Remembering Hibari

The memory of Hibari Misora, the most beloved pop singer of the postwar era in Japan, was celebrated at a special Buddhist ceremony at a Tokyo hotel in late June.

Misora died in 1989 at the age of 52, and the ceremony was attended by 620 relatives and friends.

During her lifetime Misora recorded more than 1,200 songs and sold 80 million records. Her version of the ballad “Kawa no Nagare no Yo ni” (As the River Flows) has repeatedly been voted the greatest Japanese song ever by the Japanese people.

At the ceremony, Misora’s eldest son, Kazuya Kato, who runs Hibari Productions, a company that oversees the singer’s legacy, announced it would release on Aug. 3 yet another compilation of Misora’s recordings.

The main difference is the sheer size: 1,001 songs comprising 58 CDs and priced at 120,000 yen ($1,500).

Several Japanese media have conjectured that this may be some kind of record, though no one has confirmed it yet.