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.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Akira Kobayashi & Asaoka Ruriko -- Itoshi Itoshi to Iu Kokoro (いとしいとしというこころ)

(karaoke version)

I had no idea Akira Kobayashi (小林旭) was that tall. I always envisioned him to be around the same height as Yuzo Kayama (加山雄三)... about 175 cm plus/minus. But when I saw him in the line up during a somewhat recent episode of Kayo Concert, I can safely say that the guy is a solid 6 footer - chunky to boot - since he made Kiyoshi Maekawa (前川清) look small, and he's the one who usually towers over the rest! This was made ever so obvious as he stood beside the petite Ruriko Asaoka (浅丘ルリ子), aka the actress who has acted in various films from back in the day along side Kobayashi, Yujiro Ishihara (石原裕次郎), and the like.

Besides being ecstatic about the fact that Maekawa was on again (the episode where he sang Tokyo Sabaku) and being able to see Kobayashi on TV for the first time, I was pretty astonished to see Asaoka on the show, let alone see her singing. I didn't even know she sings! According to the J-Wiki, she released her last single in 1971 until 'Itoshi Itoshi to Iu Kokoro' came along just a couple of months back in early September 2014... that's almost half a century since the last single! I've not seen Asaoka over the decades - only during her early years, but I would have to say that she's been through one heck of a transformation! Her face lacks much expression from all the work done and the eye-shadow's rather heavy... like Joan Rivers! Well, but she doesn't sound too bad for a 74 year-old woman.

Moving on, 'Itoshi Itoshi to Iu Kokoro' has a little cabaret in its music composed by Kisaaburo Suzuki (鈴木キサブロー), and the one who took care of the lyrics came as quite the surprise; they were done by the late Yu Aku (阿久悠), done a few years ago before he passed on in 2007. Strange how the song was only sung all these years later. 'Itoshi Itoshi to Iu Kokoro' did well on the Enka/Kayokyoku charts, placing at 18th. And it did decent for an Enka song on the regular charts, placing at 117th position.

Uh... ... so cute?
It's different from the Ishihara Asaoka one!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Noelle.

    I remember when Kobayashi and Asaoka appeared on "Kayo Concert" to do this number. It's pretty reminiscent of those 80s songs that Takashi Miki wove for Teresa Teng....nice and elegant.

    You're pretty spot-on-the-money about Kobayashi's height. According to J-Wiki, he's 180 cm or 5'10". That's still fairly tall for a Japanese man in this day and age. I could only imagine how he was seen back in his much younger days.


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