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 12, 2017

Mayumi Itsuwa -- Rakujitsu no Tehma (落日のテーマ)

From Ueno Park

According to today's weather report, the sun will be setting here in Toronto at 7:34 pm which means in about 5 minutes as I start writing this article. Yep, the days are getting shorter once more.

So I have found a very appropriate song. And it has been a while since I put up a Mayumi Itsuwa(五輪真弓)ballad so allow me to kill two birds with one stone. As much as I love Itsuwa's French-sounding music starting from the late 1970s, I think her early material starting from the early 1970s is also wonderful.

I've mentioned before that Itsuwa was once labeled the Japanese Carole King when she first launched her career, and I think her song "Rakujitsu no Tehma" (The Theme of Sunsets) kinda reflects that opinion. There is something quite leisurely and "Tapestry"-like about this Itsuwa-created ballad that wasn't an official part of her discography in terms of her singles or albums. It was actually created by the singer-songwriter as the theme song for an NHK drama titled "Bokutachi no Shippai"(僕たちの失敗...Our Failures)in 1974.

From what I read about the story on this Japanese blog, the drama had something to do with the struggles with a young couple in terms of arranged marriages and romance. Basically, it didn't end too happily with the pair breaking apart in the end. So I gather that would explain the melancholy nature of "Rakujitsu no Tehma". Still, it's a lovely early Itsuwa-esque entry. With all of the contemporary J-Pop out there now, it's nice to hear something this soft and resonant, and yep, it does fit that sunset theme. Speaking of which, the sun has been setting now for 7 minutes.

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