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 20, 2015

Kiyoshi Hikawa -- Sasurai Bojou (さすらい慕情)

I think I can safely say that I do indeed like this song now. I wasn't much of a fan of "Sasurai Bojou" and was merely alright with it when I first heard Kiyoshi Hikawa (氷川きよし) belt it out on the "Kayo Concert" stage before Grandpa enka Sabu-Chan ended the show with "Tairyo Bune" (大漁船). It was a rather satisfying episode, I must say, with the theme featuring Showa era songs (60's to 80's) and of course, Kiyoshi Maekawa (前川清) was there as well in a pretty fashionable suit.

But after hearing it 2 more times via "Nodojiman" and another recent episode of "Kayo Concert", the song grew on me, especially in terms of the music that Kenji Miyashita (宮下健治) composed, which I find pretty cool. It sounds enka when the flute and strings come in, yet the wailing of the electric guitar and the trumpets blaring away makes it seem un-enka-like. I feel like there's some sort of Latin influence there, but I'm not entirely sure. Toshiya Niitani (仁井谷俊也) penned the lyrics for "Sasurai Bojou", and if I'm not mistaken, it's about missing and wanting to return home, which in Hikawa's case is Fukuoka, and there is mention of Nagasaki and Kagoshima too.

"Sasurai Bojou" was released on 4th March 2015 and has been doing fairly well on the Oricon charts, where I had first taken note of the singer's 28th single. On the week where I had first saw it, it was No.1 on the enka-yo charts (not surprising) and No.8 on the regular charts, but it did not stay there for long, often being overtaken by newer singles by other artistes, though it does still come back up to the Top 5 (enka charts) on some weeks.

I managed to find the full MV of "Sasurai Bojou" on Dailymotion, you can check it out here. Just like his other songs, we have Hikawa happily dancing away to the music. Again, the normal teenager in me really appreciated that... although I thought he looked a bit odd doing so in a suit. And I bet that bit at the end when he turns his back to the audience before swinging his head to the side with the cheeky grin is a real crowd pleaser.


  1. Hi, Noelle.

    That's an enka with plenty of oomph in there...sounds like something that Joji Yamamoto would sing but Hikawa makes it his own. His moves at the beginning of the song in the top video had me thinking Hiroshi Itsuki at 3x the speed. :)

    1. Hi J-Canuck,

      I can't really imagine Yamamoto singing something like that... it's too ... well, Hikawa. And Hikawa's dancing really does look like Itsuki's usual, trademark movements at 3 times the speed... and also half the age.


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