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.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Keizo Nakanishi -- Koi wa Heart of Fire(恋はハート・オブ・ファイアー)

Although the day has already passed in Japan, March 14th is White Day in my former home where this time, the ladies come up with the chocolates and other sweets to give over to the guys. So I'm sure shops such as Godiva and Fujiya were pulling some overtime to sell those bags and boxes. Along with the romantically-inspired giving of the chocolates, there is (or was?) the custom of giri-choco (obligatory chocolate) in which female staffers would bring the sweet stuff for their fellow male colleagues out of some feeling of commitment and amity.

I did get my fair share of giri-choco but way back in my Gunma JET days, some student who improbably had some sort of crush on me (still reeling that I can actually type this down) left a bag of chocolates in my geta-bako (shoe box) at my school sometime in the morning. Of course, when I discovered them in the afternoon, they all had that wonderful scent of chocolate...and feet, specifically mine, of course. Never did find out who that student was...just as well.

So for something appropriate, I give you Keizo Nakanishi's(中西圭三)"Koi wa Heart of Fire" (Love is a Heart of Fire), the lead track on the singer-songwriter's 2nd album "Steps" from March 1992. Written by Reiko Yukawa(湯川れい子)and composed by Nakanishi himself, it's all about that amazing date to come with that amazing woman. The lad is simply head-over-heels in L-U-V!

Always loved the fact that Nakanishi had that admiration for that ol' Motown soul. "Koi wa Heart of Fire" obviously sparks joy in its arrangement...a bit of a KonMari shoutout there. Believe it or not, those shoebox feet chocolates did spark a certain joy in me, too.

"Steps" also includes the just-as-joyful "Kataomoi no Birthday"(片想いのバースデー)and the spicy "Woman". The album got as high as No. 4.

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