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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Kahoru Kohiruimaki -- Halloween wa Curiosity(ハロウィンはCURIOSITY)

I'm sure that at about this time the kids in my neighbourhood have been getting their candy. And not surprisingly, the weather forecaster on my local news show has been decked up as Frankenstein and making all sorts of merry. This kinda brings about this cross-cultural observation from me. Weather forecasters over here in North America seem to be the Court Jesters of the news teams while their equivalents in Japan are all very button-downed professorial types. Things that make me go Hmmm...

OK, this will probably be my last Halloween J-Pop song for this year, and it's one by Kahoru Kohiruimaki(小比類巻かほる), "Halloween wa Curiosity" (Halloween is a Curiosity), a track from her 1991 album "Silent". For me, my favourite track from that album is the first one "Mirage Mirror" especially because of that amazing bass intro.

"Halloween wa Curiosity" probably won't ever become one of my favourite Kohhy songs although it was created by the singer and her longtime songwriting partner, Yoshiaki Ohuchi(大内義昭). The pair have come up with many other songs that I like better, including "Mirage Mirror". Still, this one is interesting to hear since the two seemed to have wanted to go for a Beatles/Rolling Stones vibe. I mean, I think there is a melodic shoutout to "Day Tripper" at the beginning. Also, taking into account that at the time, Kohiruimaki was going more for an R&B sound, I think this particular track takes things back more to her late 80s pop/rock days.

It looks like "Halloween wa Curiosity" goes into a couple's date during October 31st, and considering the time that it was first released, Halloween truly was a curiosity for a lot of Japanese at the time. Perhaps Kohhy encountered the annual hijinks during a trip to Los Angeles which is the city out of Japan that I often associate her with. Evolving from the hijacking of a Yamanote Line train car by drunken English teachers back in that decade to that now-annual massive party in Shibuya, Halloween is as much of a holiday in Tokyo (at least) as Xmas is.

Well, since I'm here, I might as well put up a couple of my favourite Halloween-themed songs. Of course, there is "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. Despite the fact that it was the conglomeration of folks from both "SCTV" and "Saturday Night Live", I don't recall laughing too hard (except for that "This man has no dick" snark) when I first saw the movie in 1984. Still, I enjoyed it since it did have a heart among the Ghostbusters themselves. The theme song itself was definitely a hit as one of the most muscular (fictional) commercial jingles ever made, although its performance at the Academy Awards for that year fell regrettably flat for some reason.

The other one is "The Great Pumpkin Waltz" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio for "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" from 1966. I don't think anyone would have thought about creating a romantic jazz waltz as a Halloween song, but Guaraldi did, and even hearing it tonight, I still got that ASMR shiver as soon as I heard that opening piano. Truly one of the classics.


  1. Hello J-Canuck,

    Ah, Ghostbusters…

    The “I wasn’t laughing very hard” comment kind of mirrored a discussion I had with someone online regarding the iconic status that the first Ghostbusters movie has attained. My opinion was that it wasn’t THAT good.

    I’m not saying that it was bad, I mean it was a pleasant waste of time, but that was all it really was. What they would now call a popcorn movie. You know, turn off your mind and enjoy the ride type of movie.

    When the big kerfuffle regarding the remake/reboot a few years back reached manic levels I couldn’t understand why at first. Then I reasoned that nostalgia, along with its reputation, can and does make things seem better than they were.

    To tell you the truth, the "The Real Ghostbusters" cartoons were better than all of the movies including the newest one. It was also better than the original 1970s "The Ghost Busters" Saturday morning television show.

    At least from what I can recall. Well...I remember the gorilla but no specific stories, plots or characters.

    (Sorry, never saw the Extreme Ghostbusters cartoons)

    The good thing about this blog is, for the most part, I missed a lot of this music the first time around due to distance, language, culture and geography. I was not near anyone or any area where this music was available. It’s only when I finally went to Japan that all of this was made known to me.

    Its availability on the Internet made it easier to access this music. And the ample amount of curators, including the contributors to this site, whose ability to separate the “wheat from the chafe” that makes exploring this type of music possible.

    Kind of like a text driven radio station. Just call yourselves Radio CKKP!

    Sorry for the ramble but thanks for the heads up.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi, Chasing Showa. Good to hear from you again.

      Yep, on your comments, I had just bought the double-pack of the first two "Ghostbusters" movies on DVD back in Tokyo when I met up with my friends. When I told them what I had purchased, one of them half-snarkily said "Why?" I kinda laughed a bit knowingly at the remark.

      Considering the adulation that it has gotten over the decades, I would have to say that even the first movie is a bit overrated. Still, I enjoyed it for what it was, although I think even Bill Murray has a bit of Bill Shatner's attitude of "Get a life!" when it comes to that movie and its fans.

      It's been good over the past 6 years with this blog and commenters like yourself for the most part. I had a few trolls invade early in its history but that's why I have that function of screening comments inserted. :)

      Having said that, it's great that those YouTube radio stations on Van Paugam and New J Channel now exist. I'm assuming that there are channels out there covering 80s Japanese music or even aidoru in general.


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