Well, I would like to send my best birthday wishes to the United States of America. If I'm not mistaken, the nation is 242 years old today. Will definitely be looking forward to its 250th anniversary...strangely enough, the same year that the 2026 World Cup will be taking place in Canada, Mexico and AMERICA!
I was kinda thinking about what kayo I could put up which would be representative of our neighbour down south, and the 50th State, Hawaii, came to mind. Mind you, the song that I've put up here was created in 1952, about 7 years before Hawaii achieved statehood.
Anyways, "Hawaii no Yoru" (A Night in Hawaii) was the 5th single that the late singer/actor Koji Tsuruta（鶴田浩二）released for Japan Victor. It was used as the theme song for the movie of the same name, and the man is at his crooning best as he gives his loving tribute to Hawaii. Mood Kayo has a good chunk of Hawaii-based songs with the perquisite steel guitar but my impression is that a lot of them have a certain amount of mourning as if someone had lost a love there. With "Hawaii no Yoru", the sense here is that of Hawaii being that exotic land beyond the sea and perhaps with the entire group of islands being the new love. Certainly, Tsuruta makes it enticing with his delivery.
Takao Saeki（佐伯孝夫）provided the lyrics with Junkichi Shi*（司潤吉）as the composer. The ballad makes me wonder what Hawaii was like in the days preceding its entry into the United States.
*The kanji for the composer's last name has at least a couple of readings, so his name could also be Junkichi Tsukasa. However, I have just discovered that this was one of a few pen names for the Korean composer Mongin Son（孫牧人）. One of his other pseudonyms was Akira Kugayama（久我山明）under which he made "Casbah no Onna"（カスバの女）in 1955.