I was being driven home last night when a tiny excerpt of a song suddenly bubbled up into memory after a very long time. In fact, it took me several seconds to remember what it was and who sang it. And sure enough, the song turned out to be Judy and Mary's "Sanpomichi" (Promenade). So allow me to put it up today, especially since it's been well over a year since I put up anything by YUKI and company.
Bright and happy "Sanpomichi" was something that I knew from watching the turn-of-the-century Fuji-TV comedy-drama, "News no Onna"（ニュースの女...Newswoman）which used it as its ending theme. I had still been a fairly avid J-Drama watcher at that time, although going into the 21st century, my interest dropped like a rock. As for "News no Onna" it was an opportunity to see actress Honami Suzuki (I'll always remember her as force-of-nature Rika Akana in "Tokyo Love Story") again in a program that wasn't too dour for my tastes. In this one, Suzuki was playing Tamaki Aso, a very competent and confident newscaster on the cusp of great things, personally and professionally, when suddenly one report turned her life completely upside down.
The theme song "Sanpomichi" was written by YUKI and composed by Judy and Mary drummer, Kota Igarashi（五十嵐公太）for release in February 1998. It's about as happy-go-lucky as any walk down the titular promenade with a loved one on a sunny day, and the song reminds me of walking through Komazawa Park in the western part of Tokyo (the photo at the bottom) while on my way to teach a student. Judy and Mary's 14th single made it up to No. 3 on the Oricon weeklies and ended up as the 50th-ranked single of the year. Plus, an invitation to the Kohaku Utagassen also didn't hurt.