A few days ago on NHK's prime time news program "News Watch at 9", there was a story about the closing of a resort facility in the regional city of Kakegawa in Shizuoka Prefecture. Called the Yamaha Resort Tsumagoi（ヤマハリゾートつま恋）, it is due to shut down its doors for the last time on Christmas Day this year.
Perhaps it has been known as a leisure place but all the way back in August 1975, it gained additional fame as the venue for a huge concert of folk singers including Takuro Yoshida（吉田拓郎）and Kaguyahime（かぐや姫）which went on all night. In fact, that was what the concert was called: Takuro Yoshida and Kaguyahime All-Night Concert in Tsumagoi（吉田拓郎・かぐや姫 コンサート インつま恋）. And from the footage I saw of the concert, I could compare it to my impressions of Woodstock. Supposedly 65,000 folks were in attendance to see the kings of the J-Folk world between August 2nd and 3rd.
Almost a couple of months later in late September, Yoshida released his 10th single, "Tonari no Machi no Ojousan" (The Young Lady from the Next Town). I couldn't help but sway a bit in my seat as I listened to this happily skipping tune by the singer as he sang about falling in love with this beauty from the neighbouring berg. The music, as well as the lyrics, could describe how the heads-over-heels-in-love laddie felt as he laid his eyes on the lass for the first time. Hopefully, he didn't end up falling into a creek or something.
It's a pleasant tune by Yoshida to forget about the city life for a while. "Tonari no Machi no Ojousan" peaked at No. 4 on Oricon, and it was the first single by Yoshida to be recorded at the newly-built For Life Records (now known as For Life Music Entertainment). Now, why would I mention this fact since I usually don't get into the recording studios as part of the information? Well, it turns out that Yoshida was not only a client for the company, he was also one of the four singers who actually set it up!
Yup, Yoshida, Yosui Inoue（井上陽水）, folk singer Hitoshi Komuro（小室等）and the irascible Shigeru Izumiya (泉谷しげる...he's mellowed out some in recent years...I hope) were the fellows who became the first generation of administrators at For Life with Komuro as president while the other three became directors. I also mention the recording company since two of my favourite singers were associated with it, Miki Imai（今井美樹）and Anri（杏里）.
|Actually, a footbridge in Ito|
but it's still the same prefecture of Shizuoka.