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, July 11, 2012

Higurashi -- Aki no Tobira (秋の扉)

(Well, the video did stay up a good long time
but it was finally taken down. However, you can enjoy this lovely cover
by YO-EN.)

I hope that this song stays up a good long time at YouTube, since there is an especially personal stake in this one. You see, I had been searching for this song for 30 years. It all started when I started taping those "Sounds of Japan"radio broadcasts onto really cheap Canadian Tire cassette tapes. The show for September 11, 1982 was an especially good one since its theme was Autumn. There were wonderful songs such as Off Course's "Aki no Kehai"(already on the blog), and Mariya Takeuchi's "September" (which I will put up in September). But because of my inexperience in listening to any Japanese outside of my parents, I could never quite get what the title and the band were for the very first song. The other thing was that there was a fair bit of static crackling through which didn't help matters at all.

Over the next 30 years, I would once in a while try to see if I could figure out who had sung that lovely tune. I thought it may have been either one of the vocal groups, Hi-Fi Set or The Circus but I never found the song on their respective BEST compilations. Even living in Japan for a little over half of those 3 decades didn't unearth the answer to this mystery song.

Then, this morning, on a whim, I decided to dig out that 30-year-old tape from deep in the stereo cabinet and threw it into my Dad's recently-bought tape cassette player. Strangely enough, the sound seemed to come out a bit clearer this time although the static was still there. And this time, I could get the title and the band name (amazing what life in another country can do for one's listening comprehension!).

Took a chance and searched YouTube. And sure enough, once I popped in the data, I could finally get the song that I had been searching since Pierre Elliott Trudeau was still Prime Minister of Canada.

Higurashi(日暮し)was active as a folk band from 1973 to 1979, and released 9 singles and 6 albums. "Aki no Tobira"(Autumn's Door) was released, naturally enough, in September 1978, and was part of the band's final 1979 album, "Kioku no Kajitsu"記憶の果実...The Fruits of Memory). What struck my interest in the song was just the whole relaxing nature of it with the operatic voice of the lead vocal, Naomi Sugimura(杉村尚美). This wasn't really a folk song...I think it was more akin to breezy City Pop.

It is really nice to track down a treasure at last. I still have one more lost band to find, though.

(excerpt only)

This is THE tape! All 33 cents of it.

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