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, February 7, 2013

Mimori Yusa -- Kureteyuku Sora wa (暮れてゆく空は)

As a child prior to my immigration to Canada, I spent my summers in remote Russian villages with my grandparents where I would take every opportunity to explore the surrounding green valleys until sunset. Upon stumbling across Mimori Yusa's (遊佐未森) music online for the first time, I had these memories return in full force. I don't think it's much of a stretch to be reminded of childhood while watching the above video for "Kureteyuku Sora wa" (暮れてゆく空は). Yusa herself has that image of a character from a fairytale singing an innocent song about the beauties of nature. It's the kind of song that temporarily suspends my sense of reality and makes me believe in dreams.

Yusa is a singer-songwriter from Miyagi Prefecture who debuted in 1988 with the single Hitomi Suishou (瞳水晶) and contributed songs for anime works such as Yokoyama Mitsuteru Sangokushi and the film adaptation of The Heroic Legend of Arslan. Moreover, many of her songs were used in CM campaigns and TV programs, but no need to list all those. In 1994, she joined a short-lived ambient unit Love,Peace&Trance alongside Miyako Kouda (甲田益也子) and Mishio Ogawa (小川美潮). It was produced by none other than Haruomi Hosono (細野晴臣) of YMO fame. For much of her career, however, Yusa only enjoyed mild popularity, since her music and lyrics were considered eccentric by mass audiences. It was only in 2005 that she scored a real hit with "Kuro" thanks to the song being featured in the NHK program Minna no Uta.

"Kureteyuku Sora wa" was released as a single on September 1, 1989 and was included on her third studio album Harmoniodeon. Katafumi Sotoma (外間隆史) took care of the music, while Junko Kudo (工藤順子) provided the lyrics. Yusa would become more independent in songwriting as her career progressed. Many of her early albums are accompanied by video collections which feature her singing in dreamy natural settings. The video for "Kureteyuku Sora wa" is only one of the performances from her outdoor "concert" Forest Notes -concert with trees-. It sure is staged like one, but in place of people, the audience consists of birds and flowers.

As a bonus, here's Yusa performing "Chizu wo Kudasai"  (地図をください) on NHK's Just Pop Up. She's just so mysteriously charming.

Image source: cdjournal


  1. Hey, nikala.

    Come to think of it, I believe I have heard Yusa's voice on a number of commercials in the past. As soon as I listened to "Kureteyuku Sora wa", it just hit me. Referring to your summers in Russia, yes, I think the song makes for a wonderful musical backdrop to your explorations in the hills. It just sounds as if it were made to be played outside of the city and not within it. Very refreshing.

  2. Thanks Nikala for your post on 遊佐未森. 暮れてゆく空は and 地図をください are both great songs and I appreciate your background information on Yusa, an artist I don't know all that much about. I know that J-Canuck was going to write up introductions for you and me but I'm very curious to hear more about your interesting background, how you came about immigrating to Canada from Russia and how you got interested in Japanese culture and JPop.

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  3. Hey, JTM, (Just editing the comment I originally made)

    Mimori Yusa is probably one of the earlier Japanese singers to go for the ethereal brand of pop that would become commonly played in anime themes from mid-90's on (i.e. Akino Arai and Maaya Sakamoto).

    As for me, I come from St. Petersburg, the European-style city known for its canal mazes. When my parents immigrated to Canada in 2000, I was only 11 years old with very limited knowledge of Canadian culture let alone anything foreign. Eventually I got interested in anime that aired on TV here like Inuyasha and Fullmetal Alchemist. Anime themes and internet resources eventually led me to Japanese music as well as films and dramas, and curiosity is what kept me attached to it and wanting to explore more. For the past four years or so, I've focused mostly on the older releases. For some reason, I just identify with that sound more.

    Feel free to contact me at so we can keep in contact. I'd like to find out more about your background and interests as well. :)


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