Probably next to "Tsugaru Kaikyo Fuyu Geshiki"（津軽海峡・冬景色....Tsugaru Strait-Winter Scene), "Amagi Goe"(Crossing Amagi) is Sayuri Ishikawa's（石川さゆり）most representative entry in her long repertoire. It is one of the most powerfully rendered enka songs and is absolutely steeped in the genre and Japanese geography. It's almost a given that whenever the song is sung on stage by Ishikawa, there has to be a prelude of austere traditional Japanese music beforehand. The above video is no exception.
Written by Osamu Yoshioka（吉岡治）, composed by Tetsuya Gen（弦哲也）and arranged by Nobuyuki Sakuraba（桜庭伸幸）, the concept behind "Amagi Goe"was born when the three of them had gone to a hot spring resort in the town of Amagiyugashima, Shizuoka Prefecture in 1985 (it was amalgamated with three other towns in 2004 to form the new city of Izu). During their 2-night stay there, the song was created, infusing the story of "....frustrated longing and jealousy" involving a young boy and a beautiful geisha, along with elements of the local geography.
Watching Ishikawa perform it is like watching a velvet cloth covering an especially sharp dagger. She may look refined and demure on the outside, but her interior holds seething...perhaps even psychotic...emotion, especially when she screams the title. This is one conflicted character she's portraying here.
After its release in July 1986, the song later won a Gold Prize at the Japan Record Awards, so it's surprising to find out that it never cracked the Top 100 on Oricon at the end of the year. However, its fame has grown during the past few decades.
There is a site that has a translation of the lyrics, and I used one of the lines in there for the short quotation for which I am grateful for. It's Return of the Space Gods. Listen to the song while reading those lyrics.
In 2008, baseball player Ichiro Suzuki even used the song as his introduction song to the plate at Seattle home games.