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.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Isao Hayashi/Kiyoshi Hikawa -- Mamurogawa Boogie (真室川ブギ)

Hey, it's Mae-Kiyo! And Ohkawa! And Hosokawa! Even Dick Mine's there! And there's some lady with an eye patch... ... (Okay, that video got deleted...)

Although the official name for this jazzy ditty is "Mamurogawa Boogie" - as mentioned in Isao Hayashi's (林伊佐緒) discography on his J-Wiki page - it seems to go by "Boogie Mamurogawa Ondo" (ブギ真室川音頭) as seen in the video above, and that caused quite a bit of confusion for yours truly at first.

Anyway, I had first heard of "Mamurogawa Boogie" through the ever-popular Kiyoshi Hikawa (氷川きよし)... Yes, I was curious and was in need of a palate cleanser... What piqued my interest, besides how laid back he seemed as he sang and that sparkly suit of his, was the music done by none other than Hayashi himself. It had the qualities of a funky Jazz tune with the trumpets blaring away, but at the same time it sounded like one of those festive Enka-Min'yo songs people dance to - a good example would be Haruo Minami's (三波春夫) "Tokyo Gorin Ondo" (東京五輪音頭). Part of the lyrics (by Ryo Yano (矢野亮)) even had the guy singing "Ko'rya", which is quintessentially Min'yo. Ah, now I see the connection between the song and its other name.

Jazz-Min'yo fusion. Interesting. Wonder how Hayashi came up with that combo? Since "Mamurogawa Boogie" was released in 1954, I'm guessing he wanted to try mixing two popular genres from that era - that being Jazz and Min'yo/Enka - and see what he'd get from that. As I browsed through the rest of his discography, Hayashi had a few other songs that seemed like they have the similar, peculiar genre combination too.

"Mamurogawa Boogie" together with Hachi and Michi.

The late Hayashi, a native of the Yamaguchi prefecture, was named the first-ever singer-songwriter of Japan, and had composed a number of songs for others singers from back in the day, like two of the San'nin no kai fellas, Hachiro Kasuga (春日八郎) and Michiya Mihashi (三橋美智也). For instance, he had composed Kasuga's "Rosario no Shima" (ロザリオの島), which has already been profiled. He had participated in the Kohaku 11 times (consecutively) since it began in 1951, when the event was broadcast through the radio... and when there were only 14 participants, including Hayashi.


  1. Man, Hayashi is rockin' those drums!

    That's an interesting sound with Jazz and Min' sounds just like that! I'm all for that sort of experimentation, and it did succeed with Jazz/Latin and Enka, namely Mood Kayo. I can only imagine how a fusion of Enka and Rock or Enka and American Country & Western would sound like.

    As for the woman with the eyepatch, I think that might be Masako Mori, ex-wife of Shinichi Mori.

    1. I think some of Takashi Hosokawa's recent singles like "Yakushima" can qualify as Enka-Rock fusion. But I can't really imagine a Enka-Country&Western fusion!

      Hmm, that lady does look a like Masako Mori.


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