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.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

北国の春 / Kitaguni no Haru

        I recently found myself down a Youtube music hole, as I often do, and ended up on this video of Toshimi Togawa (田川寿美).
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        As soon as the intro hit I knew I'd heard the song before, but sung by someone else.
It took around 20 minutes of me going through my iTunes library before I found Wo He Ni by Teresa Teng. 
     The original Japanese song, Kitaguni No Haru (Spring in the north country) was first sung in 1977 by Masao Sen (千昌夫) and there seems to be versions in various Asian languages. The Teng version is in Mandarin and the lyrics are different (Wo He Ni translates as "You and Me".)
Of course, Teresa was singing and releasing records in Japanese at the time, and there exists a recording of her singing the original Japanese version of the song as well.
The Japanese lyrics are from the perspective of someone from a small town in presumably Hokkaido, who has since left for the big city. This is a common general theme in Enka songs of the era, of course during this time many Japanese were leaving small towns for cities.
the string section flourishes and drawn out vocals really give the track a springtime longing sort of feel.

And there's a great version by one of my favorites, Fuji Keiko (藤圭子.)



She certainly brought a soulful, sultry touch to everything she did. 

3 comments:

  1. Hi, kokoronokizu.

    Sen's version is quite earthy but Tagawa's take also has this wonderful down-home feeling as well. Teng's cover of "Kitaguni no Haru" has this ethereal quality and Fuji pleasantly surprised me with her version since I usually associate her with those Shinjuku blues songs.

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