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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Jun Horie -- Rouge (ルージュ)

Yes, my apologies to Yahoo! Labs for borrowing this photo but I did want to acknowledge that as of yesterday, "Kayo Kyoku Plus" reached its 5th anniversary. It has been quite the lark of a journey since I started things up at the end of January 2012. Over the past 5 years, I've been able to talk with a number of folks who have that same interest in Japanese pop music whether it be Showa Era or Heisei Era, a few of whom have been able to contribute their own articles. Indeed, it has been a good run and although I cannot say with any certainty about how long the trek will last, at this point, I guess the adventure will continue.

Once again, I give my thanks to my fellow contributors JTM, nikala, Marcos V., Noelle, jari, and Larry for their articles over the past several years. And of course, I'm also grateful to all of the commenters for their contributions to the conversation within our own little world.

The very first article I wrote for "Kayo Kyoku Plus" was for Jun Horie's(堀江淳)perky "Memory Glass" (メモリーグラス) from April 1981. This song has remained as one of my musical touchstones from the era that finally got me started down the path of enjoying kayo kyoku. Well then, I think it's most appropriate if I did write another Horie article although (with due respect for the dedicated Horie fans) "Memory Glass" was his only big hit.

"Rouge" was his 2nd single released in October of that same year. This time, the singer-songwriter created this melancholy ballad as a Dear Jane letter. The fellow here has decided to break up with a woman to spare her from any more pain since he now feels that he has been getting too obsessive with her. There's no record about whether "Rouge" charted on Oricon but it was used as the theme song for a TBS drama "Warera Doubutsu Kazoku"(われら動物家族...Our Animal Family).

Also I wanted to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Masaya Nakamura(中村雅哉), the founder of Namco who has been called "the father of Pac-Man" (although wasn't Toru Iwatani who actually designed the game?). He passed away a little over a week ago at the age of 91. While we were all in Japan during that torrid summer of 1981, my classmates enjoyed some tabletop video game fun nearby the Tokyo Prince Hotel...and got some free iced coffee, to boot. That was indeed service! I was never a huge enthusiast about video games but even I enjoyed my occasional round of Pac-Man.


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