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, December 27, 2014

Midori Karashima - Ai Suru Koto (愛すること)

Ai Suru Koto (To Love) is probably the 2nd best known song from Midori Karashima (辛島美登里) besides Silent Eve (サイレント・イヴ).  It appeared in her 3rd single after Karashima moved from Fan House to Toshiba EMI.  It reached 13th place on the weekly chart, according to Oricon.  The song was also awarded Best Lyrics in the 37th Japan Record Award in 1995.  As with 99.9% of Karashima's songs, she composed it and wrote the lyrics herself.

I really like the dramatic and operatic opening, with Karashima's angle like vocal.  She sang:
How long does it take for love to be born and subsequently exhaust its breath?
Even upon rebirth, I certainly wish we would encounter each other once again.
Then, it pretty much mesmerized me from that point on.  After this dramatic opening, the song goes back to a soft and quiet ballad.  In the bridge, it picks up its tempo and builds up tension, and finally repeats the dramatic chorus once again.  I also like the last chorus where Karashima raised her key by half a step to finish off.

According to Midori Karashima, she wrote the song as a result of the Great Hanshin Earthquake, or Kobe Earthquake in 1995.  She saw the disaster areas on TV at night.  She thought, "Here's what I want to say now.  I must convey that message right now!"  It's under this constant "pressure" that she wrote the song and lyrics.  Karashima also said, every time she sings the song, it reminds her how helpless she was when she saw helpers and volunteers trying to provide assistance to the victims.  A few years after the quake, when she's finished performing this song at a live house in Kobe, she would break into tears unintentionally.  The participants cried too.  Even now, she still remembers how she spent that miraculous night, she wrote.

I have translated the lyrics into English.  If you're interested, you can visit my blog.

A few years back, I was able to find the video where she sang this song live (with her playing the piano) at the 37th Japan Record Award.  I couldn't find it anymore.  Too bad.  However, I am able find the following MV though.  By the way, the first video is a recording of her X'mas Concert in 2008.  Karashima has been having her annual X'mas Concert, in classical style (with full orchestra), since 1999.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Larry.

    I hope the Holidays have been going well for you. Thanks very much for putting up this Karashima ballad. I didn't quite recognize the title but when heard that powerful intro by her, I remembered. I appreciate the background information on the creation of the song; I had no idea about its connection with the consequences of the Great Hanshin Earthquake.


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