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.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sanemichi Ue -- Ichigatsu Tsuitachi (一月一日)

I probably should have given this profile about 3 weeks ago, but "Ichigatsu Tsuitachi"(January 1st) is probably the 2nd-most well-known song around the Japanese New Year, next to "Hotaru no Hikari", aka Auld Lang Syne (already profiled). It has the same ancient roots as the most famous New Year's song, but "Ichigatsu Tsuitachi" is definitely homegrown. Written by Takatomi Senge(千家尊福) and composed by Sanemichi Ue(上眞行) back in 1893, it was published by the Japanese Ministry of Education, and became a customary song to be sung in elementary school from the Meiji Era to just before the war.

The song for over the past half-century, though, has taken on a more pop cultural profile. Just as "Hotaru no Hikari" has become the song to end the Kohaku Utagassen on NHK on December 31, "Ichigatsu Tsuitachi" has been the theme song to launch the January 1 Fuji-TV New Year's special, "Shinshun Kakushigei Taikai"(新春かくし芸大会....The New Year's Hidden Talent Competition). Like the Kohaku, the show has two teams of celebrities (TV personalities and actors) who compete against each other over a few hours in an attempt to wow a panel of other celebs in showing amazing abilities in areas that are not in their usual line of work. Basically, it's an annual presentation of seeing the stars out of their comfort zone.

I would probably say that it's a show that people can watch or not watch while they're carousing or noshing around the huge table laden with osechi ryori, sake and various types of marine protein.

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