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 21, 2021

Yumi Matsutoya/Yoshiko Miyazaki -- Yuyami wo Hitori(夕闇をひとり)


Happy Saturday! Hope wherever you are, you're enjoying the weekend. Right now, I'm trying to get through the typically hot and humid weather that is normal for the dog days of August. Had a nice brief conversation with Rocket Brown, and just like myself a couple of weeks ago, he will be co-hosting with Van Paugam soon on a podcast centering upon Toshiki Kadomatsu(角松敏生)so I'll be looking forward to that.

But for starters today, I'd like to get onto a track from Yumi Matsutoya's(松任谷由実)12th album from November 1981, "Sakuban O-Aishimashou" (昨晩お会いしましょう). I wrote up an article about that No. 1-hitting release back in the early days of the blog, and as I will also mention here, "Sakuban O-Aishimashou" is arguably the most City Pop of Yuming's(ユーミン)albums although not every song is of the genre. 

One track that I had yet to cover from the album rather straddles the line between regular pop and City Pop. "Yuyami wo Hitori" (Walking Alone In the Dusk) is definitely one cool cat of a Yuming track. It's about a woman heading home perhaps but without that young fellow that she aches for holding her hand. It's got quite a nice smoky rhythm with the goodly assistance of a thrumming keyboard and the horns, especially an urbane saxophone to finish things off. A lonely walk hasn't sounded so kakkoii.

Actress and tarento Yoshiko Miyazaki(宮崎美子), who incidentally shares the same initials with Yuming, provided a cover of "Yuyami no Hitori" in her December 1981 album, "Mellow". The arrangement isn't too different from the original aside from some extra backing vocals, more Fender Rhodes and no horns aside from that bluesy sax. I've already covered one other track from "Mellow", the technopoppy "Ima wa Heiki yo"(今は平気よ)


  1. Appreciate the content covered on this blog. I am a big fan of 1980's Japanese music and Showa in general.

    1. Thanks very much, Brian. Any particular favourites in terms of singers and songs?

    2. Sure, back in 1983 I was introduced to the world of J-pop through works of ささき いさお , 飯島 真理(Mari Iijima) like愛・おぼえていますか / Do you remember love and 杏里(Anri) like 悲しみがとまらない I Can't Stop The Loneliness as well as CAT’S EYE. Okay, here is a very, very abridge list of songs I enjoy from Japan of the late Showa period. This list is not in any particular order:

      (1) 安全地帯 (I like basically everything )
      (2)河合奈保子 (スマイル・フォー・ミー )
      (2) 尾崎紀世彦 (また逢う日まで)
      (3) 山口百恵 (いい日旅立ち)

      (4) 山下達郎( ride on time )

      (5) 鈴木聖美 & 鈴木雅之 (ロンリー・チャップリン)

      (6) 岡村孝子 (夢をあきらめないで)

      (7) 久保田早紀 (異邦人)
      (8) 今井美樹 (PRIDE)

      (10) 中島みゆき (everything she made)

      (11) 岩崎宏美 (聖母たちのララバイ)

      (12) 村下孝蔵 (陽だまり)

      (13) 斉藤由貴,プリンセス プリンセス , レベッカ, 渡辺美里, 松任谷由実, 中森明菜, 松田聖子, TN NETWORK, 米米CLUB、本田美奈子、WINK, オフコース, PICASSO , 薬師丸 ひろ子, and Godiego.

    3. Hi, Brian. Yeah, it was pretty much along the same lines for me as well, including "Macross" and "Cat's Eye". One particular radio program and a couple of Chinatown record stores also helped a lot.

    4. Growing up decades before Japanese culture became popular in the anglosphere it was a little difficult to discover it on ones own I think. In the city where I lived as a child there was a Japanese market named 大道(Daido). Unfortunately my parents were completely unaware of it, but fortunately in the 2nd grade I became friends with the children of expats from Japan. They introduced me to Japanese culture and to the Japanese community of the city I lived in at the time. Fast-forward 16 years later I was on a flight to Japan in 2001.

    5. Just for vacation or a job? I marvel at the realization that when I first got into Japanese music in earnest, there was no YouTube or Internet so I really needed that radio show "Sounds of Japan" and video rentals of "The Best 10" to help me figure out what was out there in Japan.

    6. Well it sounds like Canada was way more internationally minded than where I was living. I don't remember any of the typical video rental shops having any Japanese content other than dubbed Godzilla movies back in the early 80's.

      Question: "Just for vacation or a job?"

      Answer: Through my job

  2. Thank you for linking that Yumi song, it's really good! I've been meaning to check her stuff out since she's so famous but what would be a good album for a newbie to start off with?

    1. My pleasure. For me, her earlier albums have always be a favourite of mine. The aforementioned "Sakuban O-Aishimashou" is great but a lot of fans also enjoy her first few albums when she was going by her maiden name of Yumi Arai. My favourite of those albums is "The 14th Moon"(14番目の月) from 1976 which has some of those wonderfully sunny 70s New Music/City Pop flavours. Then, another good release is a later one "No Side" from 1984. You can also take a look at her discography on Wikipedia and do a cut-and-paste of those titles onto YouTube:

      Happy hunting!

    2. Thank you for the recommendations!


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