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, September 5, 2017

Kumiko Hara -- Magic Night

Kumiko Hara's "No Smoking"

Apparently, there were two Kumiko Haras(原久美子)in the geinokai, neither of whom I know very well. One is a tarento/actress who I may have seen on TV when I was back in Japan. The other Kumiko Hara was a jazz singer who I saw in the pages of "Japanese City Pop" but never heard. Unfortunately, she passed away over a decade ago because of a brain tumour at the age of 50.

Singer Hara debuted in 1978 with her album "No Smoking" which showed her on the cover as a bit of a rebel. In the following year, Hara came out with her 2nd album, "Neppu"(熱風...Tropical Wind), and on YouTube, I was able to discover one of the songs from that album "Magic Night". Starting off with some nice bass and keyboard work, the singer launches into breezy tropical fun to be enjoyed with a mai tai.

I've never listened to her jazz work so listening to "Magic Night", my impression is that Hara was still vocally finding her feet. There are power and enthusiasm in her delivery but there is also a bit of "nervousness" there, too just according to what I've picked up so far. It's still some fine nostalgic City Pop/New Music from that decade, though. Plus, it has some pedigree as well since Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎)composed the song with Namiko Saki(﨑南海子)providing the lyrics.


  1. can you send me mp3 files for this album??

    1. Hello, Alan.

      Unfortunately, I don't have the original album "Neppu". There seems to be one copy of it at ( Maybe you can try Jpopsuki although this is a pretty obscure release.


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