Famous People in Japan

Misora Hibari

Date of Birth 29 May 1937
Date of Death 24 June1989
Place of Birth Kanagawa

When Hibari died, she was only 50 years old. She was great singer and actress. She had been called "Queen of Japanese singers" for her last 30 years, as well as "Queen of the Showa era". After war she encouraged the Japanese people in their desperate economic situation. Her activity was a symbol of the Japanese reconstruction.

Hibari was born to a fish dealer in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Since she was child, she liked singing songs and she had a good memory. So her parents taught her songs and other performing arts. When she was about 7 years old, she became known for a singer in her neighborhood. In 1949 she made her debut as a singer. Since then to her death, she recorded more than 300 disks, and sang more than 500 songs. She made many hits and won many prizes.

Hibari also appeared in about 160 films in her life. In 1949 in Kanashiki Kuchibue (Sad Whistle) she played the leading role brilliantly. She played a girl who liked singing songs and lived as hard as possible after war. In the film she gave hope to the audience who was living in disorder after war.

The following two accidents showed the unusual popularity of Hibari. 1956 the audience who tried to get in the hall was panic-stricken. Ten people were killed or wounded. In 1957 a girl who was 19 poured hydrochloric acid on her face. Fortunately the injury was slight.

In 1962 she married Akira Kobayashi who was popular singer and actor. However, she divorced him in 1964. In 1974 she adopted the son of Tetsuya Kobayashi who was her brother and also a singer. And then she died in 1989. In Arashiyama, Kyoto, there is the Misora Hibari Commemorative Museum which displays many articles left by her.

References: Gendai Nihonjinmeiroku, 1994 p.610-11

Reported by: Masanori Kitagawa
Date of Report: November 1995
Go to Masanori's Homepage

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