Fireminer let me know about this Japan Times article that has come out in the last few days about singer-songwriter Mariya Takeuchi（竹内まりや）and the "Plastic Love" craze that launched like a missile over a year ago. Personally speaking, I'm happy that folks from outside Japan have discovered and enjoyed the tune but y'know, I think it's time to let this fad fade into a nice memory. Plus there are plenty more of her hits to savor.
Case in point: her 36th single from May 2008, "Shiawase no Monosashi" (Measure of Happiness) which coincided with her 30th anniversary in show business. I hadn't been aware that the song was a relatively recent release, probably because of the song's disco-like roots. It's a very uptempo tune of encouragement that hits the ground running, and hopefully, it has brought some of its listeners out of the blues with some measure of good cheer.
"Shiawase no Monosashi" was the theme song for the 2008 TBS drama "Around 40 ~ Chuumon no Oi Onna-tachi"（注文の多いオンナたち...Women with Lots of Choices）starring Yuuki Amami（天海祐希）as a psychiatrist who, with her close buddies, go through various ups and downs in their lives around the big 4-0. Amami herself contributes to some of the chorus work in the song and Takeuchi apparently made an uncredited cameo appearance in the final episode of the drama.
The song peaked at No. 8 on Oricon and became the 153rd-ranked single of 2008. However, its achievement on the singles weekly charts can be further amplified by the fact that Takeuchi became the oldest female solo artist to get a single into the weekly Top 10 at 53 years and 2 months, overtaking the previous record holder, Hibari Misora（美空ひばり）with "Kawa no Nagare no Youni" (川の流れのように) when she was 52 years and 1 month old. Since then, Takeuchi's record was overtaken by jazz and kayo singer Junko Akimoto（秋元順子）just a smattering of months later. "Shiawase no Monosashi" also appears on Takeuchi's very large BEST album "Expressions" which came out in October that year, scoring a No. 1 ranking for three weeks in a row and becoming the 11th-ranked album of the year.
As I finish writing this, I realize that as of this date, Takeuchi is just 5 days shy of celebrating her 40th anniversary as a singer. Yup, it was on November 25th 1978 that she released her first album "Beginning" and her first single "Modotte Oite, Watashi no Jikan"（戻っておいて、私の時間....Please Come Back, My Time). Time does indeed fly but I hope that the singer continues to fly high and strongly as well.