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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, October 2, 2014

Kenji Ninuma -- Yome ni Konaika (嫁に来ないか)



So far I had come across a couple of songs featuring the topic of marriage. There's the lighthearted Hawaiian tune 'Oyome ni Oide' (お嫁においで) by Yuzo Kayama (加山雄三) wherein the fellow playfully and casually asks that special one to marry him - I'm sure many would gladly oblige back then. And then we have the more genuine 'Yome ni Konaika' by Kenji Ninuma (新沼謙治).

Although there's no punctuation behind the title, I think its a question on the line of, "Is the bride coming?" As I had seen on the J-Wiki, the song's supposed written -by Yu Aku (阿久悠) - in the perspective of a young fellow from the countryside who's about to get married. So you have him singing about stuff like having a ring already purchased with his own money etc. Kinda makes you go, "Aw... how sweet," from how earnestly Ninuma belts it out with that pleasant, not too Enka-y voice. Hmm, I wonder if he sang this to his late wife before they got married. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that the easily recognizable music was composed by Makoto Kawaguchi (川口真).

Anyway, being Ninuma's 2nd single and released on 1st June 1976, 'Yome ni Konaika' was probably his most successful hit scoring 2 'Best newcomer' awards, one from the 18th Japan Record Awards and the other from 7th Japan Kayo Awards, as well as allowing him a spot on the 27th Kohaku even though its highest position was only 31st on the Oricon charts.

Frankly, I had never heard of Ninuma until I started watching the music shows on NHK. When I finally saw his face, first thing that came to mind was that the fella from Iwate was one of those folk singer-songwriters like Masashi Sada (さだ まさし) with the glasses, that particular amiable look and somewhat unkempt hairdo. All the more so when the picture I saw was of him in what looked like a field wearing those thin white long-sleeved shirts over a white T-shirt with a straw hat on his head... ... And that my friends, is what happens when I don't do my research beforehand.



Here's a clip of the young Ninuma singing the song back in 1976. It looked like he was performing at the Kayo Awards or the Kohaku.

Hey, he actually looked pretty cute back then!
http://1st.geocities.jp/yj_yamahide/a_recjkt/b_niinuma_kenji.htm

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Noelle.

    Ninuma has that sibilant voice that always stood out to me. And there was something about his singing of that particular song that struck me as being a Northern declaration of pride for some reason. Considering his looks back then, I'm sure there were quite a few fans who would have been happy to move back north with him!

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