I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Jun Horie -- Memory Glass(メモリーグラス)

Welcome to the first entry! 1981 was the pivotal year for me: got to go to Japan for a month on the graduation trip of Japanese Language School, did a homestay in Nara, saw so many vending machines that I thought they deserved voting rights...and music.

I finally got into music around that time with me diving into Billy Joel, Michael Jackson and the British New Wave, so my brain was attuned to hearing all sorts of stuff. When I went to Japan that year, then, I just got blown away by all this strangely appealing pop music that sounded Western but wasn't.

One of the very first songs I heard that year was Jun Horie's (堀江淳)"Memory Glass", which was really his only big hit for this Hokkaido native. The single was released on April 21, and stayed in the Oricon Top 10 from late July to early October of that year, reaching a peak of No. 3 in August.

At the time, I'd started getting into the Yellow Magic Orchestra, so hearing the synths in the introduction immediately tugged at my ears. Plus his high voice made me wonder if Jun had earlier encountered a tragic castration accident. No was a pop song done in a style that I'd never heard before, and it, along with several other hit songs that year, put me on the path of kayo kyoku.

Update: October 2 2012

Saw Jun Horie make an appearance on NHK's "Kayo Concert"tonight. Usually the program features enka and mood kayo singers, but the now-51-year-old Horie also appeared to do his best (and only) hit. Man, 31 years just fly by....even tonight's rendition sounded very mood kayo-like.


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  2. Wow. Thanks for posting this. I was just going through a box of memorabilia from my year in Japan teaching English in 1981-82, and I found the lyrics to this song that I had typed out in Romaaji. I learned this song to sing in karaoke bars so I could surprise all my Japanese friends that expected me to just sing songs in English. I decided to Google this song and up came your blog. Thanks for posting it - I can still sing along perfectly with it now that I have the lyric in front of me.

    1. A pleasure, Jeff. I guess this became your 18-ban at the bars; for me, when I was doing my teaching up in Gunma, I had to internalize "Yuki Guni" by Ikuzo Yoshi.

  3. Omigosh. Seriously, you taught in Gunma? That's where I taught as an MEF that year, in Maebashi. Please email me at

    1. Yeah, actually, I was teaching up in Tsukiyono-machi (now part of Minakami City) from 1989-1991 on the JET Programme. I was an AET up there. I used to visit Maebashi monthly...there was a restaurant that had some great chuukadon.

      I'll contact you at your address.


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