Get ready to drink down that glass of shochu or ochoko of sake. Enka veteran Nobue Matsubara's （松原のぶえ）debut single of "Onna no Defune" (A Woman's Departing Ship) just makes me wanna head over to that small nomiya in Shinbashi, Tokyo. And it has that famous first line of "Namida, namida, namida, namida..."（涙、涙、涙、涙....Tear, tears, tears, tears）as the song follows that classic enka trope of "Parting is such sweet sorrow". Once again, man and woman must separate as she gets on that ship for most likely the last time.
"Onna no Defune" was written by Takao Yamada（山田孝雄） and composed by Toru Funamura（船村徹）, and released in 1979. Although it didn't get into the yearly Oricon rankings, it did earn a Newcomer's Prize for Matsubara who was around 18 years old at the time. The Oita Prefecture native had been first scouted as a junior high school senior and made her way up to Tokyo during her high school years with the intention of becoming a singer. Ten years after making her auspicious debut, she was given the very first Hibari Misora Prize at the Japan Record Awards as the best female enka vocalist. Matsubara would make her debut on NHK's Kohaku Utagassen at the end of 1985, six years after hitting it big with "Onna no Defune", premiering with that very song.