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 20, 2014

Tomoyo Harada -- Tengoku ni Ichiban Chikai Shima (天国にいちばん近い島)

I recall seeing the album cover for this single somewhere in Wah Yueh back in my university days, but at the time, I didn't cotton onto the fact that this was Tomoyo Harada(原田知世). However, I did get this lovely song on a homemade compilation tape that a friend of mine made for me.

"Tengoku ni Ichiban Chikai Shima" (The Island Closest To Heaven) was Harada's 6th single released in October 1984. It was used as the theme song for the movie of the same title which was itself based on a 1966 story by Katsura Morimura(森村桂). Harada herself stars as the heroine of the movie adaptation in which a teenage girl, Mari, who suddenly lost her father remembers what he once said about an island that was the closest to Heaven...namely New Caledonia. Mari then decides to go on a voyage of discovery to that island.

I hadn't listened to the song in several years, so re-discovering it after so long literally raised not a few goosebumps of both newness and nostalgia. The summery ballad sounded so well-crafted that I had thought it was created by Yumi Matsutoya(松任谷由実), who had also penned Harada's hit 3rd single, "Toki wo Kakeru Shojo"(時をかける少女)from 1983. Actually, the songwriters who could take the bow were Chinfa Kan and Tetsuji Hayashi(康珍化・林哲司). They were able to create a soundscape that just seemed to describe floating on a calm blue ocean under azure skies.

The song hit No. 1 and ended up becoming the 71st-ranked tune for 1984.

1 comment:

  1. I really think Tomoyo was underrated as an idol, besides those few early hits of hers. She's one of those rare cases (in my opinion) when an idol doesn't only depend on strong singles but also has memorable albums. Her voice may not be strong, but it's very soothing on the ears. I watched "Tengoku ni Ichiban Chikai Shima" a while ago, and this is where she first caught my attention. It's a dreamy wonderland much like the song. Warmness all around.


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