Credits

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.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Akai Tori/Nana Mizuki -- Akai Hana Shiroi Hana(赤い花白い花)




Another Hump Day is passing us by so perhaps something a little more sedate would be nice tonight. I've dug out a sweet and lilting ballad by folk group Akai Tori(赤い鳥)called "Akai Hana Shiroi Hana" (Red Flowers, White Flowers).

Created by Mie Nakabayashi(中林三恵), the song is notable for the guitar work which sounds like running water in a brook while the vocals by Junko Arai(新居潤子), who will go onto sing for vocal group Hi-Fi Set(ハイ・ファイ・セット)under her married name of Junko Yamamoto(山本潤子), and Yasuyo Hirayama(平山泰代), later of folk duo Kami Fusen(紙ふうせん), gently describe the kind act of presenting flowers. No ulterior motives here...just an innocent and kind tune.

"Akai Hana Shiroi Hana" is the B-side to Akai Tori's 2nd single "Jinsei"(人生...Life)released in June 1970. The following year, it became a track on the group's 4th album from July 1971, "Takeda no Komori"(竹田の子守唄...Takeda's Lullaby). The video of the old footage below has Yamamoto giving a solo performance. Strangely enough, if I'm not mistaken in my comprehension, she may have said that the songwriter was unknown at the time. It's a lovely performance.



Apparently, there was a cover version of "Akai Hana Shiroi Hana" performed by seiyuu Nana Mizuki(水樹奈々)in the 2019 anime retelling of Osamu Tezuka's(手塚治虫)"Dororo"(どろろ). Mizuki played the virtuous but doomed character of Mio, and though I never saw the anime, just seeing this video had me getting all lumpy in the throat. Just want to make sure, though...the above is indeed Mizuki singing this?

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