When I first started listening to "The Sounds of Japan"on CHIN-FM back in 1982, the first program I taped directly off the radio had the theme of rain. Junko Yagami's "Mizuiro no Ame" was the second song. But this was the first song I heard. Now, after having heard a lot of aidoru and technopop over the past year since my trip to Japan, "Ame no Monogatari"was a revelation. Iruka(イルカ） (nee Toshie Hosaka...保坂としえ) has this soft yet resonant delivery for her genre of folk and light pop. The bluesy electric guitar intro grabbed me right from the start which then led into the singer's tale from a man's point of view about his feelings for his lover during a rainstorm outside. And then the strings come in during the refrain which gives the song a further richer feeling. As you may tell, this song remains a special one for me.
"Ame no Monogatari"was released in March 1977, and peaked at No. 16, ending up at No. 34 in the yearly rankings. It was written and composed by Shozo Ise（伊勢正三）, a member of the most famous folk band in Japan, Kaguyahime（かぐや姫）, which was responsible for arguably one of the most recognized folk songs in the early 70s, "Kandagawa"（神田川）。
Iruka means "dolphin" in Japanese, and Hosaka earned it after some of her friends noticed her walking with her guitar case and thought that she looked like the animal. I guess I had to be there.