Thursday, 26 September 2013

NISSEI ROCK - Guido Myioshi & Yoko Abe

Guido Miyoshi and Yoko Abe were two Brazilian youths from Japanese extraction who recorded rock'n'roll at its inception in Brazil circa 1958. 

At the turn of the century - circa 1900 there was a concerted effort of the Japanese government to promote migration of an ever increasing Japanese population to all parts of the world but especially to South America. Brazil and Peru were the preferred destinations. Japanese nationals started arriving in Brazil in 1908. They came in droves soon numbering hundreds of thousands. 

Japanese families settled mainly in the states of Sao Paulo and Parana, but there were a few thousands going to Para, Rio de Janeiro and other states. Due to the language barrier adults hardly ever mixed with Brazilians but their children started mingling and assimilating the local culture and by 1958, we had some children of Japanese parents who could not only sing samba but rock'n'roll. 

Yoko Abe, pioneer Brazilian Nissei rock'n'roller 
'Sayonara' from the 1957 Hollywood movie of the same name was Yoko Abe's first recording.

TC-1012 - April 1959

A- Sayonara (Irving Berlin's fox-canção) translation: Kikuo Furuno - with Yoko Abe 
B- Futani yorisoni (Cabecinha no ombro) Paulo Borges; trans.: Kikuo Furuno; with Guido Miyoshi; recorded: 10 APR 1959.

TC-1033 - August 1959

A- Baião da Serra Grande (Fred Williams-Palmeira) trans.: Kikuo Furuno; with Guido Miyoshi 
B- Cachito - bolero (Consuelo Velasquez) trans.: Kikuo Furuno; with Yoko Abe; recorded: 19 JUN 1959.

TC-1065 - November 1959

A- India - guarânia (J.A.Flores-M.Ortiz Guerrero) trans.: Kikuo Furuno; Guido Miyoshi; recorded: 7 OCT 1959.
B- Be-bop-a-lula - rock (Gene Vincent-Davis) trans.: Seuti Yida; Yoko Abe; recorded: 14 AUG 1959. 

TC-1085 - December 1959 - Vagalumes do Luar 

A- Aki Kojima - marcha (Jaime Ribeiro-Carlos Ferlich)
B- Ignês  (J.Ribeiro-C.Ferlich) 

this is a single released for Carnaval 1960 in which the author make a pun with Akiko Kojima's name. Miss Japan, Akiko Kojima was elected Miss Universe 1959 to everyone's surprise.

TC-1086 - December 1959 - Guido Miyoshi

A- Oh! Carol - calypso-rock (Greenfield-Sedaka) trans.: Fred Jorge-Kikuo Furuno; reciting: Getúlio Alves
B- Noite azul - rock-ballad (Carlos Armando-Rogério Cardoso) recorded: 7 DEC 1959.

TC-1136 - 23 May 1960 - Guido Miyoshi 

A- Quero amar - calypso-rock (Deane-Weissman) trans.: Fred Jorge-Kikuo Furuno
B- Destino - tango (Mario Teresópolis) trans.: Kikuo Furuno 

TC-1137 - August 1960 - Yoko Abe 

A- My baby - calypso-rock (H.Balmes-C.Adams) trans.: M.A.Galvão-Ciro Cruz; recorded: 23 May 1960
B- Lampeão de gás - waltz (Zica Bergami) trans.: Kikuo Furuno; recorded: 7 AUG 1960.

TC-1184 - 10 October 1960 - Guido Miyoshi & Yoko Abe

A- Noite de paz (Stille Nacht) Franz Gruber; trans.: Kikuo Furuno
B- Sinos de Belém (Jingle bells) translation: Kikuo Furuno; arrangement: Evaldo Ruy

TC-1289 - 17 January 1962 - Guido Miyoshi 

A- Lamento - samba (Djalma Ferreira-Luiz Antonio) trans.: Kikuo Furuno
B- Naguissa nite - toada (Shichiro Onodera) 

Guido Miyoshi's solos:

1. Futani yorisoni (Cabecinha no ombro)
2. Baião da Serra Grande 
3. India
4. Oh! Carol
5. Noite azul

6. Quero amar
7. Destino
8. Lamento 
9. Naguissa nite
Yoko Abe in more traditional clothes
Yoko Abe's solos:

1. Sayonara 
2. Cachito
3. Be-bop-a-lula
4. My baby 
5. Lampeão de gás

Yoko Abe the Nissei rock'n'roll doll. 

