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.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Katsuhiko Haida -- Tokyo no Yane no Shita (東京の屋根の下)

Working and living in the Tokyo area, there was a lot to like about the megalopolis: city centres with their own distinct personalities, great food and plenty of spots for my friends and I to enjoy. Rush hours were one of the few things that I didn't like but with my daily schedule, I was able to avoid most of them.

So when I heard and saw Kiyoshi Hikawa(氷川きよし)give his proud performance of the old chestnut "Tokyo no Yane no Shita" (Under the Roof of Tokyo) last week on "Uta Kon"(うたコン), I could relate to the ode that the lyrics were making to Japan's capital city.

"Tokyo no Yane no Shita" was originally sung by singer and heartthrob, the late Katsuhiko Haida(灰田勝彦), as one of his singles from 1949. Arranged as this contented but proud stroll of a song, Haida, who was actually born in Honolulu in 1911 and spent most of his first decade in the future American state, crooned his romantic compliments to the various areas of Tokyo such as "the love promenade of Hibiya", "the night tango of Shinjuku" and "the dream paradise of Asakusa". Somewhat florid words to be sure, but at the time of its release, Japan was still coming out of the shadow of war so perhaps people were seeing the hopes of a rebuilt Tokyo or its actual rebirth.

The song was written by Takao Saeki(佐伯孝夫)and composed by Ryoichi Hattori(服部良一).

One recommendation that I would have is to take a good long walk through one of the distinct neighborhoods of Tokyo and then make that journey from one area to another. Walking from the bustling Ueno to high-tech Akihabara would be one example. I once took an all-day journey one day during the Golden Week holidays to make that trek from Asakusa all the way down to Shibuya in about 6 hours while following (and not taking) the Ginza Line. A lot of different environments to be had, and although my feet were sore (at me) for days afterwards, it was worth it. Of course, I won't ask you to try anything quite that crazy but it goes to show that Tokyo is a great walking city.

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