Noriko Awaya (Noriko Awaya, August 12, 1907-September 22, 1999) is a Japanese female singer from Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture. She is a pioneer in the Japanese chanson world. Her nickname is “Queen of the Blues”. Her uncle is Yuzo Awaya, a politician.

In 1907, she was born as the eldest daughter of the wealthy merchant “Daigo Awaya” in Aomori City. Her birthplace was destroyed by the great fire in Aomori City in 1910. Her parents went bankrupt when she was a teenager, and in 1923 she dropped out of Aomori Prefectural Aomori High School and moved to Tokyo with her mother and her sister. She enrolls in the piano department of the Oriental Music School (currently Tokyo College of Music). She later found her vocal qualities in Ayako Ogino and she was transferred to the vocal department. She learned the basics of classical music to become an opera singer.

However, as her house became poorer, she took a year off from school and earned her living by modeling a nude painting woman. At that time, she called herself “Noriko Awaya”, and at this time she had Saburosuke Okada, Seigo Taguchi, and Kanji Maeda as painters who painted the nude image of Awaya. She then returned to school and graduated at her top under the guidance of Inako Shibata, a disciple of Lilli Lehmann (German version). She sang “Aria of Agate” in “Der Freischütz” on behalf of her alma mater at the All Japan Rookie Concert (presided by the Yomiuri Shimbun) held in the spring. She was alone in ten years. Acclaimed as a soprano.

Her singer debut
She graduated in the spring of 1929, when the Great Depression began. Enrolled in the graduate school of her alma mater. She works as a classical singer at a concert hosted by her alma mater. She doesn’t make a living in classical music and sings popular songs to support her home. In January 1930, her new album “Kujihama Ondo” was released from Polydor. She also begins her inspiration on King Records. At that time, since Chiyako Sato’s success, Ryozo Okuda, Yutaka Kawasaki, Eiichi Uchida, Fumiko Yotsuya and other vocalists have made remarkable progress in popular songs.

In June 1930, she stood on stage at the Denkikan in Asakusa. She becomes an exclusive member of the movie theater and sings at attractions. At that time, Haruko Aoki and Utako Hagoromo were active as popular singers from the Oriental Music School, but they were seen at a lower value than the popular songs sung by vocalists from the Tokyo Academy of Music. Awatani became her popular singer, and singing her vulgar songs was considered her corruption and was removed from her alma mater’s graduation list (she returned later).

During the internal conflict that occurred in 1963 (Showaongaku University Incident: a scandal in which the founder’s family director Suzuki and the management director confronted each other and both sides called the gangsters into the university as “guards”), the graduates of Tokyo College of Music They gathered at a music school (now Showa University of Music) and denounced the unusual behavior of the directors.

To stardom
Transferred to Columbia in 1931. Koga’s melody “I’m depressed these days” is a hit. In Columbia, Awatani injects foreign popular songs centered on movie theme songs. “Donna Mariquita” in 1935 became a hit as a chanson and became the first Japanese chanson singer.

In 1937, when the Sino-Japanese War broke out, “Farewell Bruce” became a big hit and climbed to stardom. In order to bring out the feeling of blues, he swallows the evening drink and cigarettes before blowing, and sings with the soprano range lowered to alto.

After that, he released a number of songs to the world and made his name known (note that the members of the backing band at that time were Tib Kamayatsu, who is said to be the father of Japanese jazz). She married Hajime Wada (1908-87), who was a pianist in Awaya at that time, in 1938, but divorced the following year. She was then single for the rest of her life. Awatani has one daughter, but she is not a child with Wada.

Consolation activity
During World War II, he performed many consolation activities during the war, based on the belief that “no one is happy to sing with a perm” and “makeup and dress are not luxury but combat uniforms for singers”. He put on a forbidden perm, dressed in a dress, and sang while comforting the hearts of the soldiers who went to the dead.

As a result of actions such as “turning your back on Japanese soldiers and singing in English to them when there are British and American POWs” and “picking up a lot of love affairs”, the written disposition is several centimeters thick. It is said that it has reached the end.

