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.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Rumiko Koyanagi -- Kyo no Niwaka Ame (京のにわか雨)

Actually the above pagoda is the one located in the Sensoji Temple area of Asakusa, Tokyo rather than any place in Kyoto since we never went there last time. Plus, fortunately enough, it was nice and clear on that hint of rain.

The most recent episode of "Uta Kon" (うたコン) had the theme of Kyoto kayo. And according to J-Wiki, this 1972 song by Rumiko Koyanagi(小柳ルミ子)"Kyo no Niwaka Ame" (Rain Showers of Kyoto) has been seen as one of the most famous examples.

In fact, after Koyanagi's first two big No. 1s of "Watashi no Joukamachi"(わたしの城下町)and "Seto no Hanayome"(瀬戸の花嫁), "Kyo no Niwaka Ame", her 5th single, was her third chart topper from August 1972. Yukino Ichikawa's(市川由紀乃)rendition of the song on "Uta Kon" seemed a bit more staid than the original version which had that familiar 1970s urban orchestral oomph, thanks to Masaaki Hirao's(平尾昌晃)melody and Kenichiro Morioka's(森岡賢一郎)arrangement. Still there was that musical pluckiness in there which hinted at its tribute to Kyoto.

Rei Nakanishi's(なかにし礼)lyrics had Koyanagi singing about lost love in Japan's former capital. It's sad but considering the surrounding environment, it was a beautiful form of melancholy. My father never got the original 45" but according to J-Wiki, the original record jacket for the single had a picture of the area surrounding the pagoda at Houkan-ji Temple in Kyoto, supposedly where the poor woman of the song had been walking in the rain without an umbrella. I couldn't imagine such a song being created now since cheap umbrellas are so plentiful at the nearby convenience store for a mere 100 yen.

Not only did "Kyo no Niwaka Ame" reach No. 1 on the Oricion weeklies, it became the 7th-ranked single of 1972.

Here is a tour video of that pagoda.

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