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.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Iruka -- Bara no Ojousan(バラのお嬢さん)

Been a good long while since I wrote about folk singer Iruka(イルカ)so here she is tonight.

And this one is a high-flying tune that I had never heard of before by the singer-songwriter. I've known Iruka for her contemplative folk ballads such as "Ame no Monogatari"(雨の物語)and mid-tempo City Pop numbers including "Yoake no Goodbye"(夜明けのグッドバイ), but "Bara no Ojousan" (The Young Rose Lady) is a new animal for me.

Coming from her 3rd and most successful album of her career, "Shokubutsushi"(植物誌...Flora), from April 1977, "Bara no Ojousan" is quite uptempo, and I think it fits generally more into the New Music genre than folk...or perhaps it's a fusion of the two. In any case, that rollicking piano sets the pace from the beginning and Iruka's voice takes on a higher timbre although it is unmistakably hers.

Written by Iruka and composed by folk singer Takashi Nishioka(西岡たかし), the song is performed from the point of view of a young man who has seen a young lady whom he has known since childhood grow up to become a beautiful lass. Along with her, his feelings for her have grown as well although it seems as if he has yet to confess his love to her. The love story lyrics aside, "Bara no Ojousan" would also have made for a fun road song on the radio back in those days...perhaps in a Volkswagen van.

As for "Shokubutsushi", it scored a No. 1 ranking on the Oricon weeklies with all of the tracks being recorded in Los Angeles over a two-week period in February 1977. The album also has that classic "Ame no Monogatari". I'm starting to wonder whether it's also time to invest in a few Iruka original albums since I only have that one BEST compilation.


  1. Hello J-Canuck!

    I have never heard of Ikura before. I went back and saw your reviews on Ame no Monogatari and Yoake no Goodbye after reading this article.

    I like!

    I am definitely going to find out more about her.


    1. Hi, Chasing Showa!

      Yep, Iruka is one of my favourites and she is perhaps the first non-aidoru, non-enka singer that I came across in my voyage through Japanese pop music so she has a special place in my heart. Good to hear that you want to know more about her.


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