Lyricist and literary award winner Yoko Yamaguchi dies at 77

Kyodo

Lyricist Yoko Yamaguchi, who also won a prestigious Japanese literary award in 1985, died Sept. 6 of respiratory failure, an official close to her said. She was 77.

Yamaguchi, originally from Nagoya, opened a high-class bar in Tokyo’s Ginza district and started writing lyrics while managing the establishment.

“Yokohama Tasogare” (“Yokohama Twilight Time”), which she wrote the lyrics for and was sung by Hiroshi Itsuki in 1971, was a huge enka hit. She also wrote the lyrics for another enka classic, “Brandy Glass,” sung by the late singer and movie star Yujiro Ishihara.

She started writing novels in the 1980s and received the Naoki Prize in 1985 for “Enka no Mushi” (“Japanese Ballad Lover”) and “Robai” (“Old Japanese Plum”).