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.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ryoko Shinohara -- Bara ga Nemureru Made (薔薇が眠れるまで)

(Track 10 excerpt)

Commenter bode1967 (now contributor Marcos V) was good enough to key me in onto this song by Ryoko Shinohara(篠原涼子). Up to now, I'd only known Shinohara for her technopop collaborations with Tetsuya Komuro(小室哲哉)such as "Itoshisa to Setsunasa to Kokorozuyosa to" (恋しさとせつなさと心強さと....already profiled) starting from 1994. I'd been aware that she was with an aidoru unit called Tokyo Performance Doll but little more than that.

So it was with some surprise when I saw this video on YouTube....for one thing, her eyebrows. Well, back then, it was before the age of Namie Amuro so pencil-thin eyebrows were still not quite the norm. But it was nice hearing this song "Bara ga Nemureru Made"(Until The Roses Can Sleep) as one of her first solo efforts on the Tokyo Performance Doll album, "Catch Your Beat - Cha Dance Vol. 5" released in December 1992 (It was also placed on "Ryoko from Tokyo Performance Doll" a month later). It has that synthpop Latin arrangement that was fairly popular in the early 90s for singers like Yumi Tanimura(谷村有美)and even for Miki Imai(今井美樹) when she first started out in the mid-80s.

Tracking down who wrote and composed the song took a bit of doing but finally tracked it down to a site called Yagimai Wonderland! The lyricist was Goro Matsui(松井五郎), famous for helping out extensively with Anzen Chitai(安全地帯), and the composer was Ichiro Haneda(羽田一郎).


  1. The eyebrowns are a little scary in this video. I remember my aunt commenting how bad they were when I watched this video with her.

    It's interesting to see that her performances during "Tokyo Performance Doll" days were very aidoru-like. I watched some concert footages of this time and noticed a very cheerful and smiley Shinohara dancing along to her early songs.

    You can check this out in the video below from the 4 minutes and 10 seconds mark.

    This performance, in special, is curious because of its year. The concert is from august 1994, one month after the release of the smash hit "Itoshisa to...". We can tell that Shinohara had to play with two different sides of being a japanese female artist at the time. Althought she had matured her style with Komuro productions, she still had to portray herself as an aidoru in "Tokyo Performance Doll" concerts.

  2. Hi, bode.

    Gotta admit that her eyebrows back then were pretty bushy like caterpillars.

    I gather that at the time of this concert performance, she may have been feeling a bit like Jekyll-and-Hyde....having entered the field of dance music while still doing the old aidoru stuff. But perhaps Akina Nakamori may have been going through the same thing as she was slowly making the crossover herself.

    By the way, I wanted to ask you if you would like to contribute to the blog. If you don't want to, I understand, but I thought perhaps you might want to bring some of your insights to particular songs you like in Japanese music. You can contact me at

    Take care!

    1. Hi J-Canuck.

      About Akina, I feel that her process was more natural. And she never quite lost her dark-styled songs. For me, Akina left her aidoru days behind in 1986, when she released "DESIRE ~Jounetsu~". After that, she changed her looks drastically and started exploring with her music a lot more. Also, she became I very sexy women at this time (1987~1988).

      And Akina, although an undeniable face of the aidoru scene of the 80s, was quite different from the others, and never really sang a lot of cute and smiley songs. Because of that, I think that her transition was smoothier than Shinohara's.

      As for the mid 90s, although Akina's Komuro tracks, "Aibu" and "Moonlight Shadow", for example, were both dance songs, the content explored by them were not far away from Akina's late 80s hits. As you know, I don't understand Japanese, but based on the way she sang those songs, her facial expressions while performing and the few english lines in the middle of them makes me think this way.

      But I'd like to hear more from you about her transition.


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