First one I picked was "Sado no Koi Uta" (佐渡の恋唄), which was decent, but it didn't make me any less bored. Next came "Oenka, Ikimasu", mostly because its title piqued my interest. Now this one finally got my lazy brain to start working again - Friday was a tiring day - since it was a lot faster in pace and more joyful than "Sado no Koi Uta". In terms of the music composed by Motoyoshi Iwasaki (岩崎元是), it seems to lean more to the genre of Pop than enka and, to me, it didn't sound like a song Hosokawa would sing, more specifically at the portions before the chorus. I actually kept envisioning a whole list of other enka singers who'd be a better fit for "Oenka, Ikimasu". However, with all the power-packed, Minyo-backed "Ah ah..." and "Ha...", I'd say Hosokawa made the song his own.
|That Noh mask still makes my skin crawl...|
Nama biru ga aru janai ka?
I think that translates to, "Is there any draught beer?" or, "Would you like some draught beer?" Either way, every time I hear it, I can't help but imagine Hosokawa starring in a Sapporo/Asahi beer commercial, wearing a sparkly suit with a bow tie - he looks weird with a necktie - and offering up a glass of the golden malt to the masses. Doing some research on "Oenka, Ikimasu" allowed me to find out that I wasn't too far off point in thinking that this cheerful tune would fit perfectly in a beer commercial since it did indeed star in one... not Sapporo or Asahi, but Kirin... Close enough!
On to the song's statistics. "Oenka, Ikimasu" was released on 1st May 1991 as Hosokawa's 38th single. The enka singer sang it twice on the Kohaku, in 1991, then only just last year in 2014, which was my first viewing of the year end competition. No wonder I found it so familiar, especially that "Nama biru" bit.
Here's the karaoke version with Hosokawa in it. In the later half when he faces the camera with that smile, it looks like he's in a beer commercial.