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.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Noriyuki Makihara -- Tohku, Tohku (遠く遠く)

(karaoke version)

"Tohku, Tohku" (Far Far Away) would be the ideal song to send over to that Japanese businessman who has had to go through the corporate custom in Japan known as tanshin funin(単身赴任), that order from Personnel to move away from family and nearby friends to another city (or even another country) for a few years to work at the local branch there. I've never experienced that myself but I've watched news reports on the phenomenon, and it's almost like the displaced staffer has gone back to bachelorhood. However, at least initially, there could be that sense of loneliness as well.

Noriyuki Makihara's(槇原敬之)"Tohku, Tohku" was never an official single but was a track on his 3rd album, "Kimi wa Boku no Takaramono"(君は僕の宝物...You Are My Treasure)from June 1992. And it has gained a lot of popularity over the years to the extent that I was surprised to find out that it hadn't gotten its own single release. Sheepishly, I also have to admit that I had forgotten that it was on "Kimi wa Boku no Takaramono", a CD that I've had for over 20 years in the collection. Time to put that on the player again then.

Like so many of Makihara's output, "Tohku, Tohku" is one of those happy and heartwarming songs that would be great to be sung at karaoke or even acapella at one of those drinking parties. It just calls for colleagues and buddies to lock arms and move side-to-side while someone is manning the microphone. So, it's not surprising that it has been covered by a number of singers over the past twenty-odd years such as Keisuke Kuwata(桑田佳祐)and May J. And as I said at the top, it would make for a nice cheer-up song for that fellow who's had to be transferred far, far away...the lyrics point out that no matter how great the distance, old friends will always stay together even if the guy has to decline the latest invitation to that school reunion. After all, tanshin funin will eventually end.

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