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.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Yumi Matsutoya -- Harujoon/Himejoon(ハルジョオン・ヒメジョオン)


One of the more interestingly titled Yumi Matsutoya(松任谷由実)songs that I've ever encountered, I kinda wondered what the deal was with "Harujoon/Himejoon".


The second track on Yuming's(ユーミン)5th original album "Benisuzume"(紅雀...Strawberry Finch) from March 1978 and her 10th single from that same month, it's got a lot of that exotic kayo atmosphere so I can compare it with a few of those songs which were popular for that feeling of overseas travel such as Judy Ongg's(ジュディ・オング)"Miserarete"(魅せられて)and Saki Kubota's(久保田早紀)"Ihojin"(異邦人). Therefore, I was left wondering whether that unusual title was referring to a certain language's deep expressions or actual locations in another country.

As it turns out, it was neither. Actually, those two words refer to a couple of species of daisy of which only one is even mentioned in Yuming's lyrics. In English, those daisies are scientifically named Erigeron Philadelphicus and Erigeron Annuus. Speaking of those lyrics, my image is that a lady has returned to her hometown to give a final goodbye to a loved one who has unfortunately left this mortal coil far too soon, and realizing that although the town has remained the same, she hasn't. I guess that it might be like the expression "You can't go home again", and the melody has that certain melancholy feeling.

The single didn't do all that well on Oricon, only getting as high as No. 80, although the album "Benisuzume" peaked at No. 2 and finished the year as the 25th-ranked album. Still I'm pretty certain that "Harujoon/Himejoon" has gained in favour among Yuming fans considering that it's been placed on her concert playlists, and also it plays quite well in my head.


I don't know when Keiko Terada(寺田恵子)from the rock band SHOW-YA did her slightly more urban contemporary pop cover of "Harujoon/Himejoon", but according to the video below, it looks like Terada did a one-shot of this song that she has always loved. Perhaps, though she may have included it as a track in one of her albums.


10 comments:

  1. Nice song. I hadn't heard this before. I also haven't seen any videos of her performing before. I ordered a vinyl copy of "Surf & Snow" this morning. I've had a digital copy for a while, but I figure if I ever talk about it on my podcast, I'd like to have a physical copy.

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    1. Hi, Scott. Yep, I'm also more for physical copies though of course they take up room in my rooms.:) I saw Yuming performing for the first time on a video I bought of her "Wings of Light" tour. It was quite the revelation. I had never imagined that she could show the dance moves since I had assumed that she was just a quiet singer.

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    2. I spent several years moving away from physical media, but when I went back and realized that all the MP3's I'd made of the CD's I'd sold were 128 KBPS, I started buying the stuff I really liked on CD so I'd have the option of better copies at some point. When I started collecting Japanese Christmas music, I had no choice but to start buying more physical media because most of the best albums aren't just unavailable online, but are mostly just available on vinyl. I've picked up several albums recently that are virtually unknown outside of Japan, including some that are even scarce in Japan. The only bad thing is that the more vinyl I get, the more I want to get. There's something about the size and artistry of the old album covers you don't get from CD's, and especially not from downloads.

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    3. I definitely hear you, Scott. Although it's much easier in terms of storage to download albums, I like to have that feeling of an album or a single in my hands. Plus, I always enjoy leafing through the liner notes.

      It's awfully hard to stop the purchases, isn't it? Normally, I would have done my summer binging of Japanese albums already but it turns out that the loss of income due to COVID-19 has been the way to finally stop me. Mind you, translation requests have started to return as of yesterday, so maybe the Xmas binge is still on.

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    4. The bad (or good?) thing for me is that I found several albums I thought I'd never own up for auction at the same time. It was either wait a few more years to see if they showed up again, or get them now. I'm glad I got them, but it will be another year or so before I place another order like that. Good luck on the translation requests!

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    5. Thanks, Scott. It's nice to actually earn some cash again. My policy on getting those rare albums is that if any of them are available and I've got the money, I don't hesitate...I grab them as quickly as I can. I was lucky in getting Makoto Matsushita's "First Light" and Takako Mamiya's "Love Trip" that way. No regrets there.

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  2. I like this song a lot. Beautiful, wistful, soothing. I can't believe it only managed to get to #80 on Oricon. Mind-boggling.

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    1. That's good to hear. Maybe at the time, "Harujoon/Himejoon" was just a tad too exotic for many ears, even as a Yuming song. Well, it's getting its second wind as is a whole lot of other songs and albums.:)

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  3. Glad to see great songwriting getting the recognition it deserves. Again, if not for your blog there's a chance that I would never have heard it, so thanks again and keep at it.

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