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, January 13, 2017

Hibari Misora -- Yukyo Kaido (遊俠街道)

At this time, I'm trying to make sure that I'm not coming down with a major first in several years. Our upstairs neighbour is apparently doing some major renovations to his/her unit which includes a lot of hammering and drilling. It would be all too easy to dash up and give the person a piece of my mind but the resident has every right to make changes and I don't think he/she is even obligated to let any of us know (the noise is rumbling through both floors) in advance about any noisy work. In Japan, it's usually the custom to pay courtesy visits to the neighbours and let them know about the din to come.

(karaoke version)

Still, I decided to put on some old 45" platters on the player to at least try to forget about the rumble and I came across this old Hibari Misora(美空ひばり)single called "Yukyo Kaido" (The Road of a Chivalrous Person) which had been released back in March 1964.

I'm starting to develop the theory that The Queen of Kayo Kyoku was the Madonna or even David Bowie of those times. She took on a number of personae whether it be the uncannily talented little girl, the enka madam or the jazz entertainer. But perhaps during the early 1960s, I think she was also inhabiting the body of a courteous Edo Era warrior.

In that year of 1964, she sang the grand and brassy "Yawara"(柔)pertaining to the martial art of judo although I pictured her more in the garb of a samurai rather than in a judogi. And with "Yukyo Kaido", there was no doubt about Misora's character. She took on the role of a proud warrior willing to live each day as it comes, whether it will be the one to continue living or the one to die. No matter what, though, the warrior knows that the life will most likely be a short but exciting one.

Yaso Saijo(西條八十)provided the lyrics while Masao Koga(古賀政男)composed the confident and strutting music that Misora interprets with her usual gusto.

At this point, I will keep that chivalry in mind as I endure some more of that drilling over my head.


  1. Hi J-Canuck.

    Dang, that renovation sounds like some major (-ly terrible) stuff, from your description. Hope the noisy work would be done as soon as possible.

    Anyway, what a song from the Misora. The grandness of Koga's melody fits her title as the Kayo Queen. "Yukyo Kaido" sounds like a powerful combo of "Osho" and "Yawara", and the banging taiko and blaring trumpets seem just right to cover the din from above.

    The way Misora portrayed herself in this video reminded me of Hideo Murata. And speaking of enka's tough guy, I'm sure he would've covered "Yukyo Kaido" well.

    1. Hi, Noelle.

      If anything the drilling sounded just a teensy bit quieter than this YouTube video:

      Y'know, I wouldn't be surprised if Murata had covered it sometime later.

    2. Wow, that's an awfully specific video. And then again YouTube does have almost anything under the sun. But now I see where you'd get the headache from. Seems like leaving the house is the best preventive action then.

    3. Oh my word. I hope Friday was the final day. Not sure if I can take another day on Monday.


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