Friday, July 11, 2014
Sachiko Kobayashi -- Tomari Gi （とまり木）
Long time, no hear, Sachiko Kobayashi（小林幸子）. It has been a very long time since I put up one of her songs so allow me to talk about "Tomari Gi" (The Perch). I didn't know the title but as soon as I listened to the song after so long, especially those first several notes, it was kinda like having a reunion with an old friend. And as I once mentioned in one of the other articles for Kobayashi, the enka singer always struck me as being that somewhat footloose and fancy-free aunt who occasionally came by to visit on holidays.
"Tomari Gi" was Kobayashi's 29th single released on New Year's Day 1980, almost a full year after her huge previous single, "Omoide Zake"（おもいで酒）came out. Written and composed by Eiji Takino（たきのえいじ）, there was a certain girlish lightness to "Tomari Gi" when compared to Kobayashi's 28th single. Although I think just about every record store was closed on January 1st (how do you release a record in Japan on its most important national holiday?), this would have been the ideal song to play on the stereo with the cold sunny weather outside while family and friends were chowing down on the o-sechi inside. The lyrics dealt with a woman pining away for that special someone; if I'm not mistaken, the perch of the title was the man himself, the anchor that the woman wanted to hold onto.
Those were quite the days when Kobayashi didn't need to look so flashy on the stage. Back then, she looked like the friendliest flight attendant or office lady. Anyways, although "Tomari Gi" didn't quite score the same level of success as "Omoide Zake" did, it was still another hit for her. Reaching No. 4 on Oricon, it also became the 13th-ranked song of the year.