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, August 7, 2018

Seri Ishikawa -- Hitori Shibai(ひとり芝居)

Welcome back, Seri Ishikawa(石川セリ)! It's been a while.

I took a listen to my CD of "Seri Ishikawa ~ Golden Best Singles and More" for the first time in a long while, and as hoped, some of those songs on her BEST compilation, which fairly flew by on the first listen, coalesced into something more substantial.

Case in point: Ishikawa's 5th single from January 1976, "Hitori Shibai" (Performing Solo). This was composed by Yumi Arai(荒井由実)who also came up with another Seri song in the same year that I had written about a few years ago titled "Asayake ga Kieru Mae ni"(朝焼けが消える前に). Whereas "Asayake ga Kieru Mae ni" has this languid but fairly cheerful pace of life in the city, "Hitori Shibai" is a more bittersweet and reflective song about trying to get beyond the end of a relationship.

I can't really put my finger on it but when I re-acquainted myself with the song, I just knew that there was the Yuming(ユーミン)touch in the melody. Maybe a very dedicated Yuming fan or a musicologist can add more insight there. This time, the lyrics were provided by Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆)although I could imagine Arai having laid the words in since they give some tiny vignettes about a woman's memories of her former beau's habits and preferences.

Ishikawa doesn't have the widest range when it comes to her voice, but it does have those creamy and dreamy qualities. I can say that it also has a certain hypnotic quality which could also provide that key to some nostalgic reveries.


  1. Hello Canuck!

    A great tune by Seri. Although she first came into the spotlight by singing a song written for her by her soon-to-be-husband, Yousui Inoue, ダンスはうまく踊れない, her relationship with Arai/Matsutoya goes back much further. They'd been close friends since the early 70s. Yuming has written some of the best Seri songs including this one. My favorites are 霧の桟橋(Kiri No Sanbashi)and 手のひらの東京タワー(Te No Hira No Tokyo Tower), the latter of which Yuming herself later recorded for her own album.

    As for Matsumoto's lyrics, I don't think he needed any help from Yuming when it came to expressing women's point of view in a relationship. He's always been known to be able to tap into his inner girl when writing for female singers. The string of hits he had with Hiromi Ohta including 木綿のハンカチーフ, as well as those hundreds of songs he's written for Seiko-chan really shows his grasp on the subject. It's almost too hard to believe it's the same dude who wrote all the lyrics to the はっぴいえんど tunes.

    1. Hello, Kaz.

      Yep, "Te no Hira no Tokyo Tower" is also one of my favourites by Seri, and happily enough, I'm starting to appreciate some of the other tracks on this BEST album some more.


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.