Anyway, the Murata album, that was released in mid-2015, had 3 discs in it, with the first 2 having the enka singer's original singles and the last featuring covers of ryukoka. As I read through the song list of the latter, one track in particular caught my eye. I had seen this title many a times and watched a number of enka singers tackle it on "Nippon no Uta", but for some reason I never paid attention to it despite telling myself to do so. That song is "Meigetsu Akagiyama". It was originally sung in 1939 by Taro Shoji (東海林太郎), a ryukoka veteran from Akita whose known for his trademark round glasses on his face and tailcoat on his back. Though there isn't much information on this song as there is to Shoji's earlier single that also refers to this mountain in Gunma, "Akagiyama no Komoriuta" (赤城の子守唄), judging by how often it appears on TV, it looks like "Meigetsu Akagiyama" was and is well received by the crowd.
As I listened to "Meigetsu Akagiyama" again a few days ago, its foreboding music with the haunting notes of what I think is the koto, brought to you by composer Hiroshi Kikuchi (菊地博), reminded me of another moon related song that came out almost 2 decades later, "Otsuki-San Konbanwa" (お月さん今晩は). However, in my opinion "Meigetsu Akagiyama" doesn't feel as melancholic despite sounding quite similar. For some reason I think of an assassin/ninja slinking around in the shadows rather than a homesick fellow gazing wistfully at the moon. It's probably because "Meigetsu Akagiyama" has got something to do with the ronin - Choji Yajima's (矢島寵児) lyrics do have the keywords "Sandogasa" (三度笠), which you would usually hear in songs featuring these wandering warriors.
Well, I couldn't find Muchi's rendition of "Meigetsu Akagiyama", but here's Aya Shimazu's (島津亜矢) instead. It looks like she sings it often, and she does a good job with it - the ferocity in which she growls that spoken bit is impressive.