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.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hiroshi Itsuki -- Shiawase Sagashite (倖せさがして)

I heard Hiroshi Itsuki's(五木ひろし)"Shiawase Sagashite" (Look For Happiness) as sung by the man himself on last night's "Kayo Concert", and just found it tailor-made for the veteran enka singer. The song was composed by Yoshio Kimura(木村好夫)and written by Takashi Taka(たかたかし), and there was something about the arrangement that said "urbane and Japanese"...which is how I think of Itsuki.

That cover above on the video may have him looking pretty casual, but I'm always going to imagine the fellow in that well-cut suit performing "Shiawase Sagashite". In a way, I think this 1980 release by him approaches Mood Kayo status because of that contemplative Latin rhythm on the guitar but I think it still manages to stay in pure enka territory (there's just something about it that says that it doesn't belong in an izakaya) although it is one of those songs that sounds best heard at night. I haven't seen any karaoke videos of the ballad but my impression is that it would probably be centered on a well-to-do couple in a swanky uptown restaurant holding hands and looking deeply into each other's eyes. Yeah, pretty mushy but what else can I imagine when the first line from the song is "I was born for you..."?

"Shiawase Sagashite" got as high as No. 4 on the Oricon weeklies and sold close to 500,000 records.

An alley in Asakusa


  1. Hi J-Canuck,

    When watching Itsuki sing this on the latest "Kayo Concert" episode, I hadn't yet known that it was his own song, I thought he was doing a cover. But after giving it another listen, I'd agree that "Shiawase Sagashita" is really an Itsuki song. And he is urbane alright, especially when you compare him to the other male enka singers who usually portray themselves as gruff, manly men.

    I would have to say the most eye-opening performance on the show has to be the gentlemanly Itsuki singing and dancing to Sandaime J Soul Brothers' "R.Y.U.S.E.I" with Chris Hart and Keisuke Yamauchi. That man sure can dance!

    1. Hi, Noelle.

      Yeah, he's quite the smoothie in those suits, isn't he? I think he's so urbane that I can't even imagine him out in the daylight...he seems more at home in the moonlight. I make him sound like a vampire, don't I? :)

      Yup, I did catch the guys cutting up a rug during that performance with the Soul Brothers. Might bring up some ideas for the next Kohaku.


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