The news has been out now for almost half a day but I only just heard the reports that Johnny Kitagawa（ジャニー喜多川）, the founder of Johnny & Associates and the power behind pretty much all of the boy bands that have existed in Japanese entertainment including SMAP, Arashi and King & Prince, died on July 9th Japan Standard Time at the age of 87 after suffering a subarachnoid hemorrhage stroke last month. I had been hearing rumours for the past few weeks about Kitagawa's impending passing but it has finally happened.
As such, I've decided to finish my contributions tonight with one of the Johnny's groups from a few decades back, Hikaru Genji（光GENJI）. Some weeks ago, I encountered this song from their July 1990 album "Cool Summer", "Ano Hi no Wasuremono" (What I Forgot That Day), and what I can't forget about this song is how different it sounds from their big hits from the previous decade, such as "Paradise Ginga" (パラダイス銀河）which was all about their dynamism and roller skates.
Actually, "Ano Hi no Wasuremono" is a pretty relaxed track on the album with a friendly country-style music and arrangement by Jun Sato（佐藤準）about a boy with a major crush on a girl. If I'm not mistaken about Yoshiko Miura's（三浦徳子）lyrics, the one thing in the lad's way is her boyfriend who may be a real cad. I can't really see Moroboshi-kun and the rest of Hikaru Genji getting onto the TV stage to roller skate to this song. Perhaps this is more of the guys simply lounging about on a dude ranch set. In any case, it's quite refreshing to hear this side of the group. "Cool Summer" hit No. 1 on Oricon.
Over the next several days, there will be retrospectives on the long life of Johnny Kitagawa and the various groups that have emerged from his influence. It will be interesting to see who and what gets featured.