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.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Aki Yashiro -- Ai no Shuuchaku Eki (愛の終着駅)

It's becoming a Tuesday night ritual with me as I pick out another old kayo from "Kayo Concert". The theme tonight was on love letters, and one of the songs was "Ai no Shuuchaku Eki" (Love's Last Station) by Aki Yashiro(八代亜紀). Written by Mitsuo Ikeda(池田光男)and composed by Shinichi Nozaki(野崎眞一), this was one of Yashiro's original singles from September 1977. It peaked at No. 13, and although it wasn't the song she sang at the 1977 Kohaku, she did get her chance to sing it on the 1992 show.

Yashiro's performance tonight was a bit growly so I actually preferred her earlier takes. Right from the title, "Ai no Shuuchaku Eki" sounds like it was created for its own segment on that old show "Enka no Hanamichi"(演歌の花道), and I have no doubt that it most likely did make it onto TV Tokyo. I'm sure there was a set of a passenger train heading up north with the snow steadily coming down as Yashiro sadly sings her ballad of heartbreak as she writes her letter pleading her paramour to return.

The song is listed as a straight kayo kyoku. And I guess I can't be that surprised since I'm not quite sure whether to place it solidly as an enka ballad or as a Mood Kayo tune, although I'm tending more toward the latter genre since I think this could be sung easily by the late Keiko Fuji(藤圭子). And perhaps she did.

(I'm sorry but the video has been taken down.)

And speaking of covers, Hiroshi Itsuki(五木ひろし)did his crooning best on the song.

I remembered that the late Minako Honda(本田美奈子)was trying out some other genres after getting out of the aidoru business. One of those genres happened to be enka and she actually popped up on "Music Fair" one time in kimono. I can't remember which song she sang on the program but it may have actually been "Ai no Shuuchaku Eki" since the background looks just like it's from that very program.


  1. Was it Kita no Yado Kara that you remembered Minako singing? This clip was from 1990, after her idol and rock phases, but just before Miss Saigon. It seems to have been one of her favourite songs, as there's a clip of her from the mid-80s singing it, and another clip (that I've posted before) of her in 1994 singing it a capella.

    Talking about enka, I found this clip somewhere, which isn't online any more alas, of Hiromi Iwasaki singing Romance in 1977 or thereabouts. How is this enka, you may ask. Well, she sang it twice. First, she sang it in normal mode. Then the instrumentation turned enka, with lutes and the stereotypical enka arrangement, while she sang in full enka mode, wobbly throaty vibrato and all.

    1. Hello there.

      It could've been "Kita no Yado Kara" but I just can't remember the song specifically...just the fact that it was "Music Fair". I wasn't all that keen on her aidoru phase and knew nothing about her time in rock although I remember one fairly wild album cover. But when she performed enka on the show, I thought "Hey, maybe she has the chops for the genre".


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