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.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hideo Murata -- Iwai Bushi (祝い節)

On tonight's "Uta Kon"(うたコン), which incidentally I liked much better than last week's episode, there was a more flavourful tribute given to the late Hideo Murata(村田英雄)since the 15th anniversary of his passing is coming up. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite find the right video but although I've known him for his severe countenance, when he did smile, he can light up an entire banquet room! And sure enough, one of the video excerpts showed that beaming grin.

Nowadays, I think the thing to do for a beloved one who has left this mortal coil has been to not so much mourn his death but to celebrate his life. So perhaps I can indeed do the latter by putting up one of Murata's more joyous songs. This would be "Iwai Bushi" (Melody of Celebration) from June 1966. With that melody by Kanae Wada(和田香苗)indeed sounding quite festive, I could almost imagine Murata entering Haruo Minami's(三波春夫)sphere. And the lyrics by Hiroko Ohya(大矢弘子)seem to cover a whole range of things to celebrate, whether it be the summer festival or a full-blown wedding. Just put your hands together!

(empty karaoke version)

Murata managed to get onto the 1966 Kohaku Utagassen by performing this song which sounds absolutely ideal for something as celebratory as the NHK year-end special. And wouldn't it be something if it were performed again by one of the current enka stars? Bring back some of that bushi brio!


  1. With the wonders of being able to record TV shows, I was able to watch Murata's tribute - 2 more to go, Uta Kon! It was definitely a whole lot more exciting than the episode that preceded it, which felt like a drag.

    I loved that the "Meoto Shunju" clip where he, as you said, lighted up the banquet room with that adorable grin, was included. And Itsuki's rendition of "Osho" where he was in full kimono garb was incredible - he's got the gravitas needed to carry the song. Not to mention the Murata-Minami collaboration... T'was a amazing episode.

    "Iwai Bushi" looks and sounds like a Minami song rather than a Muchi one, alright - wouldn't it be great if their collaboration included this song too? As for the younger bunch of enka singers, I'd say Kiyoshi Hikawa or Hiroshi Miyama would be a good choice to for "Iwai Bushi", with the former's bombastic style and the latter's jolly look fit for a bushi.

    1. Yeah, it was good that "Uta Kon" recovered from that weird show with the paltry Misora tribute with something a lot better the following week. As for your suggestions of Hikawa and Miyama for a rendition of "Iwai Bushi", perhaps I can also throw in Kohei Fukuda.

    2. Paltry's an apt word for the Misora tribute - I actually forgot about her "tribute" until you mentioned it. On hindsight, perhaps the people behind Uta Kon wanted to mix things up a bit and decided against repeating the same formula over and over again: a similar lineup of singers simply singing the same set of Misora's hits. The novelty can wear off quite quickly. That aside, they could, however, have benefited from an extra "Ai San San" or "Kawa no Nagare no Youni".


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.