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, March 5, 2015

Teruo Ikeda -- Otoko no Iji (男の意地)

I don't know, there's just something about Teruo Ikeda (池田輝郎) that I like. I think it's his pleasant Min'yo voice, or probably his dignified, gentle appearance. Or it could simply be because he sang "Neon bune" (ネオン舟), a song which I have somehow not gotten over despite listening to it ad nauseam over the months since I've discovered it. But either way, I've come to appreciate Ike-Teru more than I had expected and have been digging through his short discography for more.

A product that came from this little excavation was his recent single from 24th July 2013, "Otoko no Iji". The MV - half of it - was one of the first few suggestions after keying in the fellow's name into the YouTube search bar, so I went ahead to check it out. Having Ikeda standing in the middle of a little alley with bars lining it on both sides and glaring into the camera kinda reminded me of the "Neon bune" MV, just with a broader street and a different place. And Ike-Teru had dyed his hair brown then, very odd-looking. Both were written by Toshiya Niitani (仁井谷俊也) and composed by Hideo Mizumori (水森 英夫), which I'm guessing is why the two songs sound really similar in their music style and arrangement, with "Otoko no Iji" sounding more dramatic and intense. Could be due to it being about a man's pride, so some manliness had to be injected into it. By the way, Mizumori has been the one doing the composing duties for all of the singer's official singles.

(karaoke version)

"Otoko no Iji" peaked at 36th place on the regular charts, and besides his debut single "Yu no shigure" (湯の里しぐれ), the rest (7 in counting) have all cracked the Top 50... for exactly how long, I have no idea, but that's pretty respectable. Can't wait to hear his newest single, "Minato shigure" (港町しぐれ), that's gonna be released next week.
Come to think of it, whenever I see Ike-Teru, I see an Enka/Min'yo, more uncle-like version of Mae-Kiyo that doesn't goof around. Must be the droopy eyes and the suits. Oh, that answers my first question in the beginning of this article, huh?


  1. Hi Noelle.

    Ike-Teru has got quite the fine voice, doesn't he? Enka may not be as dominant as it once was but there are still singers and songs keeping the genre pretty vibrant. And as is the case with "Neon Bune", "Otoko no Iji" has got that sound that takes me back a few decades, not a few years.

    Good nickname for Ikeda, by the way since "iketeru" means "it's cool".

  2. Hi there, J-Canuck.

    Yeah, he does have a nice voice. Actually, before coming to like Ike-Teru, I didn't exactly like his sort of voice, nor this type of Enka. But oddly enough, I immediately took a liking to "Neon bune" when I had first heard it, and eventually "Otoko no Iji".

    Huh, I did know that that's what "iketeru" means! And I think it was pun intended. I just called him Ike-Teru because that's what everyone's calling him, and it's more amusing to call him that rather than just "Ikeda". Kinda like calling Maekawa "Mae-Kiyo".


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.