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.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Naomi Kawashima -- Bara no Hana Midara (薔薇の花みだら)

(empty karaoke version)

Some sad news from the geinokai earlier today. I read on the Net that actress Naomi Kawashima(川島なお美)passed away from complications due to bile duct cancer on the night of September 24th Japan Standard Time at the age of 54. Far too young for her to leave this mortal coil. A few weeks ago, there was mass media speculation when she appeared in public looking happy but very emaciated. I saw that appearance of her as well and a warning light went off in my head. I didn't think about cancer at the time but thought that she must have just gone through a major health scare. Unfortunately, that scare ended tragically.

There was an NHK news report on their morning program paying tribute to Kawashima and stating she had started her career as a singer. Her singing career began in 1979 with "Champagne No. 5". But during my years in Japan, I only knew her as an actress and an occasional guest on TV variety shows, and also commercials like the one above she did in the 90s.

Probably her most famous work as a singer was "Gemini", a bouncy somewhat City Poppy tune from 1983 by Meiko Nakahara(中原めいこ)that is the only song I knew by her. JTM provides his own feelings and description in his article on the song. Aside from that tune, I could find another song by her, "Bara no Hana Midara" at NetEase which was released in May 1998 as her 11th and 2nd-last single. From what I've read of the lyrics by veteran Yoko Aki(阿木燿子), it's a typical love song supported by an appropriately mellow melody by Kohei Miyuki (幸耕平...who also composed "Champagne No. 5") which was the theme tune for an NTV drama starring Kawashima. As for the meaning of the title, I'm not particularly sure about the "midara" part but it could mean "Rose Obscenity" or "Rose Indecency" which sounds a tad odd but considering that she had appeared in some fairly racy roles and photobooks, perhaps it's not all that surprising.

I've seen a number of tweets and comments elsewhere and they all read as if the writers were all shaking their heads sadly. I have to say that I am one of them. Go-meifuku wo o-inori shimasu.

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