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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ikuzo Yoshi -- TOFU<豆腐>

(karaoke version)

I've come across some bizarre song titles here and there, but nothing compares to the frankness and simplicity of Ikuzo Yoshi's (吉幾三) "Tofu". Knowing what the big guy from Aomori is capable of, I wasn't really that surprised to that he had named his 45th single after a curd. I was, however, curious to know how this song would sound like and to a lesser extent what it's really about. That may sound weird for a song like this, but hey, you never know if there may be a deeper meaning to it! I've learnt that countless times.

Needless to say I was taken aback as the clicking of castanets and the strumming of the acoustic guitar or Spanish guitar graced my ears, before . Who would've guessed that a song on Tofu would have a Latin score to it? The lyrics for "Tofu" can be compared to the Asian dish's modest taste, simple and straightforward, thank goodness for that. It literally is just about the guy expressing how much he likes Tofu, and that he loves it so much to the extent that he won't be able to sleep unless he has eaten it. Think of it as a love song dedicated to Tofu. He then takes the listener along on his bean-curd-related escapades around the world... having it in salad in Europe (I have no idea if it's France or Spain, you can decide), as well as in the Goya Chanpuru nearer to home in Okinawa out of other places. Dang, I'm making myself hungry.

"Tofu" was written and composed by Yoshi himself and it was released on 21st April 2004. Now that I think of it, this little ditty sounds right at home on one of those morning or afternoon kids' shows with the topic for the day being Tofu. Then you have the little scamps dancing and singing away to this tune.

To end off I'd like to share my favourite line from this song. It also happens to be the last line where Yoshi just barks it out like a mad man in that gruff voice of his.



  1. Hello, Noelle.

    This TOFU does have some atypical spice to it. And I can't think of anyone better to sing a food-based enka song with lusty humour than Yoshi. As for food-based pop songs, Akiko Yano would get my vote.

    I was actually watching a variety show on TV Japan last night and there was one fellow from Kagawa Prefecture who was more than happy to admit that he ate udon 7 days a week for lunch.

  2. Hi J-Canuck,

    I think Yoshi is the only Enka singer who'd write about something as plain and as straightforward as Tofu. I've not heard of any Akiko Yano songs yet, but I've seen a couple of posts here that feature her, so I would give it a listen. And I think that guy from Kagawa must really love his udon!

    1. Oh, I'm not surprised by that fellow from Kagawa. The prefecture is the proud home of sanuki udon. Apparently, the key ingredient is the great quality of water over there.


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