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.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Yujiro Ishihara -- Futari no Sekai (二人の世界)

I think I deserve to slap myself with a Mood Kayo CD. It's been 30 years since Yujiro Ishihara's(石原裕次郎)passing and I forgot to mention something back on July 17th which was the date that he died at the age of 52 (which is what I will be in a few months). To be honest, for some reason, I had thought that he left this mortal coil on the 21st.

Well, allow me to make amends. Here is The Tough Guy's 2nd-most successful single of his career, "Futari no Sekai" from 1965. A very classic Mood Kayo with that hint of Latin, I would translate it as "Our World" instead of the literal "A World for Two" since the lyrics by Mitsuo Ikeda(池田充男)definitely have Ishihara crooning in the first person as he lovingly praises his lover in that expensive nightclub. Masayoshi Tsuruoka(鶴岡雅義)took care of the music. The interesting thing is that although it is the familiar Yujiro voice, it has yet to take on that baritone rumble from the 1970s. In fact, he even has a bit of a falsetto at the end of each verse.

The song also begat a movie of the same title the following year starring Ishihara and Ruriko Asaoka(浅丘ルリ子). It is described as a "Mood Action" flick which I think might be the same as a hard-boiled thriller. He certainly rocks those sunglasses in the karaoke video above. As I said, "Futari no Sekai" is the No. 2 song in his long discography as it sold about 2.8 million records. His No. 1 record, which sold well over 3 million records can be found here.

I'm sure in a number of bars, izakaya, nomiya and even karaoke boxes in Japan, this week has probably seen quite a few tributes to the The Tough Guy. Although I'm no whisky drinker, I will hold up a tumbler in his honour.

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