A couple months ago while watching the NHK Kayo Concert, other than excitedly waiting for Ikuzo Yoshi (吉幾三) to come on and sing his trademark song 'Yukiguni', I was curious as to what song fellow Enka singer and performer in the episode's lineup, Yutaka Yamakawa (山川豊), had to offer.
It wasn't his major hit 'America bashi' (アメリカ橋) from 1998 that's for sure when the music played as he walked out on to to the stage. Instead, it was his 6th single 'Ryuhyo Komori Uta' or 'Drifting ice lullaby'. Did I like it? Yes, and I liked it enough to decide the song was worth another listen after the show was over.
Released on 11th November 1984, this quintessentially early 80's Enka track revolving around a sea-going fellow most, probably set somewhere far up north like Hokkaido since there's drifting ice, had its lyrics done by Mitsuo Ikeda (池田充男) and was composed by Koumei Sone (曽根幸明).
I couldn't find much information on this song, so I don't know how well it did on the charts. But I suppose it was good enough for Ichiro Toba's (鳥羽一郎) younger brother (the resemblance is quite obvious) to sing it at his 3rd out of his 11 appearances at the 44th Kohaku in 1993.
Heh, in the video above, you get to see the young Yamakawa in a Captain's hat. I think its the MV for the song, although the lyrics at the bottom makes it look more like those karaoke video thing.
Oh, here's a fun fact: This guy's been doing boxing since his school days and is a licensed trainer... wouldn't wanna get on his bad side.