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.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Seiko Matsuda -- Hotaru no Sougen(螢の草原)

Enjoyed Recca's half-hour tribute to Seiko Matsuda(松田聖子)yesterday on Japan Top 10 which included "Ruriiro no Chikyuu"(瑠璃色の地球), a song that I consider to be an epic coda of sorts to her pure aidoru phase. I first heard it on a borrowed copy of her 13th album "Supreme" in June 1986. Incidentially, the album did go all the way to No. 1.

Then I remembered that there was another song from that same album whose rather magical notes have haunted me up to the present day. In fact, it is the opening track for "Supreme", "Hotaru no Sougen" (Firefly Meadow).

Rather like a group of fireflies at night, "Hotaru no Sougen" has that magical and flittery feeling for the most part, before Seiko-chan goes into a soaring refrain about all those Photuris lucicrescens taking off into the night sky. It must have struck a lot of her fans the first time they heard it on the LP as a very different-sounding Seiko song as it incorporated a bit more synthesizer which is why the song has stuck with me all these decades.

According to the J-Wiki article on "Supreme", when "Hotaru no Sougen" was performed at a 2004 concert at Saitama Super Arena during her "Sunshine" tour, the opening notes of this song apparently sent folks into a frenzy. Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆), no stranger to penning lyrics for Seiko's songs, took care of this one and all of the other tracks on the album, while I was surprised to learn that Masahiro Ando(安藤まさひろ), leader of the fusion band T-Square was behind its composition. Back then, I never bothered to read up on who actually wrote the songs for anybody.


  1. Hi Canuck,

    I can totally understand the crowd's reaction as Seiko seldom performed album cuts except for a handful of fan-favorites in concerts back then although she had literally hundreds of great tunes from the albums she had released to choose from, the fact which had been a cause of many long time fans' frustration.

    Anywho, here's a video of her appearance on the TV show, Music Fair, when she performed a version of the song with T-Sqaure especially arranged by the keyboard player Hirotaka Izumi. There's even a brief solo by Takeshi Ito.

    1. Hi, Kaz.

      Thanks for the tip on the "Music Fair" video. It was quite nostalgic seeing not only a younger Seiko and T-Square on stage, but also the host Yuko Kotegawa. She was the first host that I got to know on "Music Fair".

      Looks like Seiko-chan and T-Square were going for the full-blown musical version of "Hotaru no Sougen" there.


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