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.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Ayaka -- Nijiiro(にじいろ)

Happy Canada Day! And perhaps it's a happier Canada Day than most for Torontonians. It's hot, sunny and summery...the annual Ribfest at Centennial Park is shoveling out the zesty spareribs and funnel cakes. Plus it was announced that our NHL team Toronto Maple Leafs have just experienced the biggest free agent acquisition in years with the signing of superstar John Tavares. Not that 90%~95% of folks reading this from around the planet will really know or care, but hey, just wanted to put it out there.

So, being the 151st birthday of my country, I was thinking about what kayo I could put up which has any connection with Canada. Perhaps there was some sort of momiji-themed enka or folk song out there, since momiji does refer to the Japanese maple.

However, I decided to go with singer-songwriter Ayaka's(絢香)"Nijiiro" (Rainbow Colours) which was the theme song for the NHK morning serial drama "Hanako to Anne"(花子とアン...Hanako and Anne)broadcast for the bulk of 2014. The connection lies in the fact that the drama dealt with the life and times of Hanako Muraoka(村岡花子), the first translator of "Anne of Green Gables" into Japanese, and of course, Anne Shirley is so beloved by the Japanese that perhaps she's as much an icon there as she is over here. I think there are still quite a number of Japanese tourists making the pilgrimage over to Prince Edward Island where Anne lived.

"Nijiiro" was Ayaka's 13th single released in June 2014 and it's a sweet and mellow pop song about getting through life with hope and optimism despite any setbacks. I think it's an appropriate tune to adorn both Muraoka and Shirley, and now it's gotten to the point where if I ever think of Prince Edward Island or "Anne of Green Gables", "Nijiiro" will be the image song. In fact, it's replaced "Mikazuki"(三日月)as my representative Ayaka tune.

(short version)

The song hit No. 8 on Oricon and went Triple Platinum. Plus, "Nijiiro" provided Ayaka with her 7th appearance on the Kohaku Utagassen later that year. It was also a track on her 4th album "Rainbow Road"(レインボーロード)from April 2015 that reached No. 3 on the album charts.

My family made its own way to PEI back in 1980. We did visit the Green Gables farmhouse in Cavendish and even enjoyed a lobster buffet nearby.

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