Well, we talked about Seiko Matsuda(松田聖子) the night before...let's talk about her legendary predecessor, Momoe Yamaguchi (山口百恵）. Born in Ebisu, Tokyo (now a pretty trendy area) in 1959, she tried out for a TV talent show called...prophetically, as it were..."A Star Is Born"(スター誕生....Star Tanjou) in 1972, and from there was launched her 8-year career in show business. Her earlier hits were infamous for some very suggestive lyrics but by the time the above song came out, her voice had deepened dramatically and she was going for some more complexity in her musical choices in terms of both lyrics and melody.
The very first time I'd heard about Momoe-chan was when she sang the sultry "Imitation Gold". However, the tune that got my attention was "Ii Hi Tabidachi" (Leaving on a Good Day) when I heard it as the first tune on "Sounds of Japan", that Toronto radio show on CHIN-FM. It's memorable for the trumpet solos at the beginning and in the middle, and Momoe's singing is wistful and lonely. According to the writeup on J-Wikipedia, the song, which deals with a woman taking a solo journey, presumably post-breakup, has become a favorite at graduations and weddings for some reason! Even the composer/lyricist of the song, Shinji Tanimura (谷村新司)of Alice(アリス) fame, once scratched his head about its popular usage in supposedly celebratory events. Since my comprehension of Japanese lyrics at the time was basically negligible, I blissfully enjoyed the song.
Released in November 1978, it rose as high as No. 3 on the Oricon charts. And its legacy is strong; it has been covered by many J-Pop artists up to the present day.