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.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Yutaka Ozaki -- Oh My Little Girl


A little over 20 years ago, a drunk, naked and unconscious young man was found in an alley in Adachi Ward, Tokyo. He was taken to hospital and later released only to die a few hours later due to complications from fluid buildup in his lungs. From that point, Yutaka Ozaki(尾崎豊) became a legend to millions of Japanese fans...something akin to what has happened with Michael Jackson and John Lennon.

In his short 26-year life, he was known as a singer who squeezed in plenty of emotion and life tribulations into his works and then proceeded to wring them out through his voice onstage and in the studio. His legacy is such that NHK this morning even devoted 15 minutes of its news time to the 20th anniversary of his passing. Furthermore, a man had even erected a temple of sorts called "Ozaki House" in the same neighbourhood where Ozaki had fallen; Ozaki House lasted a good decade until it was finally closed down just last year.

I'd first heard of Ozaki through karaoke. One of the patrons in the bar sang "Oh My Little Girl", a heartwrenching ballad whose lyrics illustrate Ozaki's willingness to give his all for a woman. He did such a good job of it that I bought the CD single. The single had actually been released in January 1994, almost 2 years after his death. It reached No. 1 on the Oricon weeklies and ended up becoming the 16th-ranked single of that year. Originally, it was a track on Ozaki's debut album, "Ju-nana-sai no Chizu"(十七歳の地図...Seventeen's Map) released in December 1983. The album did get as high as No. 2 on the weeklies but apparently didn't make much more of a dent than that....at least at that time.

I'd also like you to see him in concert performing "Oh My Little Girl"....his emotions are out there!

And if you'd like to read a thoroughly unimpressed reporter's thoughts on the singer, you can check this article out at Nippop.

Yutaka Ozaki -- Oh My Little Girl

4 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for writing such a detailed background of this song! It's so lovely. Thank you thank you for making this blog and contributing to my and others' jpop education :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello there. Thanks for your comments and it's been a pleasure writing the articles and hearing from fellow fans. Are you a diehard Ozaki fan by chance?

      Delete
    2. Actually, I first heard this song while watching an old episode of Ainori and then googled it to find out more. Then your AWESOME blog came up. I had never heard of Ozaki before - really interesting story! The era of Jpop I know best is, like, the late 90s-early 2000s, but I really enjoy all Jpop, especially older music. Your blog is a huge help in learning about older songs, so thank you very very much for all of your hard work here!

      Delete
    3. Thanks very much for your kind comments. Being the middle-aged fogey now, yeah, I think I'm somewhat more partial to the older stuff so I'm happy that I can provide some insight to kayo kyoku side of things.

      Delete

Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.