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, July 28, 2020

Sakurako Biseimaru -- Onna Misaki Bushi(おんな岬節)

I heard this song "Onna Misaki Bushi" (Song of the Woman on the Cape) on an episode of NHK's "Nodo Jiman"(のど自慢)weeks ago when the show was showing past scenes of folks singing on the stage, and I was rather captivated by it. There was a lot of spunky brio to it.

So I did a look around online and found out that the original singer was a lady by the name of Sakurako Biseimaru(美盛丸桜子), and according to Tower Records, it had been released back in 1988. Aside from that, there is next to nothing on information about this mysterious enka singer, although I could glean from the same site that her active years may have been between 1988 and 1992. I had to find out how to read the kanji from Oricon itself. She has recorded a number of songs according to the JASRAC database.

Written by Tetsuro Hoshino(星野哲郎)and composed by Keisuke Hama(浜圭介), it's got a thumping beat throughout as Biseimaru sings softly but actually carries a big stick (to partially quote US President Theodore Roosevelt). To wit, her protagonist in the lyrics is exhorting everyone to watch out since she doesn't want to be the quiet woman who prays for the safety of those brave fishermen on the trawlers on the rough seas. She wants to be one of those fishermen out there!

Another enka trope that I've noticed is how a number of songs of the genre have used misaki or "cape" in their titles. Being an island nation, Japan does have a lot of capes all over, and I guess standing at the edge of one of them with the water crashing all around must cut quite the heroic pose.

(empty karaoke version)

Not sure whatever became of Biseimaru but the fact that there are karaoke videos of her and the fact that people do perform "Onna Misaki Bushi" on "Nodo Jiman" mean that she still has a presence and memory in her fans' minds.

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