Shimpeii Nakayama was one of the pioneers of enka, or kayokyoku, the first pop song style to fuse Western scales with Japanese minor modes. While earlier attempts to blend the two cultures had failed to spark the attention of Japanese listeners, Nakayama paved the way for the future. Although he showed hints of things to come with his tune "Kachusha No Uta," sung by Matsui Sumako in a dramatization of Tolstoy's novel, Resurrection, he reached his peak with his 1921 composition, "Sendo Kouta (Boatman's Song)." Eight decades after the tune was introduced, it remains the standard for Japanese pop music.
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