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, May 31, 2015

Naoko Kawai -- Ohkina Mori no Chiisana O-uchi (大きな森の小さなお家)

Well, let's see...yesterday was sunny with a Humidex reading of 35 degrees C. Today, however, the rain was relentless and the temperature was a mere 9 degrees C. From mid-summer to mid-fall in less than 24 hours. As usual, Toronto is probably the weather capital where it's predictably unpredictable.

In any case, depending on the time zone, you may already be reading this on June 1 2015 in which we can all celebrate the 35th anniversary of Naoko Kawai's(河合奈保子)debut release. Yep, it was on this day in 1980, just shy of her 17th birthday that the native of Osaka came to the ears of the listening public for the first time with "Ohkina Mori no Chiisana O-uchi" (The Little House in the Big Forest). Apparently in December 1979, Kawai had barely gotten in her application and a demo tape for "Hideki no Ototo/Imoto Boshuu Audition" (HIDEKIの弟・妹募集オーディション...Hideki Saijo's Little Brother/Little Sister Recruitment Audition)after which some 6 months later, she actually won the championship, and then a few months after that was the debut.

The judges chose wisely in my estimation. I've heard "Ohkina Mori no Chiisana O-uchi" a few times since I got Kawai's BEST album, and that clear voice of hers was there right from the start. It just seemed to smile for me (an inside joke) right then and there. And it didn't hurt that Koji Makaino's(馬飼野康二)melody had that sweet but soaring feeling overlaid on a disco beat. As for Yoshiko Miura's(三浦徳子)lyrics, I think that wonderful house from the title is referring to the heroine's welcoming heart for that guy she likes. Considering her cute looks (especially with and not in spite of her snaggletooth) and that happy delivery, I'm fairly sure that there were quite a few guys who would have been more than ecstatic to answer the greeting.

For a debut, Kawai did pretty decently as the song peaked at No. 36. It was also a track on her debut album, "Love", which came out later that same year in October. Of course, bigger and better things were on the horizon for her.

As for which song she provided on her demo was Anri's(杏里)"Olivia wo Kikinagara"(オリビアを聴きながら).


  1. one of my favorite Aidoru. her charming demeanor feels straight out of a Ghibli film.

    1. Yep, she had me at the 1981 Kohaku with "Smile For Me". Such a fresh and happy face!


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