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 • Minato Ward, Tokyo
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Kyu "Kyu-chan" Sakamoto
Birth: Nov. 10, 1941
Death: Aug. 12, 1985

Internationally acclaimed singer. Sakamoto made his show business debut in 1960. His biggest hit, Ue o Muite Aruko (I Look Up When I Walk; "Sukiyaki" in the West), was released in Japan in 1961. After its release in the U.S. in 1963, the song's earnestness and melodic beauty proved irresistible despite its incomprehensible lyrics. Against all odds, on June 15, 1963, the song ousted Leslie Gore's "It's My Party" to become the No. 1 popular song in the U.S. "Sukiyaki" remains the biggest international hit by a Japanese popular singer. Credit for the song's popularity also is due to the music by Hachidai Nakamura and the lyrics by Rokusuke Ei, who is said to have written this touching evocation of loneliness after his heart was broken by the actress Meiko Nakamura. Sakamoto also recorded such popular songs as "Shiawase Nara Te o Tatako" and "Miagete Goran Sora no Hoshi o." Tragically, he was killed when JAL Flight 123, a 747 bound from Haneda Airport in Tokyo to Osaka, lost pieces of its tail sections and spiraled downward nightmarishly for 30 minutes (long enough for some passengers to scribble shaky farewells to their families). The plane crashed and burned on a thickly wooded mountain about 60 miles northwest of Tokyo, killing 520 and injuring four, in the worst single airplane disaster in aviation history. Sakamoto's songs remain popular in Japan and overseas. "A Taste of Honey" and "4PM" are among the performers who have subsequently released their own renditions of "Sukiyaki." (bio by: Warrick L. Barrett) 

Cause of death: plane crash
Chokoku Temple
Minato Ward, Tokyo
Tokyo Metropolis, Japan
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Mar 23, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 20896
Kyu Kyu-chan Sakamoto
Added by: Ron Moody
Kyu Kyu-chan Sakamoto
Added by: Warrick L. Barrett
Kyu Kyu-chan Sakamoto
Added by: Warrick L. Barrett
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Kyu, I write the words of a song, which you would agree with"Do not stand at my grave and weep, I did not die....yes are very much alive; until I meet you in heaven, and your fellow passengers of JAL are "Unforgettable in eve...(Read more)
- katie
 Added: Aug. 18, 2015

- sjm
 Added: Aug. 12, 2015

- Roses♥~
 Added: Apr. 10, 2015
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