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 1, 2015

Yoshio Tabata -- Ame no Yatai (雨の屋台)


Not too long ago, I managed to find this video that had Makoto Fujita (藤田まこと) making a guest appearance on Yoshio Tabata's (田端義夫) concert, or at least that's what it looked like. While the one above only shows the tail end of that meeting, the full version had the two late veterans discussing about the upcoming song. Fujita was saying that he had done an impression of Batayan in his younger days, or at least something on that line, and the song he sang while doing so was none other than "Ame no Yatai". That was followed by the both of them singing this very song, Fujita taking the lead and demonstrating his decent interpretation of the electric guitarist's quivering vocal delivery, and later joined by Tabata himself. And just as much as I was enthralled by these old-timers - well, not really... yet - performing side by side, I enjoyed "Ame no Yatai".

Listening to what I thought was the original recording of "Ame no Yatai" in the video here, it sounded like a fun little ditty with it's happy-go-lucky, jolly score that brings the image of someone skipping along the streets in a carefree manner under the pouring rain. The metallic notes from the electric guitar, the strings, and the breezy way Batayan's high voice bounces (for want of a better description) over the words really makes this newer version - as I had later learnt - of "Ame no Yatai" sound like one of those stereotypical tunes that you'd hear coming out from ancient gramophones when one of these contraptions is depicted in some modern day show.


As for the original from 1950, it's a lot slower in pace and it actually sounds a little more on the forlorn side. So rather than skipping and reveling in the rain, our lead is probably sitting at home or at a bar and looking out of the water-streaked windows and musing at the fact that its pouring out there again. I prefer the new version of "Ame no Yatai", it's more amusing to listen to.

Before I forget, "Ame no Yatai" was written by lyricist Ryo Yano (矢野亮), who had also penned a number of songs for enka oldies like Hachiro Kasuga (春日八郎) and Michiya Mihashi (三橋美智也). And the music was composed by Ichiro Tone (利根一郎).

Hmm, I'm starting to like Batayan quite a bit... wonder if it's his distinctive vocal delivery or the weird way he always plays his guitar.


  1. Hi, Noelle.

    Considering the title, the original version probably had Tabata singing under the flimsy roof of an outdoor ramen or oden stand while the rain was coming down steadily. Probably not the happiest environment but at least he's got a nice warm bowl to keep him filled. I didn't get to see too many of the roving yatai in Tokyo (most likely a dying breed) but was able to have a nice steaming bowl of oden near Ginza one night at a yatai.

    1. Hi J-Canuck,

      I just found out what a yatai is... I had assumed that it's one of those old drinking establishments, but turns out a yatai is just a little food stand, so your description of Batayan under a ramen stand seems more apt.

      I saw quite a few of the yatai in Asakusa (so far my favourite place in Tokyo), near the Sensoji Temple, but I think they only open on the weekends. I remember getting a chocolate-covered banana from one of those stands.

    2. Hi Noelle.

      I realize that you and your family will be heading up to Hokkaido next year, but perhaps on the next trip after that, you can try out the other end of Japan in Fukuoka. Tons of yatai there.

      Asakusa is where I used to work, and my hotel was right in the area, so it's quite the familiar place to me. I used to see those chocolate-covered bananas all the time but never managed to purchase one in all my years there. I usually went for the banana surrounded in whipped cream and sponge cake at the convenience stores for breakfast. :)


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.