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.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Akiko Yano -- Cream Stew (クリーム・シチュー)

A little over a couple of years ago, I wrote an entry on Akiko Yano's(矢野顕子) "Ramen Tabetai"(ラーメン食べたい), her musical yearning for a bowl of simple ramen in a time when it was intimidating for a lot of women to enter a ramen shop on their own. That song was back in 1984.

Well, some 13 years later, Yano came up with another slurp-themed tune, but this time it was on the Western side of things. I listened to "Cream Stew" for the first time in ages last night and was reminded of those old House Foods commercials on TV for the titular stuff whenever the autumn came around. It's kinda interesting comparing how beloved cream stew is in Japan while in North America, we seem to go ga-ga over beef stew or chicken soup.

In any case, "Cream Stew" was released as a single in May 1997 although my relationship with the song was via her July 1997 album, "Oui Oui" (peaked at No. 21 on Oricon). Composed by Yano and written by copywriter-lyricist Shigesato Itoi(糸井重里), the song was also arranged by Noriyuki Makihara(槇原敏之) who also pops up as a backup vocal in the refrain. Unlike the mild urgency and thriller aspect of the earlier "Ramen Tabetai", Yano sings "Cream Stew" as the best remedy for the blues by the cheeriest doctor. Chicken soup indeed. To her, there's nothing like a bowl of the creamy broth and tender vegetables to clear away any negativity.

For me, I was more partial to a hearty bowl of minestrone but her point is well taken. It was just a happy-go-lucky Yano yarn that got me to buy the entire album.


  1. Ah, I love this song~ Yano's voice is one of the warmest I know and with a hearty tune like this she can do wonders. Above being a YMO fan, Makihara is also hugely inspired by Yano, so he must've been thrilled to arrange a song for her. Always nice to re-listen to this from time to time. The video from "Hey! Hey! Hey!" was also a nice treat. Hamada will never forget that episode.

    As for my choice of soup, I'll stick with either minestrone or the homemade chicken soup. The latter never fails to soothe an irritated throat.

    1. Yeah, it was nice listening to this one again. She also does a fine cover of "Kyoto Bojou" from the album as well.

      Minestrone isn't that difficult to make at all. But patience is a key as it is with making any sort of soup.


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