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.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hiroshi Wada & Mahina Stars -- Nakanaide (泣かないで)

Came back home from a driving rain today after a pretty hefty foodie session with some old friends in Chinatown and then some gourmet donuts at a place called Jelly. I no longer feel like donuts but I am currently feeling like a donut. Anyways, to get to the heart of the matter, I came home to see my parents watching TV Japan as usual, and the program was some concert special featuring the old kayo. Unfortunately, the special was in its last 10 minutes.

However, I was there to catch Hiroshi Wada & Mahina Stars(和田弘とマヒナスターズ), that venerable Hawaiian-tinged Mood Kayo band perform what was their debut single, "Nakanaide" (Don't Cry), from all the way back in August 1958. Amazing that it's well over half a century and the Stars are still at it. And I think the sound of that steel guitar is well embedded in my long-term memory since I used to hear that instrument being plucked away on the various old records played on the stereo; because my parents were also into American country & western at the time, the sound has been further implanted.

"Nakanaide" was written by Seiichi Ida(井田誠一)and composed by Tadashi Yoshida(吉田正). Original vocalist Naoki Matsudaira(松平直樹)sings as this fellow reassuring...or trying to reassure...this inconsolable woman that everything will be alright and that they have a good chance of meeting again the next night. Although the lyrics are not blatant about it, it seems that the guy may be a regular at some sort of hostess club in Ginza or Akasaka (the perfect setting for a Mood Kayo) and that the woman may be a hostess working there with the two of them...gosh darn it...complicating matters by ending up falling in love with each other. Of course, there are obstacles in the way, and as the song proceeds, it becomes apparent that the fellow is becoming less confident that there will be a happy ending to the affair. That last line in the refrain, "Ashita no ban mo aeru janai ka"(明日の晩も会えるじゃなか...We might see each other again tomorrow night, won't we?)sounds like a temporary-at-best salve. Ahhh...the trials and tribulations of love in the big city. May want to grab that bottle of Hakkaisan for an ochoko or two...or twenty.


  1. Hi J-Canuck,

    I'm not a fan of donuts, but I do enjoy a good chocolate-filled one from time to time; usually get them from Dunking Donuts.

    Anyway, I've heard of "Nakanaide" a number of times (for example, on the Mood Kayo fest on "Kayo Concert" last year) but didn't really come to accept it until recently... it's one of those songs that need to grow on me. Although the title means "Don't cry", from the way the fellas sing it, it really sounds like someone is going to breakdown in tears at any moment... probably the ill-fated couple being mentioned in the song. And that line "Ashita no ban mo aeru janai ka?" that's filled with uncertainty really makes one fearful that there may be no happy end in sight for the two. But despite its sadness and heavy atmosphere (the steel guitar makes it more forlorn), "Nakanaide" sounds bar-friendly.

    1. Hi Noelle.

      Toronto is definitely a city of donuts. We've got a chain called Tim Hortons (named after a hockey player, of course) that sells tons of the stuff. I'm not sure if we still have Dunkin Donuts here but I remember the one that used to be in Asakusa years ago. I actually enjoyed that one more than Mister Donuts since Dunkin had more imaginative donuts.

      Definitely no donuts wherever the setting is for "Nakanaide". More whiskey.

    2. Tim Hortons seems to ring a bell, might have seen it on websites from time to time. So far, besides Dunkin' Donuts, we've got a number of other donut joints that have not yet been registered in my head, as well couple of Krispy Kreme outlets in Singapore. Man, people went nuts when they first opened! Queues as long as the eye could see, but the hype has died down considerably over the years.

      And when you say "hockey", do you mean "ice hockey" or... well... hockey (the one people play on grass)?

    3. Timmie's is pretty much an institution in Canada although the coffee and donuts are not incredibly special. Even though Burger King bought it out several months ago, we still think it's very Canadian.

      I remember when Krispy Kreme opened up in Tokyo. 3-hour lineups! It took about a year for me to actually enter one when the lineups became reasonable. KK never succeeded here in Toronto since the timing was terrible...there was a very intense campaign against cholesterol at the time.

      Hockey for us here is ice hockey. It seems like the sport is pretty much on TV 10 months a year!

    4. I saw those donuts from the Hideki Saijo article. The ones with the chocolate top and marshmallows look AMAZING - strongly influenced by the empty stomach I had when I saw it. I don't think I've seen some these "flavours" of donuts here, more specifically that oddly-shaped white one and the one that looks like it has been dunked in caramel. I've tried Krispy Kreme once - probably last year - when the lines finally became almost non-existent. But to me, donuts are donuts, so I couldn't understand the craze during its opening.

      Y'know, I have heard that when Canadians say hockey, more often than not they'd mean ice hockey, but I just wanted to see for myself if that is indeed true... I got my answer! If you're wondering about ice hockey in Singapore, well, it's not really a thing; we don't have many ice rinks, and those we have are usually for ice skating only. So when you say hockey without saying the word ice before it over here, the locals may probably think you're referring to the one played on grass - still not a very popular sport, but it seems bigger than the one on ice. There is an ice hockey TV channel though.

    5. Hello, Noelle.

      Ahhh...I see you noticed the S'Mores donuts. The idea came from the campfire dessert of melting chocolate and marshmallows over some graham crackers on a stick over a fire. Yep, that was a really rich donut there.

      As for Krispy Kreme, the folks over here were scratching their heads over why it attracted these 3-hour-long lines in Tokyo when it first opened. I think it just came down to the fact that for all these decades, the Japanese were accustomed to cake donuts and never had yeast donuts. Add to the fact that the folks there are big-time foodies and so love being caught up in pop cultural trends. You should've seen the lineups when Burger King returned to Tokyo!

      Ice hockey is pretty much a religion in Canada, especially in my city, even though our professional team hasn't won a championship in nearly 50 years. I lost a lot of my interest during my years in Japan but returning to Toronto it's come back but nowhere near the levels they were once were.


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