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, November 6, 2013

Kyoko Koizumi -- Hanbun Shoujo (半分少女)

Kyoko Koizumi (小泉今日子) had a nice style of singing for mellow songs and sugary melodies. “Hanbun Shoujo”, her sixth single, which was released in July 1983, is a great example of this very special Kyon Kyon style. Her voice, although cute, had a subtle sexiness in songs such “Hanbun Shoujo”, “Adesugata Namida Musume” (艶姿ナミダ娘) or “Yamato Nadesico Shishihenge” (ヤマトナデシコ七変化).

As one of the most preeminent aidoru singers of the 80s, Kyon Kyon has a very impressive catalogue. In the case of “Hanbun Shoujo”, it’s your typical aidoru song with synths, strings and a bouncy bass line, which also features some traditional Japanese elements. The melody is very warm and, together with the arrangement, gives the listener a playful but innocent feeling. Even the high pitched “hold me tight” line near the end is an interesting touch.

“Hanbun Shoujo” was a hit single for Kyon Kyon, reaching #5 on the Oricon charts. It sold 227,000 copies, which made the single grab the #56 position on the yearly Oricon charts. The song was later included in Kyon Kyon’s fifth album “Whisper”, which was released in December 1983. The lyrics were written by Jun Hashimoto (橋本淳). As for the music, it was composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi (筒美京平). Finally, Eiji Kawamura (川村栄二) was responsible for the arrangement.


  1. Hi, Marcos. Good to hear from you again. I think those opening notes immediately took me back to those 1981 days in Japan again. But the overall arrangement also had me thinking of 1970s aidoru as well.

    Kyon-Kyon definitely had that undercurrent of sex appeal. In some of my old copies of Myojo Magazine, she sometimes put out some rather teasing photos involving a good amount of cleavage.

  2. Yeah, I agree with you J-Canuck. Kyon Kyon early hits were stuck with the late 70s/early 80s aidoru sound that got so popular with Seiko Matsuda and resulted in the first 80s aidoru wave. To be honest, this connection with the old style aidoru sound was kind of a turn-off for me, but I'm starting to enjoy this style in Kyon Kyon's and Seiko-chan's songs.

    Oh yeah, she surely posed for a lot of bikini photos. And always with that cute smile. Although I'm not a fan of short hair, it suited her very well too.

    1. It's been interesting how aidoru music and fashion were changing as they went into the 80s. I certainly couldn't imagine Momoe Yamaguchi wearing the frilly stuff that Seiko was sporting or bopping about like she did. I mean, in that brief period I was in Japan in 1981, it just seemed like Japanese popular music turned a very sharp corner (if someone can confirm or refute my theory, please let me know).

      I moved onto other genres in Japanese music since then, but 80s aidoru music was the first thing that caught my ears when I hit Japan, so I'm quite grateful for that.

      Yeah, Kyon-Kyon really did have quite short hair, didn't she? She looked appealingly pixie-ish!

    2. I'm far from being a specialist and, unlike you, I couldn't truly experience the golden aidoru days, but I think a lot about the subject.

      I've read some theories about the emergence of the kawaii fashion in the 70s as a youth subculture and its subsequently adoption in the mainstream aidoru market with Seiko Matsuda and the first aidoru wave of the 80s ("Cuties in Japan" by Sharon Kinsella, 1995). But I've always asked myself how groups like Candies and singers like Minami Saori could be classified. In my opinion, they were not so different from the 80s aidoru. Momoe, on the other hand, was quite distinct, even drawing comparisons with Hibari Misora (I can't quite confirm that as I'm not a Hibari Misora fan). And Akina Nakamori, of course, went into this road as well.

      I think that its quite accepted that the early-to-mid 80s constituted a first aidoru wave, or the so-called "aidoru boom", while the mid-to-late 80s is considered the second aidoru wave. As for the early 90s, we all know that it was the end of the aidoru era. Although I can see the "sharp corner" of the early 80s that you talked about, and also the end of the aidoru era, I can't quite see how the second aidoru wave started in the mid 80s. My theory about the subject relies on the fact that the european dance influence of the mid 80s (Italo Disco, Synthpop, Eurobeat) kind of forced the japanese aidoru marked to shift its image and adapt a more "cool" image, just like Miho Nakayama did after her first hits, and Yuu Hayami around 1987 and 1988. but this theory has major flaws as cute and sugary aidoru singers, like Noriko Sakai and Eriko Tamura, didn't stop to emerge.

      Well I find this subject quite puzzling, to be honest.

    3. Yeah, I'd have to say that the so-called 2nd Wave of Aidoru in the 80s was probably more like a few gushing leaks through the dike. I agree that despite the early 80s being the age of the frilly aidoru, there were still some of those cutesy aidoru coming through well into the 2nd half of the decade as well. Nori-P and Eriko, as you said, were two of the examples, and there was, of course, Onyanko Club with several of its members doing their own solo gigs.Then there were the aidoru who were influenced by Eurobeat/disco such as Miho Nakayama, BaBe and Yoko Oginome. By the end of the 80s, aidoru was definitely quite a bit different from how it started at the beginning of the decade. I'd probably say that the music transformed or evolved.

      To be honest, I had always thought that the second aidoru wave was the one that did start with Seiko Matsuda and went throughout the 80s. I pegged the first wave as the group of singers represented by Momoe Yamaguchi, Agnes Chan and Pink Lady in the 70s. But then again, perhaps there might be people out there who saw the young singers of the 60s as the earliest version of aidoru.

      As you said the subject can be rather puzzling. That's why we are all here. :)

  3. Speaking in KyonKyon, my favorite single is "Kogarashini Dakarete" (木枯しに抱かれて ). Great song!


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