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.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Miho Tsumiki -- Jidai yo Kaware (時代よ変われ)

If I were you, I wouldn't be deceived by this girl's sunny face and voice and the fact that this entry is tagged as "aidoru". The current actress Miho Tsumiki (つみきみほ) may have been officially labeled as an idol during her short singing career from 1987 to 1989, but it seemed that her producers had a more inspired concept in mind when coming up with her image. Judging by several online comments from people who saw her on TV, she was definitely considered unique. Perhaps it's because she didn't fit into any of the usual idol archetypes: cute, sexy, comical, or the diva. And the song she is most well known for, "Jidai yo Kaware" (時代よ変われ...Times, Change), is pretty profound. It is sung from a perspective of a troubled 17-year old teenager (same age as the singer at the time), who desires to be freed from the constraining values of Japan's adult generation while being troubled by her puberty crisis as neither a girl nor a woman. The first verse also vaguely hints at a suicide attempt, though my optimistic side likes to think that there is some light at the end of the tunnel due to the hopeful tone of the chorus.

The single was created by the golden trio of Takashi Matsumoto (松本隆) (lyrics), Haruomi Hosono (細野晴臣) (music) and Nobuyuki Shimizu (清水信之) (arrangement) and released on July 21st, 1988. A bit of an unusual composition for Hosono, but then again he did create those fluffy tunes for Seiko Matsuda, so he can do anything. The melody and Miho's delivery slightly remind me of the late Kaori Kawamura (川村かおり), who debuted four months after "Jidai yo Kaware" was released. She also had a fair share of songs about teenage tribulations though her approach was more solemn. I gotta admit, for someone who's main profession is acting, Miho was a pretty competent singer. She delivers this one like a soaring bird that the subject of the lyrics aspires to be. Another interesting bit about the song is that Ceddin Deden intro. Certainly left an impression!

Just a bit of trivia about the singer herself. Born in Chiba in 1971 as Miho Toyama (富山みほ), she graduated from the Tokyo Metropolitan Yoyogi High School, which also groomed talent such as Takuya Kimura from SMAP and Hiro from SPEED. While in middle school, she won an acting audition in 1985 to play two characters in a film "Take It Easy" featuring Koji Kikkawa and Yuko Natori. Since then, she has starred in numerous films and dramas including "Hebi Ichigo" and "Umi wa Miteita". During her brief stint as an idol, she released four singles and one self-titled album. I listened to other samples from that one and they have a similar sound to "Jidai yo Kaware" but with fewer synths.

Source: Amazon Japan


  1. Hello, nikala.

    She looks familiar....perhaps I did see her in a drama or commercial somewhere. Yep, considering the cheer and the smile, if I hadn't understood the Japanese, I would've assumed that she was singing about puppies, love or....Scotland.

  2. Ah, by the way, congratulations on writing the 1,500th entry for the blog!


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