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.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Crazy Ken Band -- Hirugao (昼顔)

I was quite fortunate living where I was in Ichikawa City, a burg that really spread out like crepe batter. The subway station was a 10-minute walk away from my apartment (that could be great or bad depending on your own circumstances), but my community and I were blessed with having a lot of convenience stores and four supermarkets within walking distance. One of them is in the above picture, Y's Mart. That used to be my main market in the early years of my stay but with the renovation of the supermarket across the street and right under the subway tracks, my loyalty gradually shifted over there. Still, if I did come home early before lunch, I still dropped by Y's Mart to grab a bento.

Including Y's Mart, three of the four supermarkets were fairly small affairs but the fourth was a Daiei department store that had a massive supermarket in the basement on the size of the SuperCentres we have here in Toronto.

There was no Seiyu supermarket near my place but that is also a famous brand that was actually close by my friend's old apartment in Jiyugaoka way out in the western end of Tokyo. And at the end of the last decade, they had a pretty funky campaign song.

Name of said song? It's "Hirugao" by the Crazy Ken Band(クレイジーケンバンド). Released in July 2009 as one of four songs on the band's 11th single, "Girlfriend"(ガールフレンド), I wasn't quite sure how to translate it initially. According to, it can be defined as a type of plant called the Japanese bindweed but I have a feeling that vocalist and songwriter Ken Yokoyama(横山剣)wasn't particularly trying to pay tribute to a weed. The word was also the Japanese title for the 1967 French film "Belle de Jour" starring Catherine Deneuve as a wife who secretly worked as a daytime prostitute while the husband was off at work.

Hmmm...if anything, the lyrics by Crazy Ken have a fellow declaring his undying love for an older woman (married/single) and willing to do anything for her at any time at any place. The fact that he keeps calling her "okusan"(奥さん...madam)almost as if she's a potential client might make the guy a gigolo although I think he's more of a desperate suitor. In any case, it's an interesting song for a supermarket but I gather that the point here is that it's willing to do anything to keep its customers satisfied. And dang, isn't it catchy?

"Girlfriend" peaked at No. 12 on Oricon. Meanwhile, "Hirugao" and the main song of the single were also on Crazy Ken Band's 11th album from August that year "Girl! Girl! Girl!"(ガール!ガール!ガール!)which scored a No. 4 ranking.


  1. Hi J-C: great to see/hear Yokoyama sword get some more respect. I was burning a "Cools" CD the other night; Cinderella Liberty is an awesomely sing-able song. IMO his voice has aged surprisingly well - even if he appears to have been no stranger to the table ;)

    1. Hi, T-cat. Yep, I think Ken is one of those guys who's just like a barrel of Jack Daniels...gets better with age.


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