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, May 29, 2017

Tomoyo Harada -- Kanashiikurai Honto no Hanashi (悲しいくらいほんとの話)

Hope everyone down in the States has been having a good Memorial Day. As for me, I got together with a couple of other translators for lunch at a nice little smokehouse in the Yonge-Lawrence Village for a tasty pulled pork sandwich and a creamy berry milkshake. Well, so much for keeping cholesterol levels stable.

Good heavens! It's been almost a year to the day that I put up my most recent Tomoyo Harada(原田知世)article. So why don't we go for her very first single? This would be "Kanashiikurai Honto no Hanashi" (News So True It's Sad) from July 1982.

We could find a lot of parallels here between the debut of Harada and the singing debut of Hiroko Yakushimaru(薬師丸ひろ子). The latter young lady had already been acting for a few years when she released her first single as a singer in 1981 with the theme song for "Sailor Fuku to Kikanjuu"(セーラー服と機関銃), a movie that also starred Hiroko-chan . Well, Harada's debut was the theme song for the Fuji-TV version of the movie that came a year later, and guess what? Harada herself starred in the TV version.

One more parallel to describe in that "Kanashiikurai Honto no Hanashi" was also written and composed by Etsuko and Takao Kisugi(来生えつこ・来生たかお). In keeping with the tone of the original movie and then the TV series, Harada's song also has that sweet-and-sad arrangement with some urban contemporary feelings infused.

However, I guess because of the saying "familiarity breeds contempt", "Kanashii Honto no Hanashi" did a lot more modestly than its sister tune "Sailor Fuku to Kikanjuu". It sold approximately 57,000 records and got no higher than No. 41 on Oricon. Still, Harada was heading up in the entertainment world. And personally speaking, I like this song too. Plenty of room in my ears for both.😁


  1. Good evening J-C: I saw your posting this morning and had a feeling of deja vu ..... here is another blog I check, from the same day as yours: Thanks to you both, I wasn't aware of Tomoyo except as a near-Hiroko wannabe. She can certainly stand on her own, machine gun or not ! The softer voice is a nice counterpoint to what I would say is Hiroko's more direct (without being overwhelming) delivery. Well put; room for both. BTW I spent Nov. 8 (US election evening - just end it please I don't care !) in the basement movie theatre of the Japan Society in Manhattan - watching the one-time showing of a fully subtitled new 4K restoration of the original "Sailor Fuku to Kikanjuu" on the big screen. It was .......... kaikan. As the movie was being introduced by a young man, he said "After the stress of these last few months, what better way to relax than watch a schoolgirl machine-gun Yakuza?". And he was right ;)

    1. Hi, T-cat.

      Saw that other blog with all those wonderful single covers. If I had been a lot wiser, I would have been collecting those from a much earlier time.

      Until I wrote the article last night, I had no idea about the parallels between Tomoyo and Hiroko; the things you find out when writing a blog, eh?

      As for trying to de-stress in Year 1 of Trump, I have a feeling that folks may be watching a whole lot of Japanese movies.:)

  2. Good morning J-C: I love the pic sleeves; for illiterates like myself it makes it very easy to identify records in addition to being great pictures. It's a treat every Tuesday morning to log into Snow Records and peruse the 100 or so he puts up each week (great customer service also).
    Do you know if all 45's (EPs) have them ? As far back as I see vinyl offered they all seem to have the picture sleeves; were any records released without them and if so which/why? I've collected a number for the sleeve alone - and some groups (e.g. Negicco) release a fair amount of current material on wax (not colored that I've found, unfortunately).

    1. Good morning, T-cat.

      As far as I know the sleeves went hand-in-hand with the singles. I'm sure the marketing folks saw them as great advertising! When I get back to Japan someday, I'm gonna have to peruse some of those flea markets or old shops and see if I can actually find those 45s again.

    2. Evening J-C: I plan on being in Kagoshima and then Tokyo end of October to first week in November. Any suggestions on where to hunt vinyl? Or anything else for that matter ?

    3. Hi, T-cat. As for vinyl specifically, I'm not sure although some of my old haunts in Tokyo may have some LPs there. If you want, you can check out the Sites category in the Labels section since Noelle and I have spoken on shops there.

      But to give you a headstart, there is RecoFan.


      And Noelle has written about a place in Asakusa near the bottom.

      Strangely enough, I may be in Tokyo in the first week of November myself! :)


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