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, February 11, 2016

Hiromi Iwasaki -- Yoru no Te no Hira (夜のてのひら)

Ahhh..."Kayo Suspense Gekijo"(火曜サスペンス劇場...The Tuesday Night Suspense Drama). Now, this would be the show for the website "TV Tropes" since the program was filled with them. The dramatic intro music, the weird graphics intercut with vital scenes in the opening, the final resolution with a hat-wearing detective taking the bad guy away (well that wasn't true for the episode above). And of course, a Hiromi Iwasaki(岩崎宏美)ending theme.

Iwasaki didn't have a monopoly by any means on the ending themes for "Kayo Suspense Gekijo" but she's one of only 2 singers (the other being Mariya Takeuchi) who performed multiple themes for the show during its 24 years on NTV; the first five ending themes were done by her. As of this writing, I've already got three of those Iwasaki themes up: the proud if melancholy "Madonna Tachi no Lullaby"(聖母たちのララバイ), the dramatic "Ieji"(家路) and the urban contemporary "Ni-juu-go-ji no Ai no Uta"(25時の愛の歌). 

And here is "Yoru no Te no Hira" (The Palm of Your Hand at Night) which was her final ending theme for the series and her 41st single from October 1986. Written by Etsuko Kisugi(来生えつこ)and composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi(筒美京平), her last contribution to the show was a light and romantic number. It may have been the Kisugi sister who may have taken care of the words but the flexible Tsutsumi created a melody that sounded like something the Kisugi brother would have woven. The sister's lyrics related the woman's impressions in bed as she lay beside her paramour about what the future may bring in their relationship; the words could describe one of the quieter scenes in a "Kayo Suspense Gekijo" episode...before she finds out that the guy is...gasp...the killer.

"Yoru no Te no Hira" peaked at No. 55 on Oricon and was a track on Iwasaki's 18th album "Yokubari"(よくばり...Avarice)from 1987. The original LP got as high as No. 38.

It doesn't happen all that often on the news here but whenever I see some perp get arrested and dragged off to jail on Toronto TV, one of those Iwasaki themes start filtering through my brain. That's how much her ballads have been associated with crime shows...and with me. For the record, though, my favourite of her themes will be "Ieji". I just wanna be a wise and wizened Japanese detective whenever I hear that one.

So I gather that I will have to cover "Hashi"(橋...Bridge)the middle Iwasaki/Kayo Suspense entry sometime soon.


  1. If you're looking for a Hiromi song to write about, I'd like to point out "Hajimari no Shi, Anata He". The film that it's a theme from, "Bride of Noto", seems to have an interesting history, with a stop start history until an earthquake in the region prompted the local government to want to document its local customs. The song has also been released as a single by Misato Watanabe.

    Also, I concur with Ieji. Kyohei talked about Hiromi's belt in that article I linked to some time ago, for which he wrote Watashi Tachi. Out of her singles, Ieji probably exploits that belt the most.

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    2. Hi, folks.

      I never got to see the movie but with Izumi Pinko in there, I just knew that there was a lot of cantankerousness between her and the heroine before a happy understanding was met. As usual, Iwasaki does her splendid work with the theme song although I was surprised and delighted at the melody since I wouldn't have pegged it as a Senri Oe composition.

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