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, September 13, 2021

Naoko Kawai -- Machikado


Belated birthday by almost a couple of months, but Naoko Kawai(河合奈保子)did turn 58 on July 24th this year so all the best to her and hers.

The more I delve into this early 1980s aidoru's albums such as "Summer Delicacy", "Daydream Coast" and "9 1/2", the more I'm convinced that Kawai was just as much a City Pop-influenced teen idol as Momoko Kikuchi(菊池桃子). My previous article regarding the Osaka native was the relaxing "Home Again, Alone Again" from "Daydream Coast" and before that was "Natsu no Hi no Koi"(夏の日の恋), a more City Pop take on Junko Yagami's(八神純子)straight-on Latin original.

Like "Natsu no Hi no Koi", "Machikado" (Street Corner) is a track on the 1984 "Summer Delicacy", and both of them are A-siders on the original LP. As such, they were both written by Masao Urino(売野政男)and composed by Yagami. However, arrangement for "Machikado" was handled by Shiro Sagisu(鷺巣詩郎). The song is quite the interesting track in that I feel that it straddles that dividing line between City Pop/J-AOR and aidoru exactly. The rhythm has that urban vibe but the instrumentation with the strings and the keyboards still comes across as being very aidoru-friendly twinkly. The overall effect is happy and breezy, just the thing to feel before summer technically goes away in the middle of next week.


  1. Well, a Happy belated birthday to Naoko Kawai! I really enjoyed watching her perform her スマイル・フォー・ミー (Smile For Me) song years ago.

    1. Hi, Brian. Yep, "Smile For Me" was my introduction to Naoko-chan. Along with Seiko Matsuda, Kawai showed me what the quintessential early 80s aidoru could look like.


  2. What a great or maybe prefect introduction to the 80's Aidoru scene!

    Yeah, Seiko Matsuda was one of the few(maybe only) aidoru who made her professional debut exactly in 1980 and whose popularity last throughout the entirety of the 1980's and even after gaining her the nickname the Eternal Idol. However, having said that personally I like more of the songs from Nakamori Akina's discography than I do of Seiko's. I do have a soft place in my heart for Seiko's 1996 hit あなたに逢いたくて〜Missing You〜 and more her early 1984 hit Sweet memories.

    1. Hello, Brian. Yeah, if it came to choosing between Seiko and Akina (I do like both), I'd probably go with Akina as well because she had that so-called tough exterior hiding a vulnerable soul.


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