear in over 60 films, and release around 1,200 songs. She became an icon of national optimism for post World War II Japan as well. She would receive numerous awards for both her music and her roles in films. She was so popular at the height of her career, that a riot occurred before one of her concerts in 1956, which resulted in 10 people being injured.

Misora married popular singer/actor Kobayashi Akira in 1962, but the marriage would only last two years before a divorce occurred.

In April 1987, Misora collapsed on the way to a performance in Fukuoka. At the hospital she would be diagnosed with bilateral femoral necrosis. She took a break from her career activities until August 1987, and started to show signs of recovery. She would begin recording a new song, and even perform at more concerts. On June 24 1989, she would be re-admitted to the hospital. She would then die from interstitial pneumonitis at the age of 52. Her death was an event that was mourned by all of Japan.

After her death, Misora would become the first woman to receive Japan's kokumin eiyo shou (a national honor award) for her contributions to the Japanese music industry. From 1994 to 2006 a museum would also open in her honor in Kyoto.

ue wo muite arukouEnglishRomajiKanji

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