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 6, 2021

Yukino Ichikawa -- Hizakura(秘桜)


Happy Labour Day! Obviously no work today and no particular need to get any supplies. So I get to do some more stuff on the blog.

I may have mentioned this NHK kayo program in a past article, but for the last little while, there has been "Hayauta"(はやウタ)which translates as "Early Songs", and the reason is that "Hayauta" has been televised at the eye-blearing time of 4:30 am on Sunday mornings! Now of course, with the advent of technology such as DVRs or even ancient stuff such as VCRs with the timer function, die-hard enka/Mood Kayo fans don't have to fret about waking up in the wee hours (way before pancake time) to catch something like "Hayauta". However, why anyone at the national broadcaster would program a kayo show in this slot is still rather mind-boggling. Perhaps they might be going along with the theory that older people tend to wake up a lot earlier.

Lucky for us guys on TV Japan, we were able to catch the latest broadcast of "Hayauta" at the far more amenable time of 1 o'clock PM yesterday, and it was definitely nice to catch a kayo show again after all of the hoopla surrounding the Olympics for a month. And one of the acts that I was able to catch was enka singer Yukino Ichikawa(市川由紀乃)with her recent single "Hizakura" released in March this year.

I've read that hizakura(日桜)refers to the cherry blossoms seen in the daytime, so this song title with the kanji for "secret"(秘)instead of the one for "day"(日)fronting the kanji in the title may be a Japanese pun. Looking through the lyrics by Ou Yoshida(吉田旺), the veteran songwriter who contributed the words for Naomi Chiaki's(ちあきなおみ)"Kassai"(喝采)all the way back in 1972, perhaps "Hizakura" here could mean "Secret Among the Cherry Blossoms" hinting at a tryst that has to inevitably come to its natural end.

Mind you, for something that lyrically feels very sub-rosa, the music by Kohei Miyuki(幸耕平), who has often worked with current kayo group Junretsu(純烈), packs a lot of brio with those dramatic strings and the electric guitar punch. Yet, Ichikawa's elegant delivery does float above the melodic sturm und drang. "Hizakura" peaked at No. 11 on Oricon. My compliments also go to the set designer and fashion designer for the official music video.

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