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, December 16, 2014

Hidemi Ishikawa -- Shadow Summer

Hidemi Ishikawa(石川秀美)....a name and a face that I've always seen whenever I went down Memory Lane via those old issues of Myojo and Heibon. As Marcos mentioned almost a year ago in his playlist of 80s Eurobeat-inspired songs, the Kisarazu, Chiba-born singer had the cheeks to launch a thousand ships (no offense, Helen) along with some wonderfully twinkly eyes. And yet, despite all of the singers from the 80s whose works I've collected and heard, I had really never listened to a Hidemi song, aside from "Every Night" which was Marcos' contribution to his Eurobeat list.

So I vowed to myself that I would check out some of the songs from her 8-year discography (1982-1990), and thus came across "Shadow Summer". This was her 19th single from July 1986 and it was written by Masao Urino(売野雅勇)and composed by Tetsuji Hayashi(林哲司). The reason I chose this one was Hayashi due to his reputation of crafting some swiftly soaring summery songs for folks like Akina Nakamori(中森明菜)and Omega Tribe.

"Shadow Summer" does sound like an Omega Tribe song with those violins swooping in and thrumming bass. However, Hidemi's vocals are cottony-soft whispery...almost threatening to break apart at points. Nope, the aidoru doesn't have the strongest voice, especially compared when compared to the vocals of Akina but they still have an appeal to does the something representative of the aidoru from that decade.

Apparently, "Shadow Summer" was never released on an original album but is available on her BEST compilations.

Ishikawa released 30 singles and 12 albums before retiring from the industry after marrying Hirohide Yakumaru(薬丸裕英)of Shibugakitai(シブがき隊)fame.


  1. Hi, J-Canuck.

    Thanks a lot for putting this up. It's a very nice coincidence as, just recently, after years being a fan of this song, I got one of her best albums online and "SHADOW SUMMER" was, thankfully, on it (somehow they managed to exclude it from her "GOLDEN BEST", which is a shame).

    "SHADOW SUMMER" is truly a great example of the summer City Pop songs from the 80s. Like you said, Hidemi is not the strongest vocalist, but something about her vocals just screams vulnerability to me. Also, she has a somewhat Lolita-esque appeal as well.

    Apparently, she got pregnant and married before vanishing from the entertainment world. Not an atypical story coming from a 80s aidoru.

    In the end, I recommend you listen to other songs from her, J-Canuck. Songs like the Latin "Motto Sekkin Shimasho" and the summery "Sea Loves You" would probably be good choices for you.

  2. Her 1984 Summer Breeze album contains a few more Hayashi penned songs, A1, A2, B2 and B5.. B side of Shadow Summer, Rain Glass is also a good track by him.

    However these tracks are very rare and the Youtube police has taken down any media of them, and these songs mostly survive in 2nd hand vinyls...

    1. Hi, heyheypolice. Thanks very much for your comments. I hear you about the takedown of videos on YouTube. One would think that the accountants of those studios would have a little heart when it comes to the videos of songs that we can no longer get in any form.

      But rant aside, I will always pay attention to a Hayashi-penned song. He is definitely one of the seminal songwriters for the 80s in Japanese pop music. :) Do you have any favourites by him out there?


    Here is one track from the Summer Breeze album, and the B side of Shadow summer.

    I tend to like his album tracks - the Hidemi Ishikawa Summer Breeze tracks, also Momoko Kikuchi's Tropic of Capricorn title track, Adventure's Night Cruising, Adventure, Tomorrow. Yoshie Kashiwabara Aries' Watashi no Subete and Saiko no sailor fuku..... to name a few.

    Then Hiromi Go's Plastic Generation LP Track 1,2... Super Drive's Track 1.

    He wrote most of Iyo Matsumoto's Kaze no youni album too....

    1. Hi again.

      I just listened to Hidemi's "Rain Glass" and I enjoyed it. Hayashi had a way of creating some relaxing melodies.


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