I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kiyoko Suizenji -- Sanbyaku Rokujuu Go Ho no March (三百六十五歩のマーチ)

In my infancy, I remember the old RCA Victor stereo and with it, the LP rack filled with Japanese enka record albums. One of them had a picture of someone that I couldn't distinguish between a boy or a girl. There went my fragile little mind. Anyways, the one who ruined me was Kiyoko Suizenji(水前寺清子), a singer who hails from Kumamoto Prefecture on the island of Kyushu.

Even today, she still has that very short haircut, and unless you are a very hardcore fan of hers,  you know her for one song and for one song only. "Sanbyaku Rokujuu Go Ho no March"(The 365-Step March), Suizenji's 13th single since her debut in 1964, is one song that everyone of all ages can identify from the opening brassy notes and the timpani stomps, and whenever she appears on a music show, it's pretty much a given that she will perform that song.

The song is a rallying cry for all those workers getting through the days, weeks and years of hard toil, as Suizenji encourages everyone to get off their duffs in her half-gravelly, half-helium voice. And if one is going to be known for just one song, why not a song that can get the population working and productive?

Soon after its release in November 1968, it peaked at No. 12 and became the 36th-ranking song for 1969. Not surprisingly, it has been used as theme songs at events such as baseball tournaments.


  1. There are more famous songs from Suizennji san. AKA "Cheetah". well you can research more

    1. Hello there, and thanks for posting. To be honest, I only the one song by Cheetah. Can you give me some further examples? It's possible that I may have heard them as a child but didn't realize it was her.


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