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, February 9, 2018

Kiyoshi Hikawa -- Shoubu no Hanamichi(勝負の花道)

Well, the 2018 Winter Olympics are officially here so it'll be the big round of seasonal sports for the next two weeks or so.

On the most recent "Uta Kon"(うたコン), which is going on hiatus due to the Games (unfortunately), enka prince Kiyoshi Hikawa(氷川きよし)used the opportunity to introduce his latest song, a tune full of brio called "Shoubu no Hanamichi". Now, usually I take "shoubu" to mean "match" or "bout" but I think if I were translating the title here, I would go with the other meaning of "victory or loss" since "The Road to Victory or Loss" sounds somewhat cool and good (yup, I've discovered Meme Man). As for the "hanamichi", that refers to an extended stage spanning between the audience rows to the stage in kabuki, but I think it has come to be used as a metaphor for that long arduous path to greatness in any major endeavor.

Written by Sho Asakura(朝倉翔)and composed by Akito Yomo(四方章人), "Shoubu no Hanamichi" is a proud and sprightly enka tune about making that stab for glory. One would think that Hikawa came on board that night on "Uta Kon" specifically to give his tribute to the Pyeongchang Games and the Japanese team. When I saw the lad perform it on stage, I thought that this would have been the perfect song for Hibari Misora(美空ひばり)to sing. It's got that sort of energy for the Queen of Kayo Kyoku to rouse the masses.


  1. Hi there, J-Canuck. I see you've found that spring of dank memes that is meme man! Gotta say, stuff like vegetals and conk & bepis are funny, but dang, I think he can get a little too dank for me.

    But yeah, I do think Hikawa's "Shoubu no Hanamichi" is "cool and good" too, and I like the kabuki-rock fusion going on. An energizing tune, and it does remind me of Misora's own "Jinsei Ichiro" (probably what he was going for).

    1. Hi, Noelle.

      "Jinsei Ichiro" was just the song I was thinking when I heard "Shoubu no Hanamichi". :)

      As for my Meme Man fix, I usually go with Bagel Boy or Timotainment on YouTube. The voice is just perfect (or should I say PERFECC?).


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