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, June 18, 2018

Hiroshi Uchiyamada and The Cool Five -- Ai no Tabiji wo(愛の旅路を)

Cool it wasn't in Toronto today. It has been the hottest and most humid day that we've had this year so far with Humidex readings in the 40-degree Celsius range...that would be 100 degrees in Fahrenheit. The strange thing is that although the air conditioner was pressed into service in the living room, I didn't even turn on the decades-old fan in my small chamber. Perhaps it was those long steamy summers in Tokyo and Chiba that hardened me to the hot season. My advice to the athletes heading for the Tokyo Olympics: get yourself acclimated to the weather there, pronto!

Well, it is a Monday night so perhaps in a tiny segue from the above paragraph (or first word), why don't we go with Hiroshi Uchiyama and The Cool Five(内山田洋とクール・ファイブ)for some beginning-of-the-week Mood Kayo? I came upon their 4th single from April 1970, "Ai no Tabiji wo" (Love's Journey), and it's that reassuring tune of the genre done in the inimitable Cool Five style. In fact, I think it sounds quite similar to the group's first big hit, "Nagasaki wa Kyou mo Ame Datta"(長崎は今日も雨だった)from the previous year, although the songwriters are different. This time, they are Akari Yamaguchi(山口あかり)and Takuya Fujimoto(藤本卓也)in charge of words and music respectively.

"Ai no Tabiji wo" is basically a huge soppy love letter from vocalist Kiyoshi Maekawa(前川清). I mean, I could envisage the hubby half of an older couple singing this to his beloved at karaoke. The song was also The Cool Five's third Top 10 hit, peaking at No. 4.

I have to give my kudos to the person who made the above accompanying video through Kyoto. If YouTube's Van Paugam had been interested in Mood Kayo (which I've always thought was a father/uncle to City Pop), he probably would have based his online radio on this video. Plus, there is something just right listening to "Ai no Tabiji wo" while driving on the Hanshin Expressway at night.

(empty karaoke version)


  1. Hi again.

    It sounds like it's burning up in Toronto! As for Singapore, the weather's been really wonky lately. Some days make you feel like you're in a high-powered sauna, other days it's moderately cooling (by tropical country standards) accompanied by a squall. I fear the onslaught of mosquitoes that come in this kind of weather.

    Anyway, thanks for putting "Ai no Tabiji wo" up on the blog. I love how Mae-Kiyo drags certain bits of the song, and how his vocals have a more tender quality here rather than its usual angsty one.

    It's one of my favourites from The Cool Five that I happened upon by coincidence one day on YouTube, so I was glad to find it in record form amongst a pile of dusty 45s in one of those nostalgia stores tucked away in an alley in Kawagoe (near the Kashiya Yokocho) last year. The sound quality wasn't fantastic, but at 500 yen, I'm happy.

    1. Hello again.

      True to the predictable unpredictability of weather in my fair city, it's back to unseasonably cool today. Not that I'm complaining too much...summers in Tokyo were extremely harsh for this Canadian fellow.:)

      My pleasure on "Ai no Tabiji wo". I felt that I was neglecting some of the old kayo recently and so I thought it would be good to track down an old Cool Five number. Quite happy to have discovered this one.

      Speaking of Singapore, did that recent meeting between Trump and Kim disrupt life in your area to a large degree?

    2. Well, you didn't melt into a puddle while Tokyo, so that's something. :)

      About the Trump-Kim summit, I think the only place that kind of suffered a little was the shopping belt that is Orchard Road, because that was where the leaders' hotels were situated in. Roads had to be blocked there sometimes, so that brought traffic to a halt in that perpetually congested area for a while, but frankly, many seemed excited or neutral about it rather than frustrated - I could be wrong. I heard that even the place of the meeting, Sentosa Island, didn't have its usual flow of human traffic affected all that much. The only thing that changed by a large degree on that day was my time watching the news!

      Hmm, considering its international significance, perhaps now the folks in Sugamo will have something new to associate Singapore with besides the Marina Bay Sands.

    3. That's good that the everyday life of Singapore wasn't unduly disrupted. I remember the G7 taking place at the University of Toronto back in either 1988 or 1989. I was still a student back then so I noticed the concrete barricades but other than that, it was pretty normal.


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