I've come to realise that Enka love songs that don't revolve around pining for their loved one or drinking away in sadness with them in mind (pretty sure I'm missing out other tragic scenes here), are always about the loving relationship between husband and wife. Some examples include Ikuzo Yoshi and Kaori Kozai's (吉幾三・香西かおり) "Asu no Meoto Zake" (明日の夫婦酒), where the couple drink over a heart-to-heart conversation, and George Yamamoto's (山本譲二) "Hana mo Arashi mo" (花も嵐も), where the man professes his undying love to his wife. Both are awe-inspiring and have lyrics with sweetness levels that are through the roof. I like songs like that, because you FINALLY have characters in the song that are happy to be together and are together. Most Enka songs are so bittersweet... or just bitter, so it's nice to have some sappy love song to balance it all out.
Coming back to the proper topic, "Meoto Zenzai", one of Sayuri Ishikawa's (石川さゆり) multiple hits also qualifies for that category of Enka. Commenter Ranawaka Aruna had actually suggested this a couple of months on the "Yotte Soro" (酔って候) article. When I saw this suggestion, I recalled seeing Ishikawa singing this song at the Hozenji in Osaka during NHK's "Osaka Melody Special" (that bit's in the video above). I did find it rather comfortable to listen to with its slow pace and soft strings, accompanying Ishikawa's gentle, mellifluous vocals. Plus, the mellow lighting of the place just added to the pleasant ambiance. Well, at least that sort of made up for the lack of Makoto Fujita's (藤田まこと) "Juso no Yoru" (十三の夜). It's one of my favourites and I was really hoping someone would sing it, so you can imagine that I was (still kinda am) rather miffed when they gave it a miss...
Anyway, composed by Tetsuya Gen (弦哲也) - I'm starting to recognize his style of music - the music makes me think of an older couple, one that had been through good times and bad over the many years, walking hand in hand under blue skies and the shade of either Sakura trees, pink in full bloom in spring, or fiery red Maple trees in autumn at some park, and enjoying each other's company. The lyrics were by Osamu Yoshida (吉岡治), and they basically talk about our lovebirds sticking together as they tackle life... or something like that.
"Meoto Zenzai" was released on 1st February 1987, peaking at 25th on the Oricon weeklies and managed to not fall too behind by the end of the year, coming in at 56th. It also helped Ishikawa bag the Gold Prize at the 29th Japan Record Awards, and she sang it twice on the Kohaku: 1987, 2006.