Famous People in Japan

Mera Yoshikazu

Date of Birth 1971
Place of Birth Miyazaki

Mera Yoshikazu is a Japanese counter tenor. The counter tenor sings the part which is higher than tenor, but lower than alto. Yoshikazu is one of about twenty counter tenors in the world. His register is three and a half octaves. Yoshikazu sings classical music, foreign music, Japanese Classical Music, a Negro spirituals,folk songs, and songs from musicals.

Yoshikazu has liked to sing since he was child. Before he became a senior high school student, he had already learned many folk songs. He sang Enka and Japanese Pops, too. He was pretty good at singing, so he wanted to be a pop singer in his childhood. Pop singers in the past needed more strength in their singing than singers today.

When he was at university, Yoshikazu learned about classical music and changed to counter tenor. It was when he was a junior. He used to be criticized by one professor because he was not a real counter tenor. That is because Yoshikazu had a high voice by nature. Yoshikazu suffered from the difference of opinion between the professor and him, but he continued to go straight the way he believed.

After he graduated from the Music college, Yoshikazu won the first prize in The Eighth Folk Songs Competition in 1994, and the third prize in Taigaku-Dou's Japanese Folk Song's competition in 1995. In 1997, Yoshikazu became popular among the general public. That is because Yoshikazu sang the title song for " The Princess Mononoke " produced by Hayao Miyazaki. The movie became the most popular movie in the summer. After this movie, he began to sing songs from movies and TV.

Yoshikazu wants people to become interested in classical music or other types of music on their own. That is why, now Yoshikazu is active in all over the world, and continues to learn new fields of music with his beautiful clear voice.

References http://www.geocities.co.jp/Hollywood/3339/news_m.html#971225

Reported by: Akiko Imai
Data verified by: Maya Sumi
Date of Report: December 2000
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