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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, September 8, 2015

Masayoshi Tsuruoka & Tokyo Romantica -- Kimi wa Kokoro mo Tsuma dakara (君は心の妻だから)


Ah, I really do love watching the Mood Kayo-themed episodes on "Kayo Concert", last night's one was no exception. That's when some of the geriatric Mood Kayo All Stars make their rare and much anticipated (by me) appearance on this music program to sing hits from way back in the 50's, 60's and 70's when the genre was at its peak of popularity, some of which have already been profiled on this blog. For this week's episode, the All Stars that performed were Los Primos, Los Indios and Masayoshi Tsuruoka & Tokyo Romantica (鶴岡雅義と東京ロマンチカ). Unfortunately no Mahina Stars or Happy & Blue's former lead singer, Hideo Morimoto (森本英世), like last year, but oh well. I was actually hoping that it would be like last year's episode where not a single performer was below the age of 50 - that was a lot's of fun to watch.

Coming to today's main topic, I've decided to write about Tokyo Romantica's "Kimi wa Kokoro mo Tsuma dakara", which is a staple when it comes to these Mood Kayo-themed episodes. It's quiet and haunting in terms of its music, done by Tsuruoka. The notes from the acoustic guitar gives it an air of mystery too. Then we have Masato Sanjo's (三条正人) fruity and heartbreaking vocals that make this song sound extra melancholic; I can't help but think of some poor sap staring despondently into his brandy/sake as he struggles to deal with his problems (lady trouble, perhaps?) when this song comes up. But Rei Nakanishi's (なかにし礼) lyrics seem to tell a different story. From what I gather, our lead is trying to comfort his wife (I think, I'm not sure if the wife mentioned in the title is literal or figurative), assuring her that he loves her and that they'll see each other again. Such a scenario brings to mind another classic from this genre, "Nakanaide" (泣かないで), by the Mahina Stars.

To be frank, when I first encountered "Kimi wa Kokoro mo Tsuma dakara" via monomane talent Korokke's (コロッケ) shenanigans close to two years ago, before I even knew anything about this genre, I did not like it at all due to its sluggish pace. I had half the mind to skip it and move on to something more lively, but stayed because his impression of Sanjo that, while not particularly spot on and heavily exaggerated as I had learnt after watching the man himself sing, was pretty amusing. Over time and many viewings of that same video - it had his other performances as well - the tune slowly grew on me. However, I must admit that I still have to be in a more patient state of mind if I want to appreciate it.


"Kimi wa Kokoro mo Tsuma dakara" was Tokyo Romantica's 10th single that came out on 5th March 1969. Besides "Otaru no Hito yo" (小樽のひとよ), it's one of their most successful singles, selling around 500 000 copies. The group sang this song two times on the Kohaku, first was in 1969 (2nd appearance) and the next was in 1973 (6th and last appearance).

You know, the thing that bugs me the most about these Mood Kayo groups is that they hardly, if ever, look cool when posing for the single covers. I think it's because there are just too many of them.

www.asahi-net.or.jp

Just a little fun fact to round things up for this article: Tsuruoka (leader and guitarist of Tokyo Romantica) was one of renowned enka composer Masao Koga's (古賀政男) students. Why am I not surprised?

5 comments:

  1. Hi, Noelle.

    Yeah, that was a fine episode of "Kayo Concert" wasn't it? Nice to hear all the bar-friendly tunes.

    It would be easy to paint "Kimi wa Kokoro mo Tsuma dakara" as one of the saddest Mood Kayo on record, especially with the wailing from the backup singers, but just from reading the title "Because You Are The Wife Of My Heart", I think the lyrics were quite a bit more reassuring. Still, this is definitely suited for a Double Bourbon on the Rocks.

    As for the nerdy poses for the record covers, I guess the photographers and photo subjects felt that they needed to keep up appearances from high school.

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    1. Hi J-Canuck,

      It was a fine episode indeed, and I got to listen to some "new" Mood Kayo too, like that Nagasaki song Eiko Segawa sang (can't remember the title) and Los Indios & Silvia's "Uso yo Konya mo" - I really like this one, it's like "Wakarete mo Suki na Hito" but with a more playful charm.

      And those poses on the record covers... well, they could have tried to look a little more dignified, even if they want to keep up appearances from high school... right? It's either that or what we see on the covers are what was considered cool and suave (?) back in the 50's and 60's and 70's.

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    2. Hello, Noelle.

      Segawa sang "Nagasaki no Yoru wa Murasaki". Actually, I've got a link to a page which gives out all of the episodes of "Kayo Concert" for the last 3 months, so I can still find out the songs with ease: http://www4.nhk.or.jp/utacon/5/

      As for the record covers, it's very likely that was what was considered cool and suave....or perhaps proper might have been the more appropriate thing to say about the poses. When I was working at the junior high school in Gunma a quarter-century ago, the teachers, kids and I had to do the class picture while out on the school trip in Kyoto. I distinctly remember the photographer telling all of us "DON'T smile!" It was like a group passport photo.

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    3. Ah, I see, so that's the name of Segawa's song. Thanks!

      Well, I suppose everyone was expected to look unnaturally proper during that time to the point that it looked goofy - stand/sit up straight, look into the camera with a stoic look on one's face (a slight smile, if at all) and, of course, while wearing a suit/tux. Wow, but that photographer ordering you guys not to smile while taking a field trip photo is just... wow! First time I've heard of something like that. Sounds like the photographer was trying to take a prim and proper class photo for the school year book - y'know, the one that represents the class and just shows you who's in it - rather than trying to capture the excitement and happiness of the kids while on the trip. Well, but that was 25 years ago. Right now, they always encourage you to smile and have fun shots with people posing and doing weird stuff, like holding a crutch in one hand while saluting with the other, kinda like the Queen's Guard (two fellas did that at a class party a couple of weeks ago).

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    4. Yeah, I'm hoping that things have relaxed over there in the last 25 years. The only way that I could even get pics of the kids having fun and relaxing was taking them with my own camera; they were quite cooperative.

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