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, August 4, 2015

Masahiko Kondo -- Orokamono (愚か者)

The other day, I saw a far more weathered Masahiko "Matchy" Kondo(近藤真彦)show up on the NHK morning wide show, "Asaichi" to talk about his career and life after which he performed one of his famous songs, "Orokamono" (Fool). I haven't written a whole lot about Matchy but what I have talked about has been on his early tunes in the early 80s when he was playing the role of the hyper teenage rebel.

"Orokamono" was released on New Year's Day 1987 as Kondo's 23rd single, and although he was still nowhere near middle age at that point, his role in the song seemed to be that of a more worldly, or perhaps more world-weary, fellow giving some tough-guy reassurance to a woman who might be his kid sister or a former flame after going off the rails. In his performances of the song, there was none of that high-energy grinning and dancing that represented his music from the early days. It was just him, the mike and the hard attitude.

I remembering seeing Matchy singing "Orokamono" a number of times on the video rentals of "The Best 10" and the other music shows, and in fact, I managed to purchase a compilation album of Japanese pop music in Chinatown which had the song as well. Written by Ayumi Date伊達歩...which is actually a pen name for author/lyricist Shizuka Ijuin) and composed by Takayuki Inoue(井上堯之), the song went all the way up to No. 2 on the Oricon charts and became the 35th-ranked song for 1987. As well, it was responsible for him getting onto that year's Kohaku Utagassen for the 7th of 9 times.

Now that Matchy is indeed in middle age, I think the song fits him even more like a glove now.

The song has been covered a number of times by other artists but here is composer Takayuki Inoue himself giving his own version with help from rock singer-composer Ryudo Uzaki(宇崎竜童). Speaking of Inoue, the man also happens to be the one behind one of the most famous TV theme songs in Japan.


  1. Didn't he win the Japan Record Award with this song?

  2. Hello there. Indeed he did...overlooked that point. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. I am going overboard with comments today. I haven't been able to visit in a while! I love this song, though I will forever link it with his mum's death and the ash-stealing incident. I think it was after this that Johnny's no longer participated in the JRA - you may want to take this with a grain of salt though, I am a pretty unreliable source.

    Oh, there's a Matcchy song I'd like to recommend. Its actually a cover by Matcchy, from what I know. The song was originally composed by The Blue Hearts. Well, technically, according to the story, Matcchy was good friends with Hiroto Komoto, and he wrote the song for Matcchy. The Blue Hearts made their own version of the song which I like better. You're probably familiar with the song as its sung every year after this song debuted, usually during the year end countdown. The title is Adalusia ni Akogarete.

    1. Hello, Yuie-chan.

      I will have to take a look for this "Adalusia ni Akogarete". Never heard it before. Thanks.


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