The Yu Aku-penned（阿久悠）lyrics and the music composed by Asei Kobayashi（小林亜星） weave an image of a terribly lonely woman up in that northern inn, talking of "....knitting a sweater that she cannot wear..."despite the cold and self-deprecatingly asking her long-gone lover whether "....if it would be OK to die?" Yup....terribly lonely. Without even being aware of the lyrics, though, I got the impression from the music alone of a traditional countryside enka....no hints of raucous drinking at an izakaya in town or standing sternly on the bow of a fishing boat....just a soft delicate song in the winter. However, according to J-Wiki, the late Aku recollected the following:
"I had intended to write of a strong woman, but it ended up being an impression of a sad or scary woman."
"Kita no Yado Kara", despite Aku's later recollection, struck a chord with listeners and critics alike. Winning no less than 6 different awards, including The Japan Record Awards' Grand Prize, it hit the top spot on Oricon, became the 3rd-ranked song for 1976, and just missed out on being in the Top 10 of 1977 for a second year in a row, reaching No. 11.