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.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Haruo Minami -- Ondo Ondo (温度音頭)


I'd like to know what went down during the planning of this photo shoot, because what in the world was Haruo Minami (三波春夫), the guy who always struck elegant poses in kimonos or proper suits, doing holding a saxophone? And of all instruments, why one that he was least associated with?? It's such a weird attempt at dragging sex appeal out of him, but the funny thing is, IT WORKED. That cute smile with those arms...👀 As you can clearly see, I took the bait and immediately jumped at the chance to get this photo when I discovered that it was possible for me to purchase Marubell's bromides online. I do not regret this purchase one bit. Sax aside, this is one hot photo of Haru-san, but exactly how hot I don't know - *cough-mostlikelymorethanthesun*. It can't be measured with a thermometer that's for sure. However, the things in this ondo of his sure can.

By this point, I'm well aware that Minami had ondos of pretty much anything you can think of. Traffic safety, sports day, dinosaurs, donburi fare - you name it, he's probably got it. So, it didn't really come as a surprise when I found this one regarding temperature. Upon seeing the title, which is most probably read as "Ondo Ondo" (Temperature Ondo), I found it most amusing. As you guys would probably know by now, I find alliterations like that funny.

Anyway, "Ondo Ondo" is a lighthearted little number that has Minami rattling off the temperatures of everyday stuff like warm sake and tempura-frying to the festive beat of the taiko. Even a sort of anti-littering message got included: Don't fling your cigarette butts willy-nilly lest they start a 2000 degree Celsius fire that'd probably burn down half the town. Okay, I added the last part myself, but you get the idea. With such a simple theme, "Ondo Ondo" seems like a perfect candidate to NHK's "Minna no Uta", and I can imagine that the MV would have dancing tempura and a grinning sun.

In the way of information for "Ondo Ondo", I could find none except this: it originally came out as the B-side to Minami's single "Ninkyo Toratsuku Bushi" (任俠虎造ぶし) from 1980. It also made another appearance much later in 2005 in his ondo collection "Minami Haruo ~ Ondo . Ondo de Zenkyoku Shu ~" (三波春夫~音頭・オンドで全曲集~). Although the creators of this weren't stated, I kind of wonder if Haru-san wrote this himself. I wouldn't be surprised if he did.


  1. That photo is definitely a keeper for Minami fans, even without the sex appeal at thermonuclear levels, since it shows a very young lad without all of the familiar Japanese accouterments.

    "Ondo Ondo", along with punny title, is pretty clever in its content since it does cover the high-temperature aspects of Japanese culture that is beloved by people such as that atsukan and freshly-fried tempura. For me, tonkatsu is my dish!

    1. Well, he could have done without this Western accessory too... That aside, besides tonkatsu, I like my piping hot ramen too. I don't know how hot the soup is exactly, but from experience, I know that its at tongue-frying/throat-burning level!

  2. In fact, I just ordered a recent Haru-san compilation that has this song in it.

    Turns out that the song was actually created by the so-famous duo of Ei Rokusuke (lyrics) and Nakamura Hachidai (composition).

    I must admit, they captured Haru-san's lovable aura to the fullest.


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