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, May 22, 2016

Yujiro Ishihara -- Sayonara Yokohama (サヨナラ横浜 )

As to how I found "Sayonara Yokohama" by Yujiro Ishihara (石原裕次郎) that I didn't even know existed: I was bored.

Sundays tend to be a lazy day for me and half of me is willing to just kick back, relax and vegetate and let my brain temporarily become a piece of tofu. The other half of me, on the other hand, adamantly refuses to let the last day of the weekend go to waste and insists I get up off my seat and do something. Anything. This often puts me in the uncomfortable position of being caught between being bored because I'm not being productive and wanting to do something but being too lazy to do whatever it is. This Sunday in particular, I couldn't stand floating in that annoying limbo any longer and so I decided to go with doing something that satisfies the contradicting desires, and that was to listen to some enka.

I was in the mood for all things Hiroshi Itsuki (五木ひろし), which had me revisiting a few familiar tunes as well as a couple which I normally overlook. A number of songs in and with my boredom somewhat quelled, I noticed Tough Guy's "Sayonara Yokohama" in the suggestion column, and since it piqued my interest I put my exploration of Itsuki-songs on hold and went ahead to check it out.

It turned out to be another soothing, jazzy Mood Kayo number, and for some random YouTube pick, it was way better than what I expected. And I must say that Yujiro's usual boozy delivery feels more pained and forlorn in this one. From Rei Nakanishi's (なかにし礼) lyrics, I'm guessing that the fellow is setting off to foreign soil via a boat from Yokohama and so he's bidding both his lover and the city he loves an emotional farewell. Composing the music was Shiro Yuzuriha (ユズリハ・シロー).

"Sayonara Yokohama" was released in July 1971 and was apparently one of Ishihara's more successful singles, selling about 550 000 copies.

To round off the article, I'd like to briefly highlight another find. Soon after "Sayonara Yokohama", I picked Itsuki's "Aishitsuzukeru Bolero" (愛しつづけるボレロ). Next best decision of the day. Seeing the man suavely tapping on the piano while singing the upbeat, tango-esque tune had the jaw dropping and the heart flying out of the chest.

*Sigh* ~ Dang, he's sexy in this video... ... ~.~


  1. Hi, Noelle.

    Yep, The Tough Guy has always been dependable for his brand of musical scotch. Like you, I had never heard of "Sayonara Yokohama" but it's another soothing and crooning ballad about night life in one of Japan's major cities. Nice to see it was such a big hit as well.

    Good call on Itsuki's "Aishitsuzukeru Bolero". It may not be one of his bigger hits but it still remains a favourite of mine. Very classy and Mood-y!

    1. Hi J-Canuck.

      What made me pick "Aishitsuzukeru Bolero" was I recalled seeing you choose this song for Itsuki to "sing" in your fantasy Kohaku team. I was wondering why you had gone with this rather than his other hits. Well, I got my answer.

      I enjoy "Aishitsuzukeru Bolero" too, and the video of Itsuki on the piano is a bonus... Or, in my case, it may be the other way round......:)


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