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.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hiroshi Itsuki and Nana Kinomi -- Izakaya (居酒屋)

Was watching an NHK broadcast music special called "Omoide Melody"(思い出メロディー.....Melody of Memories) tonight and came across this old chestnut by enka singer Hiroshi Itsuki(五木ひろし) and actress/singer Nana Kinomi(木の実ナナ). It was written by Yu Aku(阿久悠) and composed by Katsuo Ono(大野克夫), who had written a number of Kenji Sawada's(沢田研二) songs.

I was surprised by the relatively recent date on this song since the melody and the lyrical give-and-take between Itsuki and Kinomi harken back to a much older duet, "Tokyo Nightclub" by Frank Nagai(永井フランク) and Kazuko Matsuo(松尾和子) in 1959 (profiled as well). "Izakaya"(Pub) is a popular shibui karaoke song....or at least, it was back in the 80s. But the one thing that intrigues me about this tune is the title since the sound of it reminds me more of an exclusive top-level bar rather than a neighbourhood Tokyo watering hole. And certainly the above video of the pair's appearance in a fancy Western-style bar on "Enka no Hanamichi"演歌の花道) (also profiled under Media) emphasizes that feeling.

But if you're interested in tackling an enka tune at a nearby karaoke box with someone, I would recommend this one.

Enkobo, an izakaya in Higashi-Nakano

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