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.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Takashi Hosokawa -- Kokoro Nokori(心のこり)

Again, I'm not as much of an enka fan as I am of the other genres in kayo kyoku, but sometimes after listening to a lot of New Music, City Pop or just plain J-Pop, I often go to enka as a bit of a palate-cleanser. Get down to the basics, so to speak. This is one song that helps. I used to listen to it as a kid, and I always remembered the saxophone intro and the drum roll leading to Takashi Hosokawa's (細川たかし)cue.

Hosokawa was born and raised in Hokkaido, and had been working as a singer in Sapporo's entertainment district of Susukino, when he was discovered by a Tokyo production company and invited to come down to Tokyo. He did so, promising his family that if he didn't succeed within a year, he would return home.

"Kokoro Nokori " (Regret) was Hosokawa's debut, and it turned out to be a huge success. Written by Rei Nakanishi(なかにし礼) and composed by Taiji Nakamura(中村泰士), Hosokawa sings about being such an idiot for loving someone from afar despite all the gossip behind his back and finally deciding to leave town. In fact, the original title of the song was to have been "Watashi wa Baka yo ne"(私はバカよね.....I'm A Fool, Aren't I?), but considering that this song was to have heralded a major debut, wiser heads prevailed. However, it was noted that the first line which contained the "fool" reference left quite an impression.

The song, released in April 1975, hit No.1 on the Oricon charts and stayed there from July 28 to August 18. 800,000 copies were sold. It, and Hiromi Iwasaki's(岩崎宏美) "Romance" were in a tight battle for the Japan Record Awards' Newcomer Prize with Hosokawa coming out on top.

Of course, Hosokawa got onto that year's Kohaku Utagassen, as "Kokoro Nokori" ended up as the 8th-ranked song of 1975.


  1. Hello.

    I am a Japanese living in a city near to Sapporo, and I often listen to "kayo kyoku". I'm happy to know that Japanese "kayo kyoku"(and "enka") is liked in also English-speaking countries. Your comments are deep and very interesting, but I'd like to correct only one point of your translation.

    "Kokoronokori", the title of this song, is a word composed of two words, "kokoro" and "nokori". Kokoro means heart (or mind) , as you know, and nokori is the continuative form (連用形, ren'youkei) of the verb "nokoru" (残る: remaining, being left, …). So, "kokoro-nokori" (心残り,心のこり) is a noun meaning "regret". (Japanese people sometimes say "Kokoro ni nokoru" (心に残る). Its literally translation is "it remains on my mind". It's used in order to express a moving experience, too. However, "kokoro-nokori" means only "regret", not "impressive memory".)
    Heroine of this song is regretting her past love and mocks herself as "baka" (バカ: fool), so your understanding of the lyrics is correct.

    Please overlook my grammatical mistakes. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Kita no Denwa-Otoko. Welcome to the blog and thanks for your comments. No problems on your English at all, I can understand clearly. And especially thanks for correcting me on the translation of the title....I definitely have to get that fixed right away.

      Yes, it's been great to know that there are people all over the world who actually like kayo kyoku, and not just the current J-Pop. Feel free to take a look at some of the other songs and if there are any errors there, let me know.

      Thanks again!

  2. Also, for Kita no Denwa-Otoko, let me say that I visited Sapporo a few years ago in June, and it was quite a relief in terms of humidity considering how sticky it gets in Tokyo. It was a wonderful city and I enjoyed the ramen and sushi!

  3. Hi, thank you for replying.
    Yes, there are many J-Pop fan all over the world, but you really love kayo kyoku. I like kayo kyoku, enka, and mood kayo, too.
    Sapporo is a comfortable city. Now maples and ginkgoes in Sapporo are very beautiful!

    I'll come again and read more articles. Thank you!

    1. Thanks kindly, sir. Yes, I like my kayo kyoku and J-Pop. I had been wondering if I would be the only one talking about the old songs on the blog, but I've been fortunate to find out that I'm not alone outside of Japan.

  4. OMG! I remember this song from when I was stationed at Misawa Air Base, Japan, from 1974 to 1976. It was always on the radio. I traveled with a friend of mine who learned fluent Japanese to the NHK studios in Hirosaki to compete in a singing contest. He sang the song so well that he got a standing ovation from the audience. Those were wonderful and memorable times in Japan. Hopefully, I will travel there again in the future.

    Mike from San Antonio, TX


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