Ahhh...Shin-Nakamise Dori in Asakusa. I walked up and down this street a whole heck of a lot during my first couple of years in Tokyo. To be honest, I usually hit the McDonalds for lunch (you can see it on the right of the photo) but sometimes, a fellow teacher and I did hit one of the local eateries. If I go there again, I will definitely have to try something down-home and healthier.
For those who have read about me through the articles over the past 5 years, you may have already realized that I'm not much of a social drinker and never have been...which is kinda ironic considering that I was living in what is probably one of the densest conurbations for bars in the world. I'm sure Asakusa has its share of watering holes but my branch of NOVA in the area was a very small one compared to the big school in Ueno where I trained so the number of drink-ready teachers was not very big at all. We teachers at the Asakusa school never really went out together after a shift during my time there, and of course, due to NOVA's Prime Directive of no teacher-student fraternization (well, more of a guideline than a directive depending on where a teacher was stationed) outside of the school, there were no get-togethers at the local izakaya among us.
In a way, that was kinda too bad since I would have had a better insight into the life of a Mood Kayo-loving pub crawler. Then again, my liver is still working normally so things are good. Furthermore, I still enjoy my Mood Kayo which brings me to this article featuring sumo rikishi-turned-enka crooner Daishiro Masuiyama（増位山太志郎）.
The first two songs I covered about Masuiyama were released much later in his career...namely this decade and were either full enka or a straddle between enka and Mood Kayo. Well, this particular song that I discovered, "Sonna Night Pub" (That Kind of Night Pub) goes all the way back to his early singing days in 1978, and I think this goes full into Mood Kayo. Well, with a title that has "night pub", that would be rather obvious, wouldn't it?
And "Sonna Night Pub" is a comfortable number with all of the tropes of the genre: the strong strings, the chorus, the chirpy sax, the crooning delivery by Masuiyama and that arrangement which brings to mind a classy and smoky drinking joint. Composed by Koji Tokuhisa（徳久広司）and written by Ryo Mizuki（水木 怜）, the ballad is pretty interesting since it may involve a seen-it-all hostess or regular customer who has traveled from club to club across the nation (Sapporo to Tokyo to Hakata) and has had her fair share of paramours. It's either that or each verse has a different regional hostess/client talking about her own experiences.
I may not have been a regular barfly but Mood Kayo tunes are fully appreciated by yours truly. There's nothing like such a tune to bring back those memories of walking through the venerable parts of Tokyo.