Hearing Murata's representative song from November 1961, 'Osho' or 'General/King General', only added to his grandeur since the Enka song had this air of nobility to it. The manly aspect of this song comes in as the fellow boasts about how fantastic a Shogi (Japanese Chess) player he is, that even the moon recognizes his prowess. Like Chess, its a gentlemen's sport, thus the dignified music. It was written by poet and lyricist, Yaso Saijo (西條八十) and composed by Toru Funamura (船村徹), the guy responsible for composing songs for quite a number of singers like Hibari Misora (美空ひばり), Kasuga and Mihashi.
I'm sure 'Osho' would have easily cracked the top 10 on the Oricon charts if it was there during that time since it was Murata's biggest hit, selling about 300 000 copies within half a year and eventually selling over 3 million copies. It also allowed Murata to receive the Special prize at the 4th Japan Record Awards in 1962 and gave him a ticket to the 12th Kohaku in 1961. He would then sing the song 3 more times.
Anyway, as formidable as Murata was, the fellow was actually not as huge as I had originally perceived him to be. In fact, he's not big at all. The fellow only stood at 160 cm, and it was made even more noticeable when he stood next to Kasuga, who seemed to stand at about 175 cm. Ah well, but size doesn't really matter. It's the presence that counts, like Madam Misora.
Link above's to a video with Murata, Michiya and Kasuga singing each others' hit songs, including 'Osho'. Its one of my favourite videos too. I mean, how cool is it to see these Enka veterans sing together?! Oh ho ho, I bet it'd be cooler if Murata and Minami were to perform together (I think they did)! (Noelle from 12/12/2015) Well, sorry to say that the video of Muchi, Michi and Hachi got deleted.
|See, doesn't he look intimidating??|