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.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Emiko Shiratori -- Irodori no Aki(彩りの秋)

A couple of weeks back or so, one of the commenters was suggesting some other singers with one of them being Emiko Shiratori(白鳥英美子). Now, I've actually heard of Shiratori since she was part of the 1970s duo Toi et Moi(トワ・エ・モワ)and some of her songs were played on my old radio program "Sounds of Japan" back in the 1980s.

Although Shiratori has been listed in J-Wiki as a pop/folk singer, my impression of her through the songs from "Sounds of Japan" is that of someone who is an expert in healing music. As soon as you listen to her, the effect is almost something you would get from a cup of chamomile tea. Her beautiful voice is very calming to the soul.

Some time after the initial breakup of Toi et Moi, Shiratori began her solo career. Her first single coming out in 1982 but it wouldn't be until 1988 that she got her first hit through her cover of "Amazing Grace". However, she had been releasing solo albums since 1973 and her 9th album "Irodori"(彩り...Colours)from September 1992 has this lovely number called "Irodori no Aki" (Colourful Fall).

I did forget what a lovely voice Shiratori has and it's nice to be reminded of it through this ballad. Perhaps that cup of chamomile and some cookies would be fine to have right now. Also, if my tape recorder Jaws is in a kind mood, I may try to track down those old songs of her on the ancient audiotapes of "Sounds of Japan".


  1. Hi J-Canuck!

    It's my fault again; I was the one who suggested her :P

    Well thanks for introducing her and this song on your blog; as to me her best period is her ARO (鴉鷺) period or her 2nd/3rd albums (1982/1983) I tend to forget she still has nice songs throughout all her discography.

    She and her husband/producer Sumio Shiratori (白鳥澄夫) were/are not a golden combi and reached the highs of others like "Mariya Takeuchi/Tatsuro Yamashita" or "Yuming/Masataka Matsutoya" to name a few. And that's a bit sad considering how good is her voice.

    Also her career is made of very few highs (Amazing Grace, Melodies of Life (from FFIX)...) and lots of low. Long breaks also. So she's not that easy to follow :)

    1. Hello, Daemonskald.

      And thanks for having me re-acquaint myself with one of the veterans on "Sounds of Japan". Yep, she didn't exactly reach the same heights of Takeuchi and Yuming but as with many other fine singers, I'm sure she's been able to garner a dedicated following over the years.

  2. I love Emiko Shiratori's music, whenever I get the chance to hear it. I know her best as the singer of Melodies Of Life from FF IX (my brother's favorite Final Fantasy game) and as the performer of the main theme for the 80s anime Unico In The Island Of Magic (at least on the Japanese version, that is,) and while I wish she did more upbeat pop stuff, I do love a lot of her slower numbers as well. They're incredibly soothing and she has the voice of an angel, able to sing in both English and Japanese.

    I'll have to admit, though, I'm one of the few fans that doesn't really care much for Amazing Grace, and that's partially because I'm not much of a fan of the original song.

    This does look like a really interesting blog, though, especially as someone with an interest in Japanese music and culture in general.

    1. Hello, Landon. And thanks for your comments. It's not every day that I can hear from a fellow Shiratori fan. I got to listen to "Irodori no Aki" again after reading your comments and was happily re-acquainted with her lovely vocals. Didn't know about her connection with the gaming world!

      "Amazing Grace" can be touch-and-go. Some versions are better than others. I still have a soft spot for the one played at Spock's first funeral in "Star Trek II".:)

      Feel free to peruse the blog. It's become a bit of a virtual Japanese popular music museum over the years. And apologies in advance if the YouTube video for a certain song has been greyed out; occupational hazard and all that.


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.