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.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Yoko Minamino -- Kamisama ga Inai Getsu(神様がいない月)

(karaoke version)

I cracked open an old compilation LP of kayo kyoku from the 1980s that I hadn't heard in years some days ago. I bought it at ol' Wah Yueh and heard some old favourites but there were also some tracks that probably didn't really see too much daylight outside of the singers' really die-hard fans. One case in point was Yoko Minamino's (南野陽子)"Kamisama ga Inai Getsu" (The Month Without A God).

First off, I'm a bit uncertain about the title. Initially, I had thought that the last kanji there,「月」, was tsuki or moon. After all, I think in Japanese folklore, there is that story about Princess Kaguya returning to the moon, and in more recent culture, there is...well, the one....Sailor Moon. However I took a look through the lyrics but saw no mention of ol' Luna although there are references to a god. There is a message, though, of the year passing from summer to winter as it gets colder and a girl's fortunes seem to be waning. So perhaps that kanji might actually be standing for getsu or month. If any die-hard Nanno fan can elucidate, I would be very happy indeed.

"Kamisama ga Inai Getsu" is a track from Minamino's 4th album, "Garland", which was released in November 1987. Listening to it after so long on the old phonograph, I rather felt like a sommelier sampling a complex glass of Bordeaux. Although the song starts off on a fairly maudlin note with those strings and Nanno's vocals, it picks up in the refrain sounding like an old jaunty European ballad. At points, I wondered if this could've been sung by folks like Taeko Ohnuki (大貫妙子)or Reimy(麗美), and I even thought whether the tune was a throwback to those kayo by Judy Ongg and Saki Kubota(久保田 早紀) from the late 70s which sent listeners to foreign climes. Definitely pretty interesting for an aidoru ballad. And as mentioned in the last paragraph, the lyrics by Megumi Ogura (小倉めぐみ)hold plenty of ennui for the poor young girl who feels that her god has abandoned her with the receding last rays of summer. Masayuki Kishi (岸正之)was responsible for the music.

As for "Garland", it was her only LP that would reach No. 1 on the charts although in the CD format, both it and a later release, "Gauche" (1989) would hit the top spot.


  1. Hi, J-Canuck.

    It was nice to listen to a Yoko Minamino song here on the blog. You don't talk a lot about her, and I confess she is one of the late 80s aidoru that I never really liked. I don't really know why, but I never got into her. Maybe her vocals were a problem for me. Or maybe I just didn't listen to the right songs. Well, athough it didn't quite change my mind about her, I did like this curious ballad you posted. The melody is nice and the arrangement is interesting, but the vocals are still a problem. Nanno is just too cute for my taste. I like her smile, though.

    1. Hi there.

      When it comes to the late 80s, I think Miho Nakayama and some of Shizuka Kudo/Yuki Saito was about as far as I got in terms of moderate listening to aidorus back then. I certainly knew about Nanno and Nori-P but never really got into them. If it hadn't been for that song on the LP and "Toiki de Net", there wouldn't have been any Nanno entries on the blog by me. However, I may dip into some of her other songs just to see how they sound. Once in a while, some of the 80s aidorus have dipped their toes into other genres to make things interesting.

  2. Hi there....... I have completely overlooked Yoko Minamino for all these years. Then I read a review on her 2nd LP, Virginal.

    It got 10 out of 10 and this blogger is usually spot-on with his/her grading. Couldn't find a download for this album, I managed to get the vinyl and turned it into MP3. I didn't regret the hard work, as I can't stop listening to this album. Her voice is run of the mill idol, but the quality of the tracks are outstanding, especially the arrangements. I would highly recommend this LP, and also the 3rd album Bloom - the blogger gave it a 10 as well and this album can be found in the Oldies but Goodies Blog....

    1. Hi there! And thanks for your comments.I just listened to some of the tracks from "Virginal" at music163 such as "Girlfriend" and "Sekkin", and found them all very nice and mellow. Nanno had that lilting voice and the songwriters must have found that happy medium to enhance it.

      One of the collaborators, Marcos, and I were talking one time about how some of the arrangements for songs by the late 80s aidoru had a bit more sophistication when compared to the ones for the early 80s. I think some of the tracks here could probably apply.


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