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.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Danjuro Kikkawa/Manami Kawada -- Ah, Miyagi-ken(ああ宮城県)


Happily from what I've read, the annual Tanabata Festival in the city of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture was back on tap earlier this month after having to cancel the 2020 edition due to COVID-19. Mind you, it was apparently a smaller version because of the ongoing pandemic but at least the show did go on. Sorry to say, though, I never had the opportunity to visit Sendai or any of Miyagi Prefecture, especially considering that one of my good friends here hails from the area.

Some months ago, I discovered this folk/pop song in tribute to the province titled "Ah, Miyagi-ken" (Ah, Miyagi Prefecture) as originally created and sung by Miyagi-born radio personality, potter and singer-songwriter Danjuro Kikkawa(吉川団十郎). Released as his second single in April 1976, it's a down-to-earth and happy singalong about his home prefecture with the usual lyrical theme of realizing that the fresh fish and incredible rice, among other charms, of Miyagi outweigh anything that Tokyo has to offer.

Almost a quarter of a century later, a more contemporary version of the song titled "Ah, Miyagi-ken 2020" was recorded by local tarento Manami Kawada(川田愛美).


  1. I found "Ah, Miyagi-ken 2020" to be fairly uplifting and fun especially during times like these when we find ourselves in the middle of an epidemic.

    Here is a song from my next of the woods or actually blue forest:



    1. Morning, Brian. Thanks for the link. The moving "Aoi Mori no Message" has some pretty big heavyweights behind its creation according to J-Wiki: Akira Ito on lyrics, Kisaburo Suzuki on music (since he hails from Hirosaki) and the late Katsuhisa Hattori on overall production.

      Speaking of Hirosaki, my anime buddy did a pilgrimage up there since one of his favourite anime was based in that city. I hear that it serves some of the best apple pie in the nation.

  2. Typo: I meant "my neck of the woods" not "my next of.."!

  3. QUESTION: Does your buddy's favorite Anime happen to be, "The Flying Witch(ふらいんぐうぃっち)" by Chihiro Ishizuka?

    By the way my best friend from my university days (now my wife) is from what was formerly known as Iwaki town (岩木町). They speak a very strong dialect of Japanese called Tsugaru-ben. By necessity I have acquired a little bit of Tsugaru-ben but I am far, far, far from being fluent in it. Actually, Aomori prefecture has three dialects: Tsugaru-ben, Nambu-ben, and Shimokita-ben.

    I agree 100% with the claim that Hirosaki has the best Apple pies in the nation.

    1. Hello, Brian. Oh, you win Double Jeopardy! Yep, it was indeed "Flying Witch", and it is a favourite of mine as well. I would actually like to go to Hirosaki someday and try out those apple pies since they are far and away my favourite type of pie.

      I've had a casual interest in dialects in Japan, the UK and the United States and I have heard that the Tohoku indeed has a plethora of difficult dialects. How strong is Tsugaru-ben? By the way, I'm basically a Kansai-ben guy in my family.

  4. How strong Tsugaru-ben is will deepened on the speaker. If the speaker is an older individual for one a smaller towns it will be pure Tsugaru-ben like this:

    BUT those in bigger cities will sound more like the young lady in this video comparing her very soft accented Tsugaru-ben and so called standard Japanese:

    When people sometimes make the claim that that Tsugaru-ben sounds like french they are most likely referring to the type of Tsugaru-ben used in the last video.

    1. Hello, Brian. The young lady's Tsugaru-ben can be understood to an extent but hearing those old ladies talking the deeper stuff, it felt like they were from a different country.


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.