Kiyoshi Hikawa (Hikawa Kiyoshi?) is a Japanese enka singer who was born on September 6, 1977 in Minami-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. His real name Kiyoshi Yamada (Yamada Kiyoshi?) and he is known as "The Prince of Enka" due to his young age and popularity. When he is marketing non-enka music, he goes by KIYOSHI, using capitalized letters of the roman alphabet, instead of kanji and hiragana.
His record company is Columbia Music Entertainment, and his agency is Nagara Productions. He was given his stage name by Takeshi Kitano, who initially supported his career. Today, Hikawa makes frequest appearances on NHK Kayō Concert (NHK Kayō Concert?), as well as NHK's Kōhaku Uta Gassen.
As a high school student, Hikawa was a member of the school's performing arts club (geinō-bu) and trained to be a singer. It is unusual for a young person in his 20s to take up the style of enka professionally, as most enka fans prefer their performers to be much older. Hikawa decided to become an enka singer when he found that his singing of traditional songs had an effect on the residents of the nursing homes he visited. After graduation from high school in 1995, Hikawa travelled to Tokyo, where he became an apprentice under the supervision of Hideo Mizumori. He served under Mizumori for three years.
Hikawa is popular with young and old people alike. Although enka is in a downward trend in Japan, Hikawa is responsible for poularizing enka amongst the 20s demographic, who traditionally do not listen to enka. Regularly in his public appearances, Hikawa dresses in trendy clothes one would normally see worn by male Japanese pop stars. In certain segments where he sings traditional-styled enka, he appears in the more traditional kimono normally worn by enka singers.
Hikawa has traveled around the world, including to the United States. In 2003, he was the guest of honor at Hawaii's week-long Aloha Festival, where he participated in a parade with various Japan-based hula halau, and ended the week with a concert.