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.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Shizuka Kudo -- Arashi no Sugao (嵐の素顔)

Thanks to a commenter for Shizuka Kudo's(工藤静香)"Mugon Iroppoi"(MUGO・ん 色っぽい....Silent Sexy), I went over some more of her old hits, and made a reunion with "Arashi no Sugao"(The True Face of a Storm). Released in May 1989 as Kudo's 7th single, I once thought it had been written and composed by Miyuki Nakajima(中島みゆき) since the theme of a scorned woman was right up Nakajima's alley, and she has written a number of songs for Kudo. But actually it was written by Yoshiko Miura(三浦徳子), who had written Seiko Matsuda's(松田聖子) early hit "Aoi Sangosho"青い珊瑚礁....Blue Coral Reef) almost a decade previously, and composed by Tsugutoshi Goto(後藤次利), who has created a number of Kudo's songs, and is continuing to create tunes for AKB 48 and SKE 48.

The arrangement is brassy with a good splash of don't-mess-with-me. Just imagine Shizuka in a really bad mood with Darth Vader's least in the lyrics. In the performances, she actually looks like she's enjoying herself. And why not? "Arashi no Sugao" is also famous for the one little hand jive that Kudo performs midway through the song. Whoever the choreographer was, I hope he/she patented that hand impression of a right angle; considering how many celebs and karaoke enthusiasts have probably imitated that, he/she should be living right in the middle of Ginza by now. Heck, I even used the move sometimes at a stab at levity in my English classes at the junior high schools.

The song spent 4 straight weeks at the top spot on Oricon right in its first month of release and was Kudo's 4th straight single at No. 1, eventually becoming the 8th-ranked song of the year.


  1. Thanks J-Canuck for this great entry on 工藤静香. 嵐の素顔 is one of my favorite songs by しずちゃん. I always found it amusing that for someone who normally has somewhat of a mousy and nasally sounding voice her singing voice is so aggressive and thunderous. I think she was at her best with those edgy and up-tempo pop-rock songs like BLUE VELVET, わたしはナイフ, BLUE ROSE and NIGHT WING. That "beauty with an edge" part of her was what I think fans like myself liked about her and probably what won her 木村拓哉's heart as well. That whole "Vogue-like" choreography was often lampooned by a lot by various ものまね over the years. Although I'm not certain I think コロッケ at one time did a impression of her although I don't think it was as hilarious as some of the others that he has done in the past like his classic one of 岩崎宏美.

  2. Always a pleasure, JTM. In regards to her speaking and singing voices, I can perhaps liken her...half-jokingly, the American actor/singer, Jim Nabors. Jim had that high-pitched "Oh, gosh, oh, golly" down-home way of speaking, but he switched to that rich baritone whenever he used to sing the state song at the Indy 500.

    "Beauty with an edge" is the perfect way to describe her. I'd heard rumours over the years from a few students that Kudo was never someone to cross lightly...although they are of course just that...rumours. But she certainly seemed to play up that aspect to her as she entered her solo career. I've seen her made up to look like an ultra-tsuppari in some of her concerts. I never recalled Corocket doing an impression of always seemed to me as if impressionist/tarento Hiroko Moriguchi was the go-to for Shizuka impressions.


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