Credits

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, May 4, 2018

Tomoko Fujita -- The Woman In Me


Tomoko Fujita(藤田朋子)....never thought I would ever see her in the pages of this blog. Who is she, you ask? Well, she's an actress and variety show panelist who has also been quite commonly seen on commercials such as the one above. Probably her most famous role was on the long-running TBS prime-time soap opera "Wataru Seken wa Oni Bakari"(渡る世間は鬼ばかり...The World We Walk On Is Full Of Demons).


It has taken a fair bit to shock me when it comes to discovering new songs on "Kayo Kyoku Plus". A few examples of being stunned (in a good way, of course) was when I found out about Makoto Matsushita's(松下誠)"One Hot Love" and the famous City Pop album of Takako Mamiya(間宮貴子), "Love Trip".

Well, my jaw fell a couple of nights ago and bounced off the rug not once but twice when I found out that Fujita had actually owned a discography. The true shock, though, was not because she sang but she actually sang pretty well...and in English (she majored in the subject at Tamagawa University), too! In fact, on looking and listening to the video above, I had to make some checks that this was indeed the same Tomoko Fujita the actress and tarento although that photograph did indeed show a young and fetching version of her.

Sure enough, Fujita did wear another cap as songstress. Her first album was "The Woman In Me" released in October 1989. And the first song here is "Wait For Me". I've listened to it a few times already, and although the music by Dave Grusin and the lyrics (don't know who wrote them) are nowhere near revolutionary, they are very AOR-pleasant. Furthermore, Fujita's singing kinda threw me for a loop; listening to it, I immediately put her in the same stylistic club as pop singers such as Akiko Kobayashi(小林明子)and Reimy(麗美). This was the same voice behind all those products such as plum wine!


"Summer Without You" is another nice bossa-tinged song. From reading the write-up on "The Woman In Me" on the Japanese-language music blog "Music Avenue", Yutaka Yokokura(横倉裕)was behind the creation of this song. Yokokura also took care of the overall production and arrangement for the album. His inspirations in his career are the aforementioned Grusin and Sergio Mendes, the latter's influence explaining the sound of the music for Fujita here.


Bunny Hull wrote and composed the title track. Listening to this one, I think it is almost a throwback to the mid-80s style of love song. As I'm looking at the video of her on Fuji-TV's "Yoru no Hit Studio"(夜のヒット・スタジオ), it's still hard for me to believe that she is actually singing this in excellent English. If I were still a NOVA teacher, I probably would have given her a level-up to 3 (the second-highest level).

The author for "Music Avenue", kaz-shin, even thanks Yokokura for producing "The Woman In Me", and he even mentions at the bottom of the article that he was able to buy an old copy of the album at a local BOOK-OFF for 250 yen! I wish I were that lucky and I will see if I can get my own copy of the album at Amazon.


Help her out...buy some aojiru!


2 comments:

  1. Her English singing voice sounds completely different from her Japanese TV voice. She was in a funny tv drama http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Aishiatteru_Kai, she was playing a school teacher. Unfortunately, she was teaching Gym not English (that was taught by Koizumi Kyoko).

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    1. Hi there.

      Yup, the fact that Fujita sounded so different as a singer was one reason that my jaw dropped. I remember "Aishiatteru Kai" from its blooper reel but didn't know that she had appeared in that one. I knew the show for Kyon-Kyon and Takanori Jinnai.

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