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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Miyako Otsuki -- Onna no Minato(女の港)

A few weeks ago on "Uta Kon"(うたコン), I saw veteran enka singer Miyako Otsuki(大月みやこ)make another appearance on the show where the hosts mentioned that she was now in her 55th year in show business. In fact, I discovered in her J-Wiki bio that the official 55th anniversary will be achieved in about a month.

Otsuki sang her most recent single which may be the 128th in her career but in a display of Mother's Day-like charm, bidanshi singer Keisuke Yamauchi(山内惠介)gave tribute to her by performing one of her older classics, "Onna no Minato" (A Woman's Harbour).

Charmed by the song itself, I decided to look for any videos of Otsuki herself actually performing this ballad which was her 57th single released in August 1983. I found the above video and I wasn't disappointed. Plus, the enjoyment was further enhanced since I knew from the narration and the set that the clip originated from the famed TV Tokyo series "Enka no Hanamichi"(演歌の花道).

"Onna no Minato", the wistful ballad of a woman pining for the love of her life separated from her probably due to work is once again one of those entries that's hard for me to distinguish in terms of whether it is an enka tune or a Mood Kayo song. The lyrics by Tetsuro Hoshino(星野哲郎)and the slower tempo make it feel like the former but I couldn't help but feel that the melody from Toru Funamura(船村徹)as arranged by Masahito Maruyama(丸山雅仁)is fairly similar to songs by The Tough Guy, Yujiro Ishihara(石原裕次郎)in the 70s and 80s. Perhaps "Onna no Minato" is as much of a song to raise an ochoko of sake to as it is one to lift a tumbler of whiskey to.

I couldn't find out how well it did on Oricon but considering that it sold 300,000 records, it did well enough indeed. Anyways, many congratulations to Ms. Otsuki!

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