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, November 12, 2015

Kenichi Mikawa -- Tokyo Hotel (東京ホテル)

(karaoke version)

On a recent "Nodo Jiman", I heard one of the singing contestants perform what sounded like an enka called "Tokyo Hotel". Veteran singer Kenichi Mikawa(美川憲一)was one of the guests on that episode but at the time, I hadn't been aware that it was his song since my memories of his enka and Mood Kayo have been from decades back.

However, if I had paid more attention to the lyrics at the time, I would have quickly realized that "Tokyo Hotel" had actually been released in March 2000 as Mikawa's 83rd single which would be the only one he would release that year. Mitsuo Ikeda's(池田充男)lyrics talk about the woman still pining for her tryst partner a year following their encounter at that hotel by Tokyo Bay; Ikeda even places in a shoutout to Rainbow Bridge. I'm not sure how the respective management at accommodations such as the Hotel Nikko and the Hilton in Odaiba feel about possibly being the venue for an illicit affair but they would probably shrug their collective shoulders and remark that it's a typical Mood Kayo.

But that's the thing about "Tokyo Hotel". The lyrics might hint at a typical Mood Kayo theme of hotel trysting but Hideo Mizumori's(水森英夫)melody hints largely at a more enka sensibility. The music doesn't have a Latin twist nor does it have a horn section, and yet listening to the song, I feel like having a drink in a bar located inside one of those hotels that I have mentioned.

The Grand Pacific Hotel in Odaiba.
Would you like to check in under separate names, sir?

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