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.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

My Pace -- Tokyo(東京)

Less than 15 minutes ago, I just finished watching this week's "Uta Kon"(うたコン), and the theme was on all sorts of kayo about Tokyo (along with tributes to the two singers that left this mortal coil over the past week, Hideki Saijo and Yukiji Asaoka). I realized that the odes to the Big Sushi have been represented through different genres such as the pop/rock of Kenji Sawada(沢田研二)and the classic Mood Kayo of Frank Nagai(フランク永井).

Folk has also given tribute to Tokyo, and I discovered a song that I hadn't heard before from a group that I hadn't heard before either. My Pace(マイ・ペース)was composed of a trio of junior high school classmates from a small town in Akita Prefecture before it got amalgamated with two other towns to form the current Katagami City.

Mitsugu Morita(森田貢), Susumu Ito(伊藤進)and Tsugio Kon(根次男)released their first of four singles, "Tokyo", in October 1974 for which Morita was both lyricist and composer. It's a gently jaunty tune describing a fellow's happy trips to the Japanese capital since his beloved was living there. Singer-songwriter chay was the one who performed it on tonight's "Uta Kon" and I liked it so much that I decided to track it down. Happily, the original also has plenty of enjoyment.

"Tokyo" became a hit for My Pace as it apparently stayed on the charts for a long while and peaked at No. 28. Along with the four singles, the band released two original albums in the 1970s and a BEST compilation in 2009. According to J-Wiki, "Tokyo" has been covered by a lot of artists including BEGIN and Toshi Ito to Happy & Blue(敏いとうとハッピー&ブルー).

As for the band name, "my pace" is a form of wasei eigo(和製英語)that I learned back in my Ichikawa days. Basically, if a person is referred to as a "my pace" kind of guy, then he goes to the beat of his own drum and no one else's. To be frank, I'm that sort of fellow to a certain extent which has irked and bemused people around me fairly often.

I have a small P.S. here, since the kanji for the names of the three members of My Pace have a number of readings, I'm not totally sure whether I have gotten them right. If someone can verify the above names for me or if somehow the band members themselves read this and let me know, I would be eternally grateful. Also, I do love the video above for the original recording but that last scene is most definitely from Yokohama. :)


  1. I was wondering when/if this tune would turn up. I discovered My Pace through a walkthrough of similar artists to 80s Sapporo folk singer Ippei Suzuki on I discovered Toshihiro Itoh the same way.

    Thank you for explaining about the group’s name. I was wondering about that.

    1. No problems, Mike. I figured that there were probably readers who were wondering and I had heard it so many times from students over the years.

  2. Hi J-Canuck!

    Members' names do appear romanized on both LP.

    "At first" 森田貢 should read as Mitsugu Morita
    Check 1st LP insert sheet (your eyes will bleed, sorry):

    CDJournal has same reading:

    Things should have been simple, but 2nd LP cover has Mitsugi:

    Oricon has same:

    It's also on their blog:

    Most recent picture in 2018:

    So, I believe he changed name somewhere in 1976, from Mitsugu to Mitsugi.

    1. Thanks, Daemonskald.

      I will make the changes to Mr. Morita's name. By chance, is "Tsugio Kon" the correct reading as well?

      With those amazing research skills of yours, would you be able to identify that song on the APB I put out back on the 17th?

  3. Hi J-Canuck!

    Tsugio Kon is correct reading.

    As for the song, this requires knowledge not "skill" so it's out of my league here ;)


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