Credits

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, April 3, 2017

Yosui Inoue -- Kon'ya, Watashi ni (今夜、私に)


Several weeks ago, someone asked me about this Yosui Inoue(井上陽水)song that went with the above commercial for a Nissan Cefiro from the late 1980s. Strangely enough, I recognized the ad immediately since when it comes to Inoue and TV, that commercial is the default image that I've always had of the longtime singer-songwriter. The Cefiro runs alongside the camera, the window smoothly rolls down and a beaming Inoue in his dark sunglasses nonchalantly blurts out "Minna-san, o-genki desu ka? Shitsurei shimasu"(みなさん、お元気ですか?……失礼しまーす...How are you all? Beg your pardon.). Supposedly it was ad-libbed but that whole thing imprinted itself into my memories as the quintessential Inoue moment.

However for all of this Inoue-ness, I was surprised to find out that soon after the commercial got on the air, his short friendly greeting was cut from any future broadcasts of the ad, at least for the next little while. I was kinda scratching my head at what the reason could be. I had first thought it was because he was in the driver's seat when he said that creating a possible reckless situation, but looking at the ad, that was obviously not the case at all since he was in the passenger seat and the driver on the right. Then I wondered whether a temperamental director simply didn't like Inoue ad-libbing.

As it turned out, the problem was historical timing. According to an article in the journal Asahi Bunko by columnist Yuukichi Amano(天野祐吉)via J-Wiki, the commercial had come out in 1988 at the time when the Showa Emperor (Emperor Hirohito) had been in grave condition before passing away in January 1989. It was apparently thought that Inoue giving that affable greeting to everyone in the country was inappropriate under the circumstances so the lines were cut out.


The whole situation about the controversy overshadowed the Inoue song that was playing in the background which was his 1988 single "Kon'ya, Watashi ni" (Tonight, To Me). With that title, the atmospheric arrangement, and Inoue's soft delivery, I had assumed that it was another one of his romantic ballads on the lines of his earlier "Isso Serenade" (いっそセレナーデ). However, looking at his lyrics, the image I've gotten is a fellow looking up at a moonlit sky and asking God to tell him more about this world, perhaps after going through a rough patch or reading about some of the horrors on Earth. He isn't desperate about his plight but he is concerned and curious. The haunting melody almost takes on a feeling of a solemn meeting in a church.

"Kon'ya, Watashi ni" peaked at No. 43 on Oricon.


2 comments:

  1. Wonderful blog, bro. How did not I find this before? :o

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Pedro, and thanks for your compliment. Love the thumbnail photo, by the way.

      Well, I never exactly tried to advertise the blog all these years and I kinda like it when folks stumble onto it. Are there any particular favourite singers you have?

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