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.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hiroshi Itsuki -- Omae to Futari (おまえとふたり)

One of the more romantic enka songs that I've heard, "Omae to Futari" (With You, Together) is one of the most well-known enka songs for me, period, because of the intro and the line "Shiawase wo, shiawase wo..." (happiness, happiness). And what better singer to deliver it than the grand balladeer himself, Hiroshi Itsuki(五木ひろし)?

Released in October 1979, "Omae to Futari" conjures up images of traditional Japanese romance. It's a bit corny but whenever I hear Itsuki's most successful song, I just imagine a young yukata-wearing couple on an arched bridge somewhere in Kyoto with the cherry blossom petals wafting down over the river. Takashi Taka(たかたかし) came up with the lyrics while Yoshio Kimura(木村好夫) composed the song.

As I said, this was Itsuki's biggest hit. It peaked at No. 3 on Oricon and became the 7th-ranked song of 1980. There were a number of enka songs that got onto the yearly charts for 1979, but "Omae to Futari" was the only pure enka tune to hit the yearly Top 10 chart for 1980 (there was the Mood Kayo tune "Wakarete mo Suki na Hito" that was No. 8). It won the Gold Prize at the Japan Record Awards and sold over 900,000 records.

Depending on the mood and situation, Itsuki has sung it at a jauntier tempo or at a more leisurely pace. Whichever version he sings though, he and the song are guaranteed of a very warm welcome.

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