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.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Kazuko Matsumura -- Kaettekoi yo (帰ってこいよ)

Here is a song whose melody I recognize from my early days as a full-on kayo kyoku fan since it was released just a year before I got into the genre.

Kazuko Matsumura's(松村和子)debut release of "Kaettekoi yo" (Come Home, Will Ya?) has got all the supercharged juice of a summer festival to go with the sentimental lyrics relating to a woman pining for that guy to come back home to the north country from Tokyo. I think there are probably a ton of enka songs about "coming home"; the first one that comes to mind is Masao Sen's(千昌夫)"Kita Kuni no Haru"(北国の春). Whereas Sen's trademark song is about a fellow wistfully wondering about heading back to the countryside hometown to see Mom and all that, Matsumura's most famous tune seems to have that fellow's old flame waiting really impatiently at the train station for him to get back into her arms.

The other surprising thing here is the singer herself. There is not a whole lot of material about her, even on her own website. The pertinent page about her discography only gives out information right up to her debut. Titles of her other songs do pop up on YouTube and on her J-Wiki page but I would hardly call it a comprehensive list. From what I could find out is that Matsumura was born in Tomakomai, Hokkaido in March 1962 and was the middle child of a family whose father was the president of a Hokkaido-based entertainment agency while the mother was a min'yo singer who operated a min'yo teahouse.

Debuting with "Kaettekoi yo" in April 1980, the 18-year-old Matsumura also made a splash with her appearance which wasn't exactly the de rigueur fashion for a female enka singer. Her trademark look was capped with that really long hair and the shamisen which she handled like a guitar.

I don't know how the song, which was written by Tadao Hirayama(平山忠夫)and composed by Noboru Ichidai(一代のぼる), did on the Oricon weeklies. However, it finished 1980 as the 100th-ranked song and earned Matsumura a Newcomer's Prize at the Japan Record Awards. And its popularity kept on growing well into the next year as it eventually reached No. 17 for the annual charts at the end of 1981. Almost 2 years after its release, Matsumura was able to appear on the Kohaku Utagassen for the first time.


  1. Hey... I think I've seen her before... Yeah, on an episode of "Kayo Concert" a couple of weeks ago. I kinda recognized the shamisen bit since few female Enka singers would play and hold the shamisen like an electric guitar. Yoko Nagayama also plays the instrument in this manner.

    As for Kazuko, I can't say that I've heard of her before (I might have seen her name once, if at all) and that "Kayo Concert" episode was my introduction to her... Sadly I didn't get a fantastic impression of her. While the shamisen thing and her outfit were pretty cool, and the music is definitely not like your run-of-the-mill "coming home" song (in a good way), her voice was too shrill for my liking. An interesting song, nevertheless.

    1. Yes, in fact I think she did show up on "Kayo Concert" a few weeks ago. Matsumura strikes me as being fairly mysterious. I've read that she has released other singles but she seems to come on out just to perform "Kaettekoi yo". I think among all of the enka singers I've seen and heard, her J-Wiki page is probably the shortest one.


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