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.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sachiko Kobayashi & Katsuhiko Miki -- Moshikashite Part 2 (もしかして・パート2)

As far as my memory goes, enka star Sachiko Kobayashi(小林幸子) was arguably the first big name from Japanese music to come to Toronto. Perhaps, others may have preceded her arrival to T.O, but they probably came before I was born. I think she came over just shortly after her big hit of "Omoide Zake"おもいで酒)in 1979 (already profiled), and the venue was the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC). Not sure how the organizers pulled it off but most likely, a concert in New York probably helped in the logistics since by air, a flight from The Big Apple to The Big Smoke is barely an hour. In any case, Kobayashi's arrival to perform here was treated like an appearance by the Queen. I remember my parents dressing up to the nines to see her.

In any case, Sachiko Kobayashi had a fine decade in the 80s. One of her teiban songs was "Moshikashite" (By Chance), originally released in January 1984. A sparkly and sprightly tune, the song matched the singer's bubbly personality. It has a bit of a tango flair in it as well. Whenever we borrowed any music tapes from Nippon Video, she was sure to pop up with this one.  "Moshikashite" got as high as No. 11 on the Oricon weeklies, and got her a ticket to that year's Kohaku.

The song was written by Michiko Sakaki(榊みちこ) and composed by singer-songwriter Katsuhiko Miki(美樹克彦). For Miki, I guess it just wasn't enough for him to stay on the sidelines; he decided to jump onto the stage and so, in July 1984, "Moshikashite Part II" was born with some changes in the lyrics to fit a duet for both him and Kobayashi. It looks like the upgraded version had some bigger benefits. The song again peaked at No. 11 but also became the 60th-ranked song for 1984, and earned a Gold Prize at the Japan Record Awards on New Year's Eve. And it has become a karaoke favourite with the older couples...perhaps after a few drinks.


  1. I feel sorry for Kobayashi Sachiko. She has had such a rough year with the scandal involving her longtime managers. To add insult to injury, she was even "uninvited" to participate in the upcoming Kouhaku Utagasen after being a mainstay on the program for over 30 years. To younger singers, this might not matter all that much (some artists could care less) but to others especially the Enka singers like Kobayashi, this is pretty much a badge of shame. I'm hoping somehow Kobayashi rebounds and is able to make a comeback as she's a good singer. Maybe she can reinvent herself like fellow Enka singer Sakamoto Fuyumi into more of a adult contemporary artist.

  2. Yes, my family was somewhat surprised to hear that Kobayashi hadn't been invited onto the program. Then, I read the news about that kerfuffle involving her now ex-manager. Not particularly surprised about NHK's decision; any singer that has even a whiff of scandal will get booted off no matter how innocent he or she is.

    But on the good side, Naoko Ken and Southern All Stars (even Saburo Kitajima) got the same treatment decades ago but they eventually returned, so an exile isn't necessarily permanent. Having said that, I was kinda getting tired of seeing Kobayashi appearing in ever-increasing acreage of fabric. When she returns to the stage, I hope that she comes out as she first did in 1979....beaming that smile, not too ostentatious, and singing "Omoide Zake" once more.


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