After the war, he was active in Teichiku, Victor, and Toshiba EMI. Eventually, he becomes falsetto singing. Since the foundation of his vocal music is solid, the depth of his singing technique lies in not losing his high tone rather than a single chest voice. He participated in the “4th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen” in 1953, and made his first appearance in Kouhaku. According to NHK official materials, he suddenly acted as a red group bird while appearing for the first time in the same red and white. In addition, Awatani was the only one who played the first appearance in Kouhaku except for the first one.

From around this time, he appeared on TV audition program judges and variety shows. I had no experience of singing in front of a microphone at a singer audition, and the overwhelming voice volume that I sang like singing in the hall without saving and failed, and my own experience of learning the basics of music is dry In 1965, “NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen”, “Young people are not singers but singers,” and “Kas, not singers,” caused controversy and became a hot topic.

However, he has a high or constant reputation for multiple singers and works, and in his later years he incorporated Mayumi Itsuwa’s “Koibito yo” into his repertoire. He once appeared in the spotlight corner of TBS “The Best Ten” broadcast on April 1, 1982 with the same song. On the other hand, he was openly proclaiming on TV programs about singers he disliked even if he was a big singer.

And in the early 1970s, he also served as a judge for the “All Japan Kayo Championship” (Yomiuri TV), but Yoko Yamaguchi, a judge for the program, gave a high score to Itsuki for Hiroshi Itsuki, who came out of the program. , Awatani later recalled that he turned to drop it. In 1979, she appeared in an advertisement for Tsugaru Sannen Miso (Kanesa). The copy Awatani said, “I was so surprised!” (In the dialect, “I was very surprised!”) Became a buzzword at the time.

Popular with young people
From the 1980s to the 1990s, she became popular with young people as a famous judge on Fuji TV’s “Mono-mimicking Championship”. As a judge, he was famous for his harsh evaluation, and while he often laughed at the croquette material, he scored very rigorously for the vulgar and prank-like impersonation that Akira Shimizu showed. After Awaya’s death, Croquette also considered sealing Awaya’s impersonation for a while, but Awaya’s sister Toshiko Awaya said, “I want younger generations to know Awaya’s name,” and it’s been nearly 20 years since his death. Even now, he is showing off the imitation of Awaya.

In addition, he frequently appears on Fuji TV’s “Lion’s Meet” hosted by Kazuki Kosakai. He is said to have become friends with Hisako Hara, who says he “similar to his mother.” Even in the studio, Awaya walked with Hara’s hand, but there is an episode that Awaya was actually older.

He continued to work energetically on television and concerts until his later years, but collapsed due to a cerebral infarction in 1993 when his longtime music companion and comrade Ichiro Fujiyama and Ryoichi Hattori died. Although mild, his condition deteriorated, including speech disorders and paralysis in his limbs, and from this time he began to rapidly lose motivation for his work. At this time, he listened to a tape recording his own live performance and said, “I can’t let people listen to it,” and it was said that he decided to leave the line, and the exposure disappeared.

Late years
He had a contract in the 1990s until he passed away in advertising for a germanium beauty roller. For a while, TV advertisements that Awaya loved were popular, so Akira Shimizu and Croquette used it as a prop when imitating Awaya. In her later years, even when her exposure to TV etc. decreased, she sent a message to her advertisement saying “Please wait a little longer for the return”, and when Awaya passed away, the beauty roller maker said “Thank you Noriko Awaya.” I put up a memorial advertisement in the newspaper.

In 1996, when she was bedridden in her later years and was living a recuperative life, her juniors gave Awaya’s Yoneju Memorial Concert, and she appeared for the first time in a while. At this concert, she said to Shinichi Mori “Farewell Bruce” and to Kenichi Mikawa “Ame no Bruce”, “I’ll give you a singing, though it’s not a distinction.” Called a topic. However, this was set up by her surroundings, and Awaya himself and her sister Toshiko (who lived with her and also cared for her sister) were informed of this. He didn’t admit it even after the press (such as distinguishing the shape). And, in the finale of this concert, her humming “Let me hear the words of love” was her last singing in front of her.

