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.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Chiyoko Shimakura -- Honki Kashira (ほんきかしら)

The late Chiyoko Shimakura(島倉千代子)had always struck me as the quintessential self-effacing enka singer in a kimono when she appeared on stage. And even on the above image for the video, she looked naturally far younger but wore that kimono with her hair done up just as I always remembered her.

Last night on "Kayo Concert", Sayuri Ishikawa(石川さゆり)sang one of Shimakura's old songs called "Honki Kashira" (I Wonder If That's So?), and it was fun enough so that I actually looked it up. Instead of the enka, this is a Mood Kayo number coquettishly sung by a young Shimakura which comes across like some sort of courtship between a man and a woman on the dance floor. The feeling is resolutely a light tango with the singer being backed up by a male chorus. The singer isn't exactly immune to the suitors' charms but she isn't going to relent all that quickly either.

"Honki Kashira" was released in 1966. It was written by Tokiko Iwatani(岩谷時子)and composed by Keishiro Tsuchida(土田啓四郎), and the single became a hit for Shimakura as it sold over 600,000 records. It also earned her a 10th straight appearance on the Kohaku Utagassen that year. Shimakura actually appeared 35 times on the NHK special with her final bow taken in 2004.

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