Name in Japanese: 沢田 研二, サワダ ケンジ, さわだ けんじ
Birth name: Kenji Sawada ( 澤田 研二)
Years Active: 1967 - Present
Kenji Sawada has been one of Japan's top entertainers for nearly 40 years, and is a prototype of the seemingly gay male entertainer, the concept of which has long fascinated Japanese. Sawada debuted in 1967 at age 20 as a member of the group sounds band The Tigers. The Tigers were amongst the most popular of the genre, in part because of the dashing good looks of their singer Sawada, and the group scored big hits such as "Kimi Dake ni Ai o (Love Only For You)" and "C,C,C"....read more
Kenji Sawada has been one of Japan's top entertainers for nearly 40 years, and is a prototype of the seemingly gay male entertainer, the concept of which has long fascinated Japanese. Sawada debuted in 1967 at age 20 as a member of the group sounds band The Tigers. The Tigers were amongst the most popular of the genre, in part because of the dashing good looks of their singer Sawada, and the group scored big hits such as "Kimi Dake ni Ai o (Love Only For You)" and "C,C,C". After The Tigers broke up in 1971, Sawada organized a supergroup of sorts called PYG, with members from The Spiders, The Tempters and The Tigers. The following year he went solo, soon producing big hits with "Yurusarenai Ai" and "Kiken na Futari". He nicknamed himself "Julie" because of his admiration for Julie Andrews, and to this day is often referred as such. Sawada is noted for his flamboyant dress style, abundant make-up, self-confident sparkling persona, and extravagant performances. Amongst his signature moves are throwing his hat during "Katte ni Shiyagare", gulping whiskey and spurting it out in a mist during "Casablanca Dandy", performing "Tokio" while wearing a parachute, and dangling a Snoopy doll from his waist during "Hare Nochi Blue Boy". For first time observers he might seem a cross between Cher and Liberace, and like both of them he has displayed remarkable staying power, having maintained an adoring audience for many years. The media have also called him "the Japanese David Bowie" and "the first visual-kei" singer. While obviously aware he is doing so, he often appears effeminate, and even stereotypically gay. Japan has a history of liking such characters stretching back centuries. Perhaps inspired from ages ago when men played women's parts in theatre, or merely being fascinated with people who step out of typical norms, Japan is often enamored of gay-looking straight men. In more recent times popular entertainers fitting this stereotype include Yoshiki, Izam and Gackt. Of course this Does not mean that extravagant types are universally liked, Julie certainly has his detractors. In a highly publicized incident, in 1976 he struck someone on the shinkansen who was mocking him, and was forced to take an entertainer's time out, as one Does in Japan when the disgraces himself in public. Whatever people may think of his looks or imagine about his sexuality, he has married twice, first to Emi Ito, once of the famed singing group The Peanuts, the second time to Yuko Tanaka, who he met while filming a Tora-san film, several years after divorcing Ito. The peak of Julie's career was perhaps the late 70s and early 80s. In 1977 he had a huge hit with "Katte ni Shiyagare (Do What You Like)", which that year won the Record Taisho (an annual music industry award). In 1979 he posed naked on a poster for Parco, who were in this era renown for their clever ads featuring celebrities. In 1981 he again made waves with a kiss scene with male actor Hiroyuki Sanada in the film Makai Tensho. He was also frequently featured in TV advertising in this era. Sawada still records and sells moderately well, and has a long hit-filled catalog to choose from when he performs. He is frequently seen on TV and has long been a household name in Japan. He has appeared at least 20 movies, although some of the roles have been bit parts. He starred in The Tigers' vehicle Sekai wa Bokura o Matte Iru (The World Is Waiting For Us) in 1968, a number of yakuza movies in the 1970s, and two Tora films in the 1980s. He also appears in the films Samurai Reincarnation (1981), Mishima (1985), cult director Takashi Miike's Happiness of the Katakuris (2001), and Godzilla:Final Wars (2004). Although Sawada has recorded overseas in London and Paris, and performed in Hawaii, he remains largely a Japanese phenomenon.collapse
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(船長澤田研二)Kenji Sawada - Da Ya Think I'm Sexy (Japanese Ver.)
ritalam added self as a fan of Kenji Sawada in July, 2011.
Miyoko added self as a fan of Kenji Sawada in December, 2010.
Modcineaste added the Katakana name "ケンジ" in May, 2010.
Modcineaste added the Katakana name "サワダ" in May, 2010.
TomKei added self as a fan of Kenji Sawada in January, 2010.
Artist page created by: Keith Cahoon
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