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.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hideo Murata -- Hana to Ryu (花と竜)

I like the name of this song. Though 'Hana to Ryu' (Flower & Dragon) does sound a little tacky by modern day standards, there's 'Dragon' in its name... can't get any cooler and manlier than that! But seriously, what I really like about it is that there is that contrast between the 2 aforementioned things. The gentleness and elegance of a flower balanced out by the mighty and fearsome dragon. And although I have quite a vague understanding of the lyrics (by Shin Nikaido (二階堂伸)), the last part that went:

Sore ga otoko sa  Sore ga otoko sa                 それが男さ  それが男さ
Hana to ryu                                                      花と竜

That then kinda made me realise that this comparison is probably meant to represent the qualities of a man... that he can be tough and gritty, and yet can be polished and refined at the same time.

The music, composed by Kusuo Kita (北くすを), gives you this feeling of grandeur which is most prominent at the beginning with the blare of the trumpets, as if announcing the arrival of some powerful and revered fellow. And how Hideo Murata's (村田英雄) voice fluctuates from a deep rumble to something nasally and borderline whiny is quite amusing too. Boy, it'd be some entrance if he were to strut out on to the stage as this song plays, wearing a kimono with a huge dragon curling itself around him!

Anyway, I don't know much on 'Hana to Ryu' other than that it was released in 1964 and was the theme song to this drama called 'Murata Hideo no Hana to Ryu' (村田英雄の花と龍) since there's no write up on it. The song aside, 'Hana to Ryu' is actually a story written by Ashihei Hino (火野葦平) in 1953, which was then made into multiple movies and TV dramas of the same name throughout the mid 50's to 70's, including one (movie) staring Yujiro Ishihara (石原裕次郎)!

In the video above (unfortunately that video has been taken down and replaced), it looked like Murata was singing the song on an episode of 'Enka no Hana Michi' judging from the fact that he's on one those elaborate sets. I found the full version of 'Hana to Ryu' on Dailymotion, you can check it out here.

One of the movies' posters.
The one with Ishihara looked the coolest.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, Noelle.

    I think the only thing missing from that video was crashing waves on rocks. Truly a grand statement from one of the old masters. I think your description in the 2nd paragraph would be an apt one for Sean Connery, and at the time this song was released, he had already starred in three of my favourite 007 movies.


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