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.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pinky and Killers -- Koi no Kisetsu (恋の季節)

Not too long ago, the Japanese government came up with a campaign called "Cool Japan"to boost up the tourist numbers with Tokyo's geeky Akihabara as the lynchpin. I think the term could've come in vogue decades earlier with this song.

"Koi no Kisetsu"(Season of Love) has got that half-kitschy, half-cool vibe that would've made it at home on any Quentin Tarentino movie soundtrack. The flute and the hoary bass really bring back the 60s. And the band, Pinky and Killers, can go down in history as having one of the most imaginative names. But they settled for having their debut song go down in history as having the most number of weeks at No. 1 (17 weeks)...still unbroken. But it isn't a continuous streak. After the 12th week, it was usurped for one week by another song but came back to the top spot for another 5 weeks. The single sold 2.7 million copies and earned a Japan Record Award before finishing up its magic run as the 4th-ranked single of 1968 and a spot on the Kohaku.

Singer-actress Yoko Kon(今陽子) was Pinky, responsible for that resonant alto while backed up by her Killers. They were quite the Dapper Dans...and their ties and bowler hats.

The band also ended up on the closing credits of some TV show. And they apparently get occasionally invited to reprise the song on some nostalgic music show....which is almost an industry in itself in Japan.


  1. Do you have any idea which film this is that Pinky & Killers appear in? I couldn't trace it on Amazon Japan. I'm half of Bonito Club by the way (the Flickr pic above). Cheers - Wayne

  2. Hello, Wayne, and thanks for posting....and thanks for the courtesy of using your photo.

    I did a bit of sleuthing for that movie, so I checked out J-Wiki's article on Pinky & Killers, and if I'm not mistaken the film is probably the 1969 "Koi no Kisetsu". I checked out the poster, and the main actress on it, Etsuko Nami, and the woman in the video you sent me, match up. Also, the poster listed Kensaku Morita as another star (he's now the current governor of Chiba Prefecture, my old home), and I'm about 90% sure that that was also him calling out "Yoko" in the clip.

    I hope this is the movie you're looking for.
    Take care!

  3. Thanks very much J, I will need to seek out that film! That single cover above was one of two that a friend gave me some years ago, best present ever. I also found a few more singles when I was in Japan and the Ai no Kisetsu album since.I just found your blog today but can there's there's going to be a lot of stuff I will want to read. Regards, Wayne

  4. Good to hear, Wayne. Would love to see your comments again for some of the other songs.

  5. Man,Your blog is really helpful for those are into Japan pop music. I'm interested in oricon year-end charts, do u know where can i found that info?
    Thx for ur awesome work!
    Greetings from Chile.

    1. Hello, MelvinC. Thanks for your comments. As for your request, I couldn't find an English-language site with a collection of the year-end charts. The best I could do was one that has the singles year-end charts from 1968 to 2010:

      I hope that will provide a start. All the best!

    2. Wow man, you are really kind. Thanks for your fast answear and i will dig into that page.
      Keep your awesome Job!


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