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, August 1, 2015

Hachiro Kasuga, Hideo Murata, Michiya Mihashi & Haruo Minami -- Natsu Matsuri Nippon no Uta (夏祭り にぽんのうた)

During the months of July and August, many music shows like "Kayo Concert" and the "Thursday 8 o'clock Concert" (木曜8時のコンサート), which is basically like the former but on TV Tokyo instead of NHK and it's aired on Thursdays, would have episodes revolving around the theme of the hottest season of the year. Songs sung would most likely be jaunty, sometimes festive, and maybe even raucous. Some will have the sea/beach involved as well, just like this Tuesday's installment of "Kayo Concert"; it even had dolphins doing flips and sniggering beluga whales! Also, depending on the program, your favourite singers may appear wearing this... coat thing that looks like a haori in blue or red over their suits/dresses/kimonos and holding fans. Noelle from 11/9/2017: Apparently, what I was describing is called a happi.

So that brings me to today's main point. Since it is dead in the middle of summer (if you're not in the southern hemisphere), I've decided to share a segment from an episode of one such summer-themed music show called "Natsu Matsuri Nippon no Uta" that aired in July 1982. Performing then were the San'nin no Kai (三人の会) that comprised of Hachiro Kasuga (春日八郎), Hideo Murata (村田英雄) and Michiya Mihashi (三橋美智也), and to make things even better, Murata's friendly rival Haruo Minami (三波春夫) was added to the mix. The overall atmosphere of this bit was festive with the audience (and the ladies behind) clapping along to the music and two fellows in the back thumping on the drums.The quartet themselves were decked out in kimonos of slightly varying patterns and had fans in hand as they took turns to sing a hit from their own sizable repertoires.

Hachi got the ball rolling with the lighthearted and whimsical "Otomi-San" (お富さん), which was then followed by Minami's "Chanchiki Okesa" (チャンチキおけさ). In terms of meaning, I don't think it's the most cheerful song since it's about missing home, but the rhythmic, peppy score makes it fit right in with the merry mood. Moving down the line, Muchi was up next to sing "Minna no Shu" (皆の衆), which happens to be my favourite part from this positively aMAzing medley.

Finally, Michi rounded the segment up with the solemn "Tasha de na" (達者でナ). Just like "Chanchiki Okesa", it's not the happiest song in the world, and combining it's quiet music with Mihashi's heartbreaking delivery didn't make it anymore cheerful. But since "Tasha de na" served as the last of the four with the first three being rather loud and rowdy, I think of it as winding down and eventually saying goodbye after a whole day/night of fun with friends and family. Just as a side note, during Mihashi's hip and disco days as "Mitchie" in the late 70's (I think), he seemed to have done a self-cover of the song, calling it "Bye-Bye Horse", which I find pretty funny.

Well, that about does it for this article. Hope y'all enjoy your summer, or at least whatever that remains of it. Oh yeah, just one more thing. Another summer staple that is aired every August is the "Omoide no Melody" (思い出のメロディー), where the general public gets to request for their favourite songs; the most voted songs get to be sung on TV. I missed last year's one because I didn't know it was a thing, but I'm game to catch it this year, which would be broadcast in the coming Saturday, 8th August. I've seen the line-up for the show, and I saw that Hiroshi Itsuki (五木ひろし) is going to have a go at one of my favourite Mood Kayo/kayokyoku of all time, originally sung by Tough Guy, Yujiro Ishihara (石原裕次郎). I really hope he does a good job with it... but you know, no pressure Itsuki.

I couldn't find a picture with all 4,
so here's one with Murata and Minami.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Noelle.

    Thanks for the fine write-up on the summer kayo special. Yep, it is indeed that time of year when everyone gets out in the yukata and hits the festival circuit. In my time in Japan, I usually got to see the fireworks festivals in Tokyo and Yokohama. Blistering hot as usual, but the fireworks are indeed spectacular.

    Will be looking forward to "Omoide no Melody" this weekend.


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