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, January 12, 2016

Yukio Hashi -- Koi wo Suru nara (恋をするなら)

After a few weeks off for the New Year's break, NHK's "Kayo Concert"(歌謡コンサート)came back on tonight, so Tuesday night entries on "Kayo Kyoku Plus" can be about the enka/Mood Kayo once again. With a festival theme for the first show of 2016, I'd have to say that just about all the guests on stage as they were singing Sabu-chan's "Matsuri"(まつり)sounded as if there was more than just tea in the Green (Midori?) Room. Good heavens...Aki Yashiro(八代 亜紀)was bopping about like a cheerleader for her contribution of "Onna Minato Machi"(おんな港町).

Moving on...there was another one of those songs on tonight's episode that sparked off some dusty old engrams in the memory. Yes, "Koi wo Suru nara" can be categorized as an old kayo from my toddler-hood. The handsomely beautiful Keisuke Yamauchi(山内 恵介)covered it tonight but it was originally sung by Yukio Hashi(橋幸夫)whom I now consider not just an enka singer but an overall kayo generalist. He has done sweet pop reminiscent of music from decades earlier and the moodiest of Mood Kayo along with the usual enka ballads.

"Koi wo Suru nara" (If You're In Love), though, sounds almost as if it were flirting with Group Sounds and a bit of nightclub Latin. Released in August 1964 as a Hashi single, it was written by Takao Saeki(佐伯孝夫)and composed by Tadashi Yoshida(吉田正), it was also the theme song for the movie "Kodoku"(孤独...Loneliness)starring Hashi in the same year.

There are a couple of reasons that I was able to remember the song. One is Hashi's relatively higher-pitched and nasal vocals and the other is the part in the lyrics where the singer is putting forth some basic vowel sounds. Definitely helps out in karaoke. Plus the melody is sparky enough to have at least some listeners hop on the floor to do the Twist (I'm just theorizing here).

Of course, being the early 1960s, there was no Oricon which meant no rankings but it was successful enough that Hashi was able to come onto the 15th Kohaku Utagassen in 1964 for his 5th appearance to perform "Koi wo Suru Nara".

And according to J-Wiki, the song has found some traction overseas in nations like Taiwan and Singapore where it has been covered. Even Teresa Teng(テレサテン)covered it during the early days of her career.


  1. Hi J-Canuck.

    I'm glad "Kayo Concert" is back. Now I'm able to look forward to something in the week; can't wait to see Mae-Kiyo in the next episode!:)

    Anyway, I actually felt that the gang was a little out of it as they sang "Matsuri". I couldn't really hear most of them - it kinda sounded as if Keisuke Yamauchi was the only one singing with a few backup singers. As for Aki Yashiro, well, she does bounce around like that whenever she sings "Onna no Minato Machi".

    As for "Koi wo Suru nara", I'm not surprised that it's made it to Taiwan, and though I haven't heard it in Singapore, it's Latin and I think what they'll call A-go-go music definitely sounds like something that'd be popular here back in the day. I have to say that I like it too - nice way to keep the episode's upbeat mood. The "AAA III EEE" is amusing. And for once I thought that Yamauchi was the right one for it. Bishonen he may be, but I'm not a fan of his singing and in my opinion, some of the enka/kayo classics he had covered just don't sound particularly good with his voice, especially stuff by Yujiro Ishihara.

    1. Hi Noelle.

      It was good to see the program back. And yep, the guests that night sounded a bit rusty as they did "Matsuri" but I'm pretty sure the audience was quite understanding.

      I also thought it was a bit of an odd choice for Yamauchi to tackle Ishihara, but hey, perhaps after a couple of decades and goodly amounts of Old Parr and Parliaments, the lad might actually get to that shibui level. :)

    2. I wonder if Yamauchi will ever reach the shibui level... He seems too glitzy to become someone like Yujiro or George Yamamoto. But I don't know, perhaps the whiskey could help. Besides Yamauchi, I'm curious as to how the younger generation of enka singers - e.g. Kiyoshi Hikawa, Kaori Mizumori - will look like 20 years down the road. Will they tone down or continue with their glitzy-ness.

    3. It will be interesting how enka continues to evolve over the next couple of decades. I can't be sure how things will go but I believe there will always be a built-in audience for the genre.


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