Credits

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, April 30, 2012

Aming -- Matsu wa (待つわ)



I was watching the 1982 Kohaku Utagassen when this pair of women appeared and harmoniously sang this adorable tune. Little did I know at the time that this was the top song of the year according to Oricon. Takako Okamura(岡村孝子) and Haruko Kato(加藤晴子)were classmates at Sugiyama Joshien University(椙山女子園大学)in Nagoya when they decided to form a singing pair.

Aming has quite the trivia attached to it right down to the origin of the name. Until the duo's return in 2007, Aming would have ended up as the act with the shortest life that sang the No. 1 Song of the Year. Releasing their debut song, "Matsu wa"(I'll Wait for You) in July 1982, the pair announced their breakup at the end of 1983. The origin of the name came from the name of a cafe, Amin(安民), used in the lyrics of a song, "Pumpkin Pie and Cinnamon Tea" sung by folk singer Masashi Sada(さだまさし)in 1979. Sada himself derived that cafe's name from Ugandan dictator Idi Amin! Consider my jaw thoroughly dropped!

"Matsu wa"was written and composed by Okamura and was first sung at the 1982 Yamaha Popular Song Contest in the Spring where it won the grand prize. It was released as a single in July of that year and reached No. 1 on the Oricon weeklies where it stayed for 6 weeks from late August to early October. And of course, they got onto the Kohaku in December. It has also become a popular song in the karaoke boxes.

The notable thing about their performance of the song, which covered the evergreen theme of unrequited love, was their minimalist approach. The ladies stood side by side and sang the song without any facial expressions and just shifted their feet. Quite the counter-intuitive maneuver when considering the frenetic bopping about by the various aidoru. Of course, another hit female duo, Wink, would pick up a similar choreographic theme about half a decade later.


As for the reason behind the brief duration of the duo, according to an NHK program in 2005, Haruko Kato said that she had come to the realization that she didn't really have any talent and felt that she didn't belong in the music world. Kato left Aming and returned to a regular life, while Okamura proceeded with a solo career that has continued. However, the friends maintained contact, and in 2002, Kato joined her former partner in a song commemorating the 20th anniversary of Aming. Then in 2007, the pair officially revived the act, even appearing once more in the Kohaku of that year.

2 comments:

  1. I have a copy of the Album P.S. Anata E and I love all the songs in it. I would appreciate it so much if you could make a review of all the songs. thank you and God Bless!

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    Replies
    1. Hello, ajr, and thanks for your comments. Unfortunately, I never got my own copy of "P.S. Anata E" so I can't really give my own judgement of the whole album without listening to the tracks a number of times.

      However, you know about the tracks on "P.S. Anata E" quite well so I can extend the offer to you about how you feel about the album. And that's why I started the blog to hear what other listeners think about their favourite artists.

      As for my impression of Aming from what I've heard of their songs, including "Matsu Wa", Okamura and Kato may have had the cute looks of aidoru but their harmonies put them solidly in the pop category. From the few other songs that I've been able to hear by them, their brand of pop was quite soothing and made for quite the nice tonic if I had been listening to too much aidoru or rock music.

      Hope to hear from you soon.

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