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.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Hiroshi Itsuki -- Deai Bashi (であい橋)

There's always a first to everything, so at the start of the month it was the first time I felt an absurd amount of glee in flipping a calendar. What you see up there is the Itsuki photo for February in his 2016 calendar. I like it more than January's; I prefer him in a suit than a kimono, all the more without any sort of tie; it makes him look suave. And it has a nice colour scheme too.

Well, coming back to the topic at hand. I have to admit that I hadn't been checking in on my Hiroshi Itsuki (五木ひろし) playlist all that much and there are still quite a number of songs from his 2014 compilation album I have yet to sample. That was until I discovered "Deai Bashi" which was one of the later tracks. After doing my article on "Hakata A La Mode" (博多ア・ラ・モード) and checking out the 2 versions of that single, having already taken a liking to three-quarters of what they had to offer, I had the urge to listen to "Deai Bashi", the B-side of the first version of "Hakata A La Mode"

Anyway, I thought that "Deai Bashi" was quite a good follow up to it's A-side. Composed by Itsuki himself, though there's not much of a Latin flavour to it, it proceeds at a somewhat brisk but steady pace and leans more to the genre of pop, especially with the muscular notes from the electric guitar comes in. "Deai Bashi" is also set in Fukuoka, this time featuring the bridge was built over the Nakasu river, the Fuku-Haku Deai Bridge, so named because it was where the towns of Fukuoka and Hakata met way, way, way back in the day, according to this site called "TENJIN STYLE". In Ryusei Sameshima's (鮫島琉星) lyrics, I'm guessing that the bridge is used as a rendezvous spot for a couple. I can imagine that half of our pair here lives on one side of the river while the other on the other, and having not seen each other for a while due to other commitments - I don't know, maybe a week? A month, to make it more dramatic? - they greet each other with a passion-filled embrace in the middle of the titular bridge with the night scene glowing behind them... Sounds like music video material right there.

Just a little something to wrap up the article: while in Taiwan last year, besides some CDs, I managed to find 3 somewhat recent editions of this enka-yo book called "Shin-kyoku Kayo Hit Sokuho" (新曲歌謡ヒット速報). It's basically a compilation of the lyrics and score to 2 months worth of new enka/kayokyoku, and in volume 125 (for September and August 2013) I managed to find Itsuki's "Deai Bashi" under the "Request Corner".


  1. Hello, Noelle.

    You are right about the brisk and steady pace for "Deai Bashi". Although there is that contemporary arrangement, the song still has that nostalgic feeling for me. It also has that somewhat muscular edge to it as if someone like George Yamamoto could also tackle it.

    Glad to hear that the calendar is doing good by you!

    1. I could imagine Yamamoto singing "Deai Bashi", but I imagine that his version would have more electric guitar. Yep, I am enjoying the calendar and I'm finally used to having a large picture of Itsuki hanging in my room.


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