She hates military songs and enka, and she leaves comments like this.
She hates enka as well as military songs. She feels sorry. She seems to go into a narrow hole and loses hope. I hate Hibari Misora. She came out as a human impersonator. When she made her post-war debut, she asked me to appear before my stage. I was singing Argentine tango, but I was sung by Shizuko Kasagi’s impersonator, and my stage was messed up. I feel sorry for being dirty, so I took a dressing room bath together and washed it. When I become a star, I don’t remember that. — Takeo Nishimura “Talking about the margins-Noriko Awaya” Asahi Shimbun March 2, 1990

In October 1998, he appeared in a wheelchair at the ceremony of honorary citizens of his hometown of Aomori City, the last time he stood in public. The following day, September 22, 1999, he died due to senility. His death was reported on the front page in general newspapers, several memorial programs were broadcast on television, and memorial articles were published in many magazines.

His stage costume is only one, but it is on display at the Japan Chanson Museum in Shibukawa City, Gunma Prefecture (as of June 2006).

Representative song
・ Tokyo at night (1930)
・ Love Parade (1930)
・ I’m depressed these days (1931)
・ Weeping Angel (1931)
・ Two lovers (1933)
・ My hometown (1933)
・ Veni Ven (1934)
・ Blue small diameter (1934)
・ Donnya Mariquita (1935)
・ Poema (1935)
・ Hitana Hitana (1935)
・ Memories of Capri (1935)
・ Barcelona (1935)
・ Itari no Niwa (1935)
・ Lira blooms (1935)
・ The longing Carolina (1935)
・ Jira Jira (1935)
・ Teresina (1935)
・ Dadanera (1936)
・ Morucha (1936)
・ Pari Festival (1936)
・ Dark Sunday (1936)
・ Farewell Bruce (1937)
・ Madiana (1937)
・ Amapola (1937)
・ Without saying goodbye (1937)
・ Don’t even know people (1938)
・ Rain Bruce (1938)
・ Memories of Bruce (1938)
・ At the window of nightfall (1938)
・ Veni Veni (1938)
・ Venos Aires song
・ Rumba Tamba (1938)
・ Tokyo Bruce (1939)
・ Birthday afternoon (1939)
・ Suzuran Monogatari (1939)
・Gianita, Espania Kani (1939)
・ La Kum Parsita (1939)
・ Night platform (1939 * Although it was blown in, it was banned from sale due to censorship)
・ Let’s wait (1940)
・ Manchurian Blues (1940)
・ Suzukake no Michi (1941)
・ My home on the ranch (1942)
・ Manila in the twilight (1944)
・ Grief Bruce (1948)
・ You forgot Bruce (1948)
・ Small diameter of birch (1951)
・ Tell me some sweet words (1951)
・ Don’t even know people (1951)
・ Let’s wait (1951)
・ Dark Sunday (1951)
・ Pari Festival (1952)
・ Under the roof of Pari (1952)
・ Marinera (1952)
・ Dead leaves (1952)
・ Two lovers (1952)
・ La Seine (1952)
・ When the lila flowers bloom (1952)
・ My Shawl (1952)
・ Rumba Tamba (1953)
・ Zilla Zilla (1953)
・ Donya Mariquita (1953)
・ Poema (1953)
・ Small rain diameter (1953)
・ Padam Padam (1953)
・ Myr (1953)
・ Romance (1953)
・ Hymn of love (1953)
・ Rain platform (1954)
・ Farewell song (1955)
・ Tango at night (1955)
・ Maria La O (1959)
・ My sad love (1959)
・ Adiu (1959)
・ Unforgettable Bruce (1960)
・ Bruce on a distant day (1963)
・ There used to be one singer (1971)
・ Gray Rhythm & Blues (1971)
・ Charmaine (1978)
・ Last Song (1982)
・ Modern Age (1982) Co-starring with Dick Mine
・ Separation on a rainy day (1982)
・ Last night’s man (1982)
・ Sorrow (1982)
・ Lover (1982)
・ Hugging (1992)
・ Rocking chair (1993)
・ There used to be one singer (1999)

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