Sakamoto was also known as Kyu Chan for his charming smile and sincere nature. He recorded many other songs which became just as popular at home and internationally but Sukiyaki remains the biggest international hit by a Japanese singer to this day.
Many artistes have covered it in Japanese, English, French, Dutch and the artistes include, The Blue Diamonds, The Fabulous Echoes, and others. The lyricist is Rokusuke Ei and music by Hachidai Nakamura.
12 JULY 2016:
Prominent Japanese lyricist Rokusuke Ei has died at 83 years. Of Chinese descent, he was best known for his work on the worldwide hit, Sukiyaki (1963), which protested against US military presence.
The song was released in 1961 and topped US Billboard charts with 13 million copies sold around the world. An established author and radio broadcaster, Mr. Ei published several books, including a novel about death and illness which sold more than 20 million copies.
FROM MICHAEL BANGAR:
As a school kid in 1961, it was the pre-Beatles era. I was in Primary 6. The kampong days was a time of poverty. Our neighbour had their Rediffusion set switched on the English station all day. That's how I got to know the song SUKIYAKI and loads of other songs. It's a great favourite till today, on Brian Richmond's show Sunday mornings.
Then in 1963, the year The Beatles and The British Invasion bands came along. They invaded the US and changed popular music from then up till now.
I won't be surprised when they were paying their dues, the above bands played the song. They had SUKIYAKI in their sets. I am sure The Beatles did, cause they played a wide genre of music. That's why they earned the title, THE BEST BAND EVER.
I listened to my neighbour's Rediffusion set through a 'lobang' (hole) that the wooden wall had that separated our two homes. Come to think of it I never got the chance to thank them all for the music I picked up through their Rediffusion set. Ha, ha, ha.