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 3, 2017

Midori Hatakeyama -- Koi wa Kamiyo no Mukashi kara (恋は神代の昔から)

Last night, instead of the usual episode of "Uta Kon"(うたコン), there was the annual charity kayo concert in Fukushima Prefecture on NHK in which a variety of singers appeared to sing everything from enka to pop. One of the highlights for me was seeing singer-seiyuu Nana Mizuki(水樹奈々)perform an enka tune during a tribute to the late composer Shosuke Ichikawa(市川昭介)who passed away over a decade ago. As I have mentioned before, she may be more famous and popular for her rock-out material and voice work on anime but the lass did get her training in enka, so I wasn't surprised to hear her belt out an oldie with aplomb.

That song was "Koi wa Kamiyo no Mukashi kara" (Love is from the Ancient Times) as originally performed by Midori Hatakeyama(畠山みどり). Composed by Ichikawa and written by Tetsuro Hoshino(星野哲郎)as Hatakeyama's debut single in 1962, the title might hint at an age-old ballad but it's actually a very jaunty piece about a very aggressive woman not holding back her confessions of love for that man of hers.

It's a grand-sounding song helped out by Hatakeyama's brassy but slightly coquettish delivery. This is one lady who will not take NO for an answer. The song was an auspicious beginning for the singer who had actually come south to Tokyo from her home prefecture of Hokkaido after graduating from high school to become a designer (a designer of what I don't know) but had always harboured a desire to become a singer. She would have more hits later on and appeared on the Kohaku Utagassen three times in the 1960s but none of them featured "Koi wa Kamiyo no Mukashi kara". Perhaps the song may have been a little too brash for the times.

I tried to look for any video of Mizuki's performance but considering that it had only been broadcast within the last couple of days, it will probably be a few more days at least before someone decides to upload it. However, "Koi wa Kamiyo no Mukashi kara" has been covered a lot according to what I've seen on YouTube and that includes one version by Konomi Mori(杜このみ).


  1. A great song - thanks! Per your remark I've gone through various YT versions and they're all good - but I do like Konomi Mori's the most. So I've been DL'ing her vids also ... Is there a particular significance to the color purple on many of the enka shows ? It fits perfectly, but is there another reason besides aesthetics ?

    1. Hi, T-cat.

      Y'know...I didn't pick up on the purple relationship with enka so I'm not sure. Maybe there is something rather imperial about it since the chrysanthemum (which can be purple) has been used to describe the Emperor's throne but that's a left-field guess.


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