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.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mieko Nishijima/Ruiko Kurahashi -- Chitose Bashi (千登勢橋)


(karaoke cover)

Both of my unsung heroines are represented here with this beautiful song. Mieko Nishijima(西島三重子), a native of Nakano Ward, Tokyo, often wrote about certain places in her city. "Ikegami-sen"池上線...Ikegami Line) is her most famous song, but I also love this tune titled "Chitose Bashi"(Chitose Bridge) which actually exists in Nerima Ward, not too far from her home ward. Nishijima composed the song while Kenji Kadoya(門谷憲二)provided the lyrics. I would have thought that Nishijima had also written the words as well since she puts so much emotion into them. The lyrics talk about a woman's wistful memories of a past love in her school days with Chitose Bashi as the romantic and literal centre of her relationship. The melody to me has this lovely lilt that Nishijima makes full use of, and though it is a kayo kyoku in every sense, there is this string instrument playing there which gives the song a somewhat Mediterranean feel. And strangely enough, if it had been translated into German, it wouldn't have been out of place during the more contemplative moments at a concert during Oktoberfest (OK....maybe it's time for me to hit the hay here).

(excerpt only)

In any case, the song was part of one of her albums released in October 1979. And that was as far as I could get in terms of information. Her website is currently under construction, and whatever is out there in terms of a discography is very sparse.

(May 31 2014: Unfortunately, the video has been taken down.)

Speaking of sparse, I also tried to track down where Ruiko Kurahashi's(倉橋ルイ子) version came from (just know that it had to have been done in the early-mid 80s). I have a number of albums by her, but none of them contain her "Chitose Bashi", even the BEST compilations. The only copy of it I have is on an old audio tape somewhere. If anyone reading this (hopefully, you, CC Baxter, my fellow Ruiko fan from Mixi) can give me any insight, I would be eternally grateful.

Anyways, Ruiko's version also has a lovely but interestingly different arrangement in that it has a bit of a French jazziness (probably from the vibraphone).

For those who may want a bit of a palate-cleanser away from the aidoru songs, I can recommend these two chanteuses easily.

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