Tendo Yoshimi singing on the stage of the 1998 Kohaku-Ugtagassen

Tendo Yoshimi (41) is now probably the most popular enka singer.

Tendo Yoshimi showed her affection and talent for singing when she was a little girl and started her music life immediately after graduation from junior high school. However, she failed to win popularity and was once forced to abandon her career as a singer. She then worked for a while as a tutor of a karaoke school. But, she could not totally give up her ambition and tried again to become a professional singer.

After strenuous efforts, she finally gained the mass support when nearly a quarter century had elapsed since her first debut . She was nominated for the Kohaku-Utagassen, the stage all pop-song singers in Japan yearn for, for the first time in 1986. Recently mascot doll made after her became a million seller among young girls, because its cute figure with round face was loved and at the same time believed to be a talisman.

She is from Osaka. "Yoshimi" is her real given name. "Tendo" was picked up as her stage name: "ten" means heaven and "do" means "child". There is a town in Japan called Tendo with the same characters and famous for the production of pieces of Japanese chess. But, it is not related to her stage name.