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.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hiroko Mita -- Nogiku Ichirin (野菊いちりん)

I saw Hiroko Mita's (三田寛子)"Nogiku Ichirin" (A Wild Chrysanthemum) as one of the tracks on one of my old Chinatown-bought compilation tapes yesterday so I decided to write about it today. And since I only mentioned the 80s aidoru very briefly for one other article a couple of years ago, it was time to give her some more attention.

Yoko Aki and Kozo Murashita(阿木燿子・村下孝蔵)created Mita's 6th single from September 1983, and listening to it once more after so long, I could pick up the late Murashita's wistful style in composing it. Aki's lyrics mention about a girl's longing for the attention of that one guy, but the first line of the song got my attention: "Izayoi no tsuki wa hito machi zuki" (十六夜の月は人待ち月)which means "The moon on the 16th night (of the lunar calendar) is a moon of expectation". According to one person through a Q&A on Yahoo, "izayoi"「十六夜」is used a fair bit in songs and other examples of pop culture. I've also come across the term now and then and apparently it is an abstract term referring to the slowing down of things and has a somewhat autumnal tone. Considering it was released in September and it is September now as I write this, there is a bit of providence about this article. And also taking into account that autumn has often been used to reflect the end of a romance, I gather that the girl's yearning will probably fall on deaf ears, figuratively speaking. One pink-coloured sigh coming up!

Mita was someone whose aidoru career I never followed very closely. I remember her more as a giddy tarento on variety shows, especially in one bit during a location shoot where she freaked out over some flying insects. My impression is that she probably got onto the blooper reels a lot. Born Atsuko Inagaki(稲垣敦子)in 1966 in Kyoto, she actually got her show business start as a magazine model and then got her first acting role as a high school student in the famous school drama "Ni-nen B-gumi Kinpachi Sensei"(2年B組金八先生...Mr. Kinpachi of 2B)in 1981 on TBS. A year later, she would mark her aidoru debut with "Kaketekita Otome"(駈けてきた処女...The Dashing Maiden)which got as high as No. 21 on Oricon.

Among her interests are calligraphy, tea ceremony and making (Japanese-style?) candy which are hobbies that I could see as being representative of her hometown. She married kabuki actor Hashinosuke Nakamura III(中村橋之助 (3代目))in 1991.

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