Saturday, September 24, 2016
Mina Aoe -- Shinjuku Saturday Night （新宿サタデー・ナイト）
Happy weekend! Well, I'm still a few hours shy of the actual evening but it's still Saturday, so I've decided to put in a bit of Mood Kayo via the smoky vocals of the late Mina Aoe（青江三奈）. Her 13th single "Shinjuku Saturday Night" from December 1968 is another one of her geographically-based songs topped off with a small bit of her scatting. Kaori Mizumori（水森かおり）may be the current Queen of Regional Songs but I think Aoe may have worn the tiara some decades ago.
Written by Takao Saeki（佐伯孝夫）and composed by Yoichi Suzuki（鈴木庸一）, "Shinjuku Saturday Night" is that bittersweet ballad of lovers meeting up in the titular happening place to be in Tokyo only for one of them having to inevitably head back up to his hometown in Nagano Prefecture after the tryst. But the way the song sounds, it seems as if the parting is just temporary. It might be too bad that the night is over but the fellow will probably be back next week or the week after. That trumpet and the rest of the orchestra are just having too cheerful a time.
I may have already told you once on the blog but Shinjuku is basically split up into three parts now: the new commercial area of South Shinjuku centered around that new JR station annex and the nearly 2-decade-old Takashimaya Times Square, the hotel district of West Shinjuku and the oldest area of bars, restaurants and red-light facilities in East Shinjuku. Back at the time when "Shinjuku Saturday Night" was released, perhaps East Shinjuku with Golden Gai and Kabukicho was indeed the place to be, but it's hard to imagine the time when the district was devoid of those skyscrapers and hotels in West Shinjuku. Incidentally, the funky song playing in the above video of Shinjuku of the 1970s is Junko Yagami's（八神純子）"Omoide no Screen"（思い出のスクリーン）.
Shinjuku was sometimes the place that my friends and I would head to for a movie and dinner. I could get pretty much anything I wanted for food there....from Kumamoto ramen to Italian fare, although the branches of McDonalds in the area were probably the establishments that got most of my yen. Well, hey, I was a jobbing English teacher...going to a ryotei was simply not within my budget.