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.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Craft -- Kototoi Bashi(言問橋)

Though I worked in the Asakusa district for two years, I never got a chance to go over Kototoi Bashi (Kototoi Bridge) which has Taito Ward on one side and Sumida Ward on the other. It was just a little out of the way for me when considering the distance to there from my NOVA school, and frankly after several hours of teaching, I usually didn't want to linger around and simply scooted back home to Ichikawa.

I found this ballad by folk group Craft(クラフト)called "Kototoi Bashi" which was their 4th single from July 1976. Written and composed by band guitarist Makoto Mitsui(三井誠)and Masanao Hirai(平井正尚), I've enjoyed the rich mahogany of the guitar as well as the chorus provided here. It's almost as if every instrument and voice were keyed into the deeper tones of cellos and string bass.

As would be the case, the lyrics by Mitsui and Hirai give a wistful and bittersweet story of a man and woman who promised when they were kids that they would get married only for the various ripples and waves of life to intervene. By the time they are well into adulthood, their lives have diverged with the woman having become a classy proprietress of some venerable establishment. The only common denominator left is the titular bridge where they used to play and now use to cross. However, it looks like they have remained friends and still stop to chat whenever they meet up on Kototoi.

I'm not sure which version was the album cut or the single, but this one right above is a lighter take on "Kototoi Bridge" with an ocarina and without the solemn chorus. For me, I think I will go with the first version higher up. Have a look at my first article for the band.

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