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 6, 2017

Tamae Sawada -- Hana no Sei: Watashi no ON-AIR(花の精-わたしのON‐AIR-)

Commenter Daemonskald and I had a small talk about a few days ago and he gave me some recommendations about some singers from the 1970s and 1980s.

One of those singers is Tamae Sawada(沢田玉恵). Never heard of her? Don't feel bad...I didn't know about her, either until I got word from Daemonskald, and it's not too surprising since from what I read on her J-Wiki article, she seemed to have forces pulling against her from going too deeply into the geinokai.

The shortest part of that was her singing career. Sawada only released two singles (no albums), both of them in 1986 with her debut being the somewhat cryptic "Hana no Sei: Watashi no ON-AIR" (Flower Spirit: My ON-AIR) from April. Her voice isn't too bad and according to J-Wiki, some of those fans of 80s Japanese music have always liked her mid-low tones. Those fans and I can only imagine what could have happened if she had been able to continue her singing.

Plus, there is the song itself by veterans Takashi Matsumoto and Kyohei Tsutsumi(松本隆・筒美京平). I especially like the intro with that mild disco beat and those strings. There was no mention whether Sawada had ever been marketed as an 80s aidoru. "Hana no Sei" and seeing Sawada herself above has me thinking her as an aidoru but at the same time, the arrangement by Satoshi Takebe(武部聡志)is pretty darn slick for the run-of-the-mill teenybopper singer.

"Hana no Sei" also became the commercial song for a Shiseido toothpaste (good golly, Shiseido actually made toothpaste?!).

The J-Wiki article for Sawada doesn't have much in the way of sourcing but supposedly after the forced pullout from singing and acting by her family, she has gone in and out of show business over the years in various capacities with her even appearing in a 2003 movie titled "Up Down Sky". Not sure if she is still working in the geinokai but I could envisage her as a local middle-aged tarento popping up on TV or radio in her native Aichi Prefecture.

I don't know why but for some reason, I get the feeling that the lady herself may read this article someday. If so, perhaps she can confirm some of the information I've got up here.


  1. Hi J-Canuck!

    Thanks for this article! Glad you like this song.

    I've first heard of Tamae Sawada from a fan of Naoko Kawai. He has a blog and ranked her song first in his "80's Idol Top 10 debut songs" and 13th in his "80's Idol Top 30 songs".
    So I was very curious about it. Loved it at first listen.

    And God bless Sony who included her 2 singles in an Idol Miracle Bible Series compilation in 2004 (MHCL-463). All her 4 songs are interesting and display a nice vocal range.

    Other idols on this compilation are Fumiko Sawada (沢田富美子) and Yuri Sato (佐東由梨).

    Fumiko Sawada is classic idol who started singing from end of 70's. Nothing groundbreaking here except her last single "哀愁のメキシコ" after a 4 years break and under the name Maria Sakurai (桜井真里亜).

    Yuri Sato is a pleasant surprise for me. More talented song writers like Kyohei Tsutsumi or Tetsuji Hayashi surely help a lot :). More upbeat songs also. Personal favorite is "やさしくしてね".

    1. Hi, Daemonskald.

      Yes, thanks again for the tip. I will have to take a look at some of your other recommendations. I think I've got Fumiko Sawada somewhere in here because she did do that cover of WHAM's "Where Did Your Heart Go?"


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