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, May 20, 2013

Takako Okamura -- Kokoro no Sogen (心の草原)

Although I remember hearing and seeing the adorably earnest duo of Aming(あみん) on the 1982 Kohaku performing their major hit, "Matsu wa"待つわ), I never found out the names of the two singers, and since "Matsu wa" was basically their only notable hit, I thought that was pretty much it for my connection with them.

But then I came across this huggably soft music video on either "MTV Japan" or the video clip show on Gunma TV at the beginning of the 90s. I didn't know it at the time, but it turned out that singer-songwriter Takako Okamura(岡村孝子) was one half of Aming....the one who decided to continue her career as a solo singer after Aming quickly broke up in the early 80s. "Kokoro no Sogen" (Meadow of the Heart) was just this cute little song that probably appealed to everyone from 8 to 88 and had me unconsciously shifting my head from side-to-side like an inverted pendulum with a goofy grin on my mug. The video itself had the young Okamura setting up roots in her new pad; she looked like every toddler's favourite nursery teacher, although I was kinda wondering about that shirt with all of the card suit patterns.

(empty karaoke version)

Interestingly enough, according to J-Wiki, Okamura was inspired to come up with the song after listening to Janet Jackson's "Escapade"(1989). "Kokoro no Sogen" was released in June 1990 as her 13th single. It got as high as No. 35 on the Oricon weeklies. However, it was also a track on her 6th album, "Kiss - a cote de la mer -", released on the same day as the single, which hit the top spot on the album charts and was the 10th-ranked album for 1990, selling over half a million copies.

And if anyone needs a reminder about Ms. Nasty, here is "Escapade". Feel free to make comparisons.

Takako Okamura -- Kiss
(no relation to the Prince song)

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