Yuka Fukae and the World of Chanson シャンソンの世界: 深江 ゆか


Japanese culture is diverse. Japan’s traditional culture doesn’t merely have a long history all its own. There are particular cultural influences from the West that have settled here and undergone unique evolutions over time.

日本の文化は多様である。長い歴史を持つ伝統的な文化 だけが日本の文化とは限らない。欧米から入ってきて、日本で独自の進化を遂げた文化もある。

One of these is the culture of chanson, which has its historical origins in France.



Arial view of Paris,

Arial view of Paris, France (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)


Japan may be the one country in the world where the French words and phrases of chanson lyrics remain unaltered in their Japanese translation and in their vocal expression to music.

シャンソンをその国の言 葉に訳して歌っている国は世界中で日本だけである。

Chanson seems to be a fitting match for the somewhat misty spiritual grounding of the Japanese people.



The beppin we shall introduce this time is a person who has contributed to establishing as a new realm the chanson that had been born in France and eventually became integrated uniquely into Japanese culture. Her name is Yuka Fukae, and she is both a representative chanson singer of Japan and the owner of the chanson Café La Manda in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo.

今回 紹介するべっぴんは、フランスで生まれたシャンソン を日本の土壌に融合させ、 シャンソンが日本独自の文化と認識されるまでに、 新分野として確立するのに 貢献した人の一人である。 彼女の名前は、深江ゆか。 日本を代表するシャンソン歌手であり、東京、自由が丘のシャンソンカフェ「カフェ ラマンダ Café La Manda」のオーナーでもある。


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Chanson Singer Yuka Fukae Owner and operator of Café La Manda, Jiyugaoka


To my question “What is chanson for you?”, Yuka responds with a murmur, “Simply a day-to-day thing, that’s the extent of it....”

「あなた にとってシャンソンとは?」 との問いかけに、「ただの日常、その程度のもの・・・」と、あまりにもサラリと軽く答える彼女。

Among Japanese women, for someone to be as demure as this, as pliant, yet at the same time to have obviously realized and be living her dream — just the thought of it had a huge impact on me.

日本女性の中 で、こんなにも気負わずに、しなやかに、しかも同時に、自分の夢をしっかり と実現させている女性がいるのか、と、私は衝撃を覚えた。

For Japanese women, there is the aesthetic of a common spirit.



“Without revealing one’s strength upfront, accept the other party at first. But in the end, find a way to coexist without bending to the other’s will. 自分の強さを前面に出さずに、相手を一回受け入れる。 しかし、最終的には、自分の主張を曲げずに相手と共存する道を見出す。”


Also in Yuka, of course, that aesthetic of the common spirit is deeply rooted.


However, she is entirely different from typical Japanese women in something.


What on earth might that be?


Yuka says that her heart’s radar has always been tuned into “anything that has had the redolence of France.”

彼女の心のアン テナには、いつも「フランスの 香りのするもの」が引っかかってきた、と彼女は語る。 


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When she was in high school, she entered the world of chanson, and while studying at Keio University it became part of her daily routine to go out and sing chanson in hotel lounges and the like.

高校時代から、 シャンソンの世界に入り、慶応大学在学中も毎日、ホテルラウンジ等でシャンソンを歌うのが 彼女の日課だった。

Just prior to graduating from university, Yuka made her way to the Ginza to audition with the most prestigious tea house in Japan’s chanson world, Silver Paris (Gin Pari), and she succeeded brilliantly. That would become her first major step toward chanson as a profession.

大学卒業直前 に、日本のシャンソン界の中で、最高のステイタスの場である、「銀巴里 ぎんぱり」 のオーディションを受け、見事に合格。それが、シャンソンを職業として本格的に始めた第一歩だった。

As her fascination with chanson deepened, Yuka continued to search for the life path that she should take. Along the way, she, as a woman, also believed that she wanted to have it all: marriage, childbirth, the raising of her children. And although she felt that pursuing these things Vielles Chansons et Rondes pour les Petits Enfants (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) along with chanson would be a harsh life, she continued to sing as much as she possibly could.


Before long, the Silver Paris tea house closed. Yuka was forced to find a new stage for success. With the help of a chanson course lecturer at a culture school, in 2002 she was permitted to open Café La Manda in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo.

やがて「銀巴里」は閉店。彼女は、活躍のための新たなステージを探さざるを得なくなった。カルチャースクールのシャンソン講座の講師を経て、2002年に、東京、自由が丘で「カフェ ラマンダ」をオープンさせた。



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“The atmosphere of Jiyugaoka’s beautiful cherrytree-lined promenade is truly suitable to chanson,” she had thought. Here, her new business venture could be just like a Paris street café, and convincingly Yuka has richly imbued Café La Manda inside and out with the essence of France. The world that is showcased there, naturally, had been created on the basis of her aesthetic sense.

「桜並木の美 しい遊歩道もある自由が丘の街の雰囲気が シャンソンに実に良く合う。」と彼女は思った。まるで、ここはパリの街中のカフェか、 と見まがうほど、フランスの香りを濃厚に放つ「カフェ ラマンダ」の外観と内装。そこに表現されている世界観は、当然、彼女の美意識に基づいて造られている。


On the first floor there is an open terrace and counter, and in the back of the café there is an event space that regularly hosts live music as well as a chanson classroom.


Here, where her worldview has been exquisitely expressed, is Yuka’s castle.


Inside her castle, one desires to listen to her songs . . . . drawn in by her charm and the charm 
of the chanson, many people gather there, and the circle of new visitors continues to widen.


And Yuka, with the Café La Manda as her base, is focused on further spreading the art of chanson, as well as producing new talent.

そして、彼女は、この「カフェ ラマンダ」を拠点に、さらなるシャンソンの普及、新人プロデュースにも力を入れている。


“I want to make a place for singing, for expression, where young singers can work hard by trial and error,” she had, since the early days, explained to her friends. Subsequently, five young people who have embodied that sentiment could form the group “La Liason,” which means “connection.”

One of Yuka Fukae’s chanson CDs きる場所を作りたいね。」と、彼女は昔から仲間たちと語っていた。そして、その想いに共感してくれた5人の若者たちと「La Liason ラ・ リエゾン」、「つながり」を意味するユニット をスタートさせた。

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2015 6 26 8In addition, Yuka has also launched an NPO titled “Chansonet,” through which activities are carried out to convey up-to-date chanson information to singers and chanson fans within Japan.

さらには、「Chansonet シャンソネット」というNPO法人も立ち上げ、シャンソネットを通じて、国内の歌い手やシャンソンファンに正しいシャンソン情報を伝える活動も行っている。


Yuka Fukae has devoted her entire being to the future of Japan’s chanson. Her way of life without a doubt embodies the spiritual aesthetics of Japanese women.


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