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.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Mayumi Itsuwa -- Umi(海)

This is a soaring piece of feel-good by singer-songwriter Mayumi Itsuwa(五輪真弓). I'm not sure how this 11th single, "Umi" (Sea), fared on Oricon when it was released in June 1977, but I do feel certain that it did score ripples in a lot of her fans' hearts.

Written and composed by the Tokyo-born Itsuwa, the singer invites listeners to the healing effects of the ocean, to shed all of those pressures and worries once they come to the shore line. Just listening to "Umi" brings as much imagery of sun and cooling breezes as the average Japanese summer wind chime does. My impression of Itsuwa when I first heard about her in the 1980s was that she enjoyed the more contemplative music with a good dollop of Gallic feeling, but when she began her career back in the 1970s, her melodies covered that airier side of New Music, as if she had always created her songs while sitting on a grassy hill under a very large sky.

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