After the initial period of recording 78 rpms for California, Yoko Abe & Guido Miyoshi kept on working performing at Japanese-style night clubs mainly in São Paulo. Here is an ad taken from daily 'O Estado de S.Paulo' where both singers perform at different places. Yoko at Cherry, next to Praça João Mendes and Guido Miyoshi at Elite on Avenida Irerê. 

9 September 1962 - At Black Jack Boite, Avenida Ceci (final do bonde São Judas) singer Lili Ozawa and dancer Taki Noboru plus The Four Coins with their progressive jazz;  at night club Cherry (Rua Americo Campos, 84, next to Praça João Mendes) Kiochi Hisa & his Modern Jazz combo with singers Yoko Abe & Nelson Luiz

22 April 1962 - Nissei-rock singer Yoko Abe performed at Cherry (next to Praça João Mendes) with Kioshi Hisa, The Four Coins plus Kamimura & his accordion; at Elite – another Japanese-style night-club on Av. Irerê, 1072, in Moema; Antonio Arruda Orquestra & Conjunto Diamond plus Nissei-rock Guido Miyoshi.

1957's 'Sayonara'
A poster used in Japan to attract immigrants to Brazil. It reads: 'Let's go to South America (Brazil) with the family.'

The poster is pre-1904, because the state of Acre, bought by Brazil from Bolivia in 17 November 1903, was not part of the Brazilian map. Brazil paid Bolivia 2 million sterling pounds for Acre, plus the pledge to build 'Estrada de ferro Madeira-Mamoré' a railway to ship out Bolivian production through the Amazon River. 

Takashi Ikeda sings rock'n'rolll in Rio de Janeiro - July 1960

Even though Japanese national Takashi Ikeda is obviously not part of what we call Nissei Rock, it is worth mentioning his sourjourn to Brazil during 1960.

He spent some time singing nightly at a Rio de Janeiro night club called Little Club. He played the guitar and was accompanied by famous guitar virtuoso Bola Preta (who would soon move on to the USA) and Brazilian pianist Ze Maria. Judging by this article, Ikeda was very popular among this Brazilian crowd and created a good following among Copacabana kids. According to the article he sang 'Tutti Frutti', 'Hound dog', 'Mean woman blues' and other rock classics. 

Com originalidade, o cantor Takashi Ikeda vem se apresentando no Little Club, com o qual assinou contrato para sua 1ª temporada no Brasil. Japonês, filho de família nobre, Takashi, adepto do Zen-Budismo, é um bom interprete do rock’n’roll, marcando suas interpretações com o traço de sua simplicidade oriental.

Seu repertório é verdadeiramente de um cantor que se presa. E suas interpretações de ‘Tutti frutti’, ‘Hound dog’, ‘Mean woman blues’ com o apoio melódico e rítmico da guitarra de Bola Sete e do piano de Zé Maria, faz vibrar o público que prorrompe em gritos a cada número. Mas a platéia barulhenta emudece ao ouvir ‘Sayonara’, com um sotaque japonês, quando o cantor consegue exprimir toda sua arte de intérprete internacional.

‘Correio da Manhã’, domingo, 24 Julho 1960
10 October 1959 - Takashi Ikeda at Black Jack Boite sang rock'n'roll when Japanese-Brazilians wouldn't dare it... 

Guido Miyoshi & Yoko Abe photos on 'O Dia' 24 May 1959.
Guido Myioshi (second from left) with Celly Campello, Brazilian Queen of Rock and her brother Tony Campello (extreme right). 


  1. Only covers?Bla bla bla?Where's links?

    1. dear Anonymous, how about being a little more civil? If you really want to know more about Brazilian Nissei Rock you should be more humble... Try again and I may tell you what you want to know... in the meantime: blah blah blah, sucker!

  2. Who'm a sucker?Long the forehead is not received,freak?