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, March 15, 2019

Akiko Futaba/Noriko Awaya -- Yoru no Platform(夜のプラットホーム)

A couple of days ago, I wrote about Candies'(キャンディーズ) "Ginga Kuko"(銀河空港)which related the end of a relationship via an airport. Of course, airports have been the setting for many a kayo about the sweet (or not) sorrowful breakup.

But perhaps even earlier and still now, the train platform can be that other transportation hub of sadness. One example of such a kayo is "Yoru no Platform" (Night Platform) as sung by Akiko Futaba(二葉あき子). I wrote about her late last year in her first article "Niizuma Kagami"(新妻鏡).

Although that musical tribute to the industrious train horn is never too far away, Futaba gives that mournful performance of love lost (with perhaps a little hope that her beloved may return), and the arrangement of strings behind her reminded me of a lot of songs that I used to hear in movies that I've seen on Turner Movie Classics. The ballad with that soupcon of Latin was a huge hit for Futaba when it was released in 1947 and is seen as one of her trademark songs.

Reading the article for the actual song on J-Wiki, "Yoru no Platform" had actually been recorded originally in 1939 by singer Noriko Awaya(淡谷のり子)as a song for the movie "Tokyo no Josei"(東京の女性...Woman of Tokyo) starring Setsuko Hara(原節子). However the sad lyrics of departure were seen as too disruptive during a time when young men were being sent off to war, and Awaya's version was quietly shelved although she recorded and performed the song years later.

Ryoichi Hattori(服部良一)was behind the melody while Yashio Okuno(奥野椰子夫)wrote the lyrics. In 1941, an English version, under the title of "I Will Be Waiting", was recorded with Hattori's name changed to R. Hatter while a fellow named Vic Maxwell provided the English words and even sang the song.


  1. If the lyrics were deemed by the authorities to be disruptive and over-sentimental at a time when they wanted young men to go to war, then that would have been right up Awaya's street. She barred patriotic songs from her repertoire, not wanting to encourage said young men to go to war, and on one occasion towards the end of the war, when members of the audience were standing and leaving to go on their suicide missions, she broke down and cried. She maintained that her audiences never wanted patriotic songs, but only the blues that she was famous for.

    In the Japanese wiki, it mentions that she was once punished for performing to western POWs. I'm still hunting for more on that, but it would fit her rebellious character.

    1. It wouldn't surprise me at all that she did all those things. She was brave to stand up to the government. And it does put her tell-like-it-is cantankerous nature in a new light for me.

  2. That is a great story. I remember her on several specials where they interviewed her in her later years, and she frequently commented on how Japanese music deteriorated with enka. When they mentioned Hibari, she quipped, "and it's that person (ano hito) when it all went downhill".

    1. Hello there. Yeah, she never hid the fact how much she hated enka and Hibari. I just read in Awaya's J-Wiki article an excerpt from an interview she did with the Asahi Newspaper just several months after Hibari's death in which she basically ripped her apart as someone who had based her career on impersonating others. Ouch!


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