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.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Ayumi Ishida -- Minato-Sakamichi-Ijinkan (港・坂道・異人館)

With the entire country of Canada celebrating its 150th birthday, it's interesting to note that the city of Kobe in Japan is also having its own sesquicentennial this year. I've been to Kobe three times in my lifetime; the first time being during the 1981 summer graduation trip with the Japanese Language School, and twice during and at the end of my JET tour of duty a decade later. That 1981 stopover in Kobe was timely since it was during one of the big panda bear booms on Port Island.

However, it was during the JET Renewers' Conference in Kobe in 1990 that I realized how modern that area of Kobe was with the skyscrapers and the wide streets. In fact, I so enjoyed the city that a year later when it was time for me to head back to Toronto, I decided to make another stopover in Kobe during my own farewell trip. One place that I would love to visit in the city again is Kitano-cho which has the Ijinkan(異人館)Western-style residences. Basically, this used to be the quarter for the foreigners to reside when they arrived in the city back in the late 19th century, and I have a feeling that I didn't give enough attention to the district at first glance.

Well, I figure if I can track down a Canada-themed kayo, then it should be no problem finding a Kobe-themed one. And sure enough, I did find one that singer-actress Ayumi Ishida(いしだあゆみ)released as her 50th single in November 1977. "Minato-Sakamichi-Ijinkan" (Port-Hill Road-Western Residences).

The melody by Katsuo Ono(大野克夫)has that sound of a song that would have been written perhaps earlier in the decade so perhaps even when the single was released, it already sounded rather natsukashii. Makoto Kitajo's(喜多條忠)lyrics talk of a lady in one of the converted restaurants in Kitano-cho looking out to the bay while remembering a past love. I guess that's why the director for the above episode of "Yoru no Hit Studio"(夜のヒットスタジオ)wanted to give that windy effect into her hair. Not sure if Ms. Ishida caught a cold while wearing that slip of a dress, though.

J-Wiki hasn't stated whether "Minato-Sakamichi-Ijinkan" ranked onto Oricon but although it probably doesn't hold a match to her classic hit of "Blue Light Yokohama"(ブルーライト・ヨコハマ)from almost a decade prior, it's still a nice little kayo. I'm fairly confident that if "Uta Kon"(うたコン)ever goes with a Kobe theme, Ishida might return to perform this one.

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