Thu. Dec 12th, 2019

Oka Midori rekindles enka music in Palau

The Embassy of Japan in collaboration with Palau Visitors Authority (PVA) organized the first Enka Concert in Palau by enka singer, Ms. Oka Midori on November 24, to celebrate 25 years since Japan and Palau established diplomatic ties.

Many Palauan songs originated from melodies of Japanese music especially enka such as, “Kimeta” which is originally known as “Michizure” a popular Japanese song.

Ms. Oka Midori, who is gaining popularity in Japan, and who has been invited to perform at the popular Japanese TV program on New Year’s eve this year for the third year in a row, gave the audience her all as she performed non-stop for one hour, last Sunday afternoon. She brought enka back to life in Palau, singing songs that are known to many Palauan people such as “Michizure” and “Jinsei Ichiro” which was nostalgic for many of the guests who are familiar with enka music. The audience’s reaction to her performance of “Michizure” was heartwarming as people clapped their hands throughout the whole performance to acknowledge their appreciation of the song. She had a repertoire of her own songs such as “Sado no yubue”, “kami no tsuru” as well as songs of Misora Hibari and Mori Shinichi, who are also Japanese famous enka singers. In the middle of the concert Ms. Oka Midori went around the audience seats shaking hands with the audience while singing a medley of songs of Miyako Harumi, Ishikawa Sayuri and Misora Hibari.

During the concert, Ms. Oka Midori expressed her love for diving and how she always wished to dive in Palau. The opportunity for her to do a concert in Palau fulfilled that dream for her. At the concert, the President of Palau, Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. presented to Ms. Oka Midori, his letter designating her the honorary role of Goodwill Ambassador on Matters of Culture and Music for the Republic of Palau. Minister of State, FaustinaRehuher-Marugg expressed her appreciation and how enka music has been a part of Palau’s music mentioning Frank Nagai and other enka singers who are known to the older generations in Palau.

Many local residents as well as Japanese fans who came all the way from Japan just to attend the enka concert, filled Ngarachamayong Cultural Center on Sunday. Ambassador Akira Karasawa in his speech at the concert, expressed his appreciation to enka singer, Ms. Oka Midori for coming all the way to Palau to do the concert. He also thanked Palau Visitors Authority for their invaluable support in making it happen as well as Bilung for the venue and all the sponsoring companies for their support in the success of this event. (PR)