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, October 20, 2017

Seiko Matsuda -- Seifuku (制服)

As a teacher on the JET Programme, I realized that junior high school graduation ceremonies had far more gravitas than their counterparts in Canada. Well, for one thing, my junior high school never had a graduation ceremony...once we passed Grade 9, it was just head for the different high school come September. The only thing notable was a semi-formal prom night and the bravery that I had to wear a corduroy suit!

Nope, graduation ceremonies in Japan are big deals. Diplomas are given with a lot of grave pomp and circumstance, and there is quite a bit of crying involved. Plus, the popular boys are asked to give mementos to the girls who like them by giving away those gold buttons on their dark school uniforms. Basically, the really popular guys probably end up heading to the ceremonial lunch with their suits open. Not sure how the parents would react to that.

This brings me to another wonderful B-side to a Seiko Matsuda(松田聖子)single, "Seifuku" (School Uniform). I first heard this on her special BEST album from 1985, "Train", which consisted of all of those hits that had been created through the collaboration of lyricist Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆)and composer Karuho Kureta(呉田軽穂). However, originally, this was the B-side to Seiko-chan's huge 8th single from January 1982, "Akai Sweet Pea" (赤いスイートピー).

Beginning like some sort of dramatic piece of classical music, "Seifuku" quickly morphs into a cheerful bit of music about a high school couple after the boy's graduation with the girlfriend realizing that this will be the last time that she will see him in the uniform. In fact, he is due to be heading to university in the big city but she seems to be taking the news in stride. Perhaps she is glad to see the lug going from boy to man.

For how the single did, you can check out "Akai Sweet Pea" through the above link. The other piece of trivia I got from students and media is that a good number of those former young charges have said that they preferred their uniforms instead of regular street clothes during their school years since they didn't have to fret about what to wear each day in class.

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