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.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Yoshie Kashiwabara -- Machikutabirete Yokohama (待ちくたびれてヨコハマ)

The first couple of songs that I've profiled about Osaka-born Yoshie Kashiwabara(柏原芳恵) were the beautifully-crafted and tenderhearted Miyuki Nakajima-penned ballads, "Haru Nanoni"春なのに)and "Saiai"最愛), her 14th and 21st singles respectively (already profiled). However, her 23rd single, "Machikutabirete Yokohama"(Tired of Waiting Yokohama) is a more spritely affair.

Written by Toyohisa Araki(荒木とよひさ)and composed by Takashi Miki(三木たかし), "Machikutabirete Yokohama"has a sparkly and shiny sheen although the lyrics and the video above may show something a little more depressing about a failed love affair. And it just sounds overly obvious as that sounds, since it is a Japanese aidoru tune. Perhaps I should say that it has a pan-Asian pop sound as if it could belong just as easily in a Teresa Teng or Agnes Chan repertoire as it does in Kashiwabara's. And that wouldn't be surprising since Araki and Miki would later create one of Teng's big hits, "Toki no Nagare ni Mi wo Makase"(時の流れに身をまかせ), as they did for her back in 1984 with "Tsugunai"(つぐない).

I first came across this song when I bought an audio tape version of her album of the same title in that ol' Chinatown record store, Wah Yueh, back in the mid-80s. The single was released in April 1985 and peaked at No. 9 with about 100,000 copies sold. The album itself was released in June of that year.

The East Gate of Yokohama's Chinatown

Minato Mirai by Yokohama Bay
One of my favourite places in Japan
Could imagine Yoshie-chan strolling along here!


  1. Thanks J-Canuck for this post on 柏原芳恵. As you mentioned Kashiwabara tended to sing a lot of ballads and slow songs but she did have a few more upbeat songs as well. My favorites by her were ハロー・グッバイ, ト・レ・モ・ロ, し・の・び・愛 and especially A・r・i・e・s which was the theme song to one of my favorite 80's teen dramas - アリエスの乙女たち which starred 南野陽子. Like other idols at the time Kashiwabara also tried to branch out into acting and co-starred in a couple of movies like the ビー・バップ・ハイスクール series entry 高校与太郎狂騒曲 but unfortunately she wasn't as successful as an actress. However she did make somewhat of a splash as a グラビア pinup model in various magazines (for an idol she was pretty buxom I must say).

    You mentioned the "Wah Yueh" store at lot in other posts. Was this primarily a Asian Records store in Toronto? Sounds like it had a lot of Japanese import records and tapes. Man, it was rough trying to find Japanese import records and tapes in the 80s. Even in places with large Japanese communities like San Francisco, LA and Honolulu you had a hard time getting stuff. With CDs in the 90s it got a little better but it still was expensive and I often had to special order a lot of stuff at exorbitant prices. Thankfully in Honolulu there were a couple of places where you could actually rent our CDs and DVDs (these stores have since closed down unfortunately). Thank goodness now its gotten much better. Now you can buy pretty much any new or old release from places like CD Japan, Amazon Japan, iTunes Store Japan or other online retailers. Even the hard to get OOP stuff can sometimes be found via Yahoo Auctions Japan if one is willing to pay premium prices and go through a third party service. I got some items this way but because it's so expensive I try to use this only as a absolute last resort.

  2. Hey, JTM.

    I have a 2-record album set of Yoshie's in one bedroom of the apartment here that has all of the hit songs. Unfortunately, since my family no longer has a turntable, I haven't had a chance to re-explore it but I did manage to buy a BEST CD before coming back home. My favourites by her are the Miyuki Nakajima-penned ones along with the one above, "Shinobiai" and her debut, "No. 1". "No. 1" just seems to be the quintessential aidoru tune.

    Wah Yueh was indeed the store for Asian records in Toronto. It was very conveniently located just next to one of the very first Japanese food stores in my city, Furuya (which has also gone to that great strip mall in the sky). The majority of the records were of Hong Kong singers, but there was still a pretty nice selection of Japanese albums as well. Having Seiko Matsuda, Hiromi Iwasaki and a bunch of other aidorus staring at you made it very tempting for me to part with my cash.

    I'm surprised to hear that even in Honolulu, it was difficult to get Japanese music. I wasn't surprised about it in Toronto since the Japanese community here, though it's been healthy, has always been quite small and disparate. Between stays in Japan (1991-1994) and after Wah Yueh had closed down, I sated my CD fix through mail order via the magazine "Eye-Ai". Looking back, I realized the time and hassle of having to go to the bank to process a bank draft.Yup, things are so much easier with the Net now.


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