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, May 25, 2014

Michiru Kojima -- Gypsy (ジプシー)

Way back when, a lot of televisions stations used to do something that some of us can no longer envision in this all-media-all-the-time era: they used to sign off for most of the overnight hours. There was the usual colour bar on the screen with that annoying humming sound while they were off the air. Japanese stations were much the same. And when I was living in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture from 1989-1991, I often cocooned in my futon in the dark while watching some of the late-night stuff or some of the early-morning stuff if I ended up waking up at around 4 or 5 a.m. In the winter months up there while living in an apartment that had no central heating and for which the term insulation simply referred to how thick one's pyjamas and/or futon/blankets were, there was not much incentive to do much in those early hours except to turn on the TV (the temperature in my room was often close to 0 degrees Celsius).

Sure enough, the colour bar was there along with the humming when I switched on Fuji-TV. But perhaps around 4:30 or 5 a.m., the station would sign on with the usual voiceover stating all of its stats before it broadcast several minutes of music videos. I saw Lindberg, Momoko Kikuchi and Shizuka Kudo videos. However, there was also one video of a singer that I had never heard about. It was one of a haunting ballad with a slightly exotic synthesizer, and the woman singing it had a plaintive way about her. It got some heavy rotation on that early morning video show so I got to know it very well.

"Gypsy" by Michiru Kojima (児島未散)was the most successful hit for this singer-actress. It was her 7th single released in December 1990, and I ended up getting the CD single after defrosting one day. Written by Tsutomu Uozumi (魚住勉)and composed by Koji Makaino (馬飼野康二), "Gypsy" peaked at No. 4 on Oricon. Kojima, who hails from Tokyo, has a couple of celebrities for parents. Her father is actor Akira Takarada(宝田明)and her mother is a Miss Universe winner from 1959, Akiko Kojima(児島明子). Michiru's singing career started in 1985 with "September Monogatari" (セプテンバー物語...September Story)and released a total of 14 singles and 8 albums up to 1995.

Supposedly, the song was used for a shampoo commercial, but for me, "Gypsy" will always be the song whose video I saw through bleary eyes and frozen morning breath.

Michiru Kojima -- Gypsy

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