SAN FRANCISCO — The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival has announced that renowned Japanese singer and actor Teruhiko Saigo will serve as grand marshal of this year’s parade.
The parade starts on Sunday, April 21, at 1 p.m. at San Francisco City Hall and ends at Post and Fillmore in Japantown. For more information on the festival, which will be held April 13-14 and 20-21, visit www.sfcherryblossom.org.
Saigo’s 50th anniversary concert will take place on Saturday, April 20, at 7 and 9 p.m. at Yoshi’s San Francisco, 1330 Fillmore St. Ticket prices: show only —$35 for 7 p.m., $25 for 9 p.m.; dinner and show — $95 for 7 and 9 p.m. For more information, call (415) 655-5600 or visit www.yoshis.com/sanfrancisco.
Saigo made his debut in February 1964 when Nippon Crown Co. Ltd. released his record “Kimidake o.” He won the 1964 New Artist Award division of the Japan Record Awards.
In the following years, he continued to top the charts with “Hoshi Musume” and “Hoshi no Flamenco.” Saigo, Yukio Hashi and Kazuo Funaki became known as the “Big Three of the Popular Song World.”
Played the leading part in “Doterai Yatsu,” a hit TV drama series broadcast in western Japan beginning in October 1973 (original story and script by Kobako Hanato), Saigo transformed himself from a pop singer to a stage and drama actor.
After this successful acting debut, he went on to establish himself as a fixture of historical dramas after his leading role in “Edo o Kiru,” a series aired on TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc.) in 1975.
In 1987’s “Dokuganryu Masamune” (One-eyed Masamune), a historical drama series produced by NHK (Nippon Broadcasting System) and starring Ken Watanabe in the title role, Saigo ardently played the role of Masamune’s close advisor, Kojuro Katakura.
Saigo also appeared in various stage plays, including “Noren” (1979), “Koshu no Kishi” (1985), “Yane no Ue no Baiolin Hiki (Fiddler on the Roof) (1986), and “Toshiue no Onna” (2004).
In recent years, he has broadened his acting career, appearing on stage in hit plays, including “Tenshoin Atsuhime” (2011), “Onnatachi no Chushingura” (2012), and “Ashita no Kofuku” (2012).
Since his debut, he has released more than 350 songs and appeared in 250 TV shows and 30 films.