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.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Yumi Arai -- Ano Hi ni Kaeritai (あの日にかえりたい)

It's awfully hard to pick one best song from Yuming when she was going by her maiden name of Yumi Arai(荒井由実)in the early 70s. Her voice had been so mellow at that time which especially matched this song "Ano Hi ni Kaeritai"(I Wanna Return to Those Days)...a soft bossa nova-tinged tune talking of a woman's wishes to return to a happier time as opposed to her regret-filled present (probably would've made a great theme song for Mal, the femme fatale character in "Inception"). It was actually the theme song for a TV drama, "Katei no Himitsu" (家庭の秘密....A Household Secret) in 1975, but I think the song has become the much more well-remembered of the two.

"Ano Hi ni Kaeritai", Yuming's 6th single, was released in October 1975 and stayed at the No. 1 spot on Oricon for one week in late December. It had never been a track on an original album but was included in her first Best album, "Yuming Brand" in 1976. Haruomi Hosono(細野晴臣) of YMO fame was on bass for this song, and the backup singer you hear right from the start is Junko Yamamoto(山本潤子), lead singer for Hi-Fi Set, the trio which often covered Yuming's songs such as "Sotsugyo Shashin"(卒業写真...Graduation Photo).

Listen to this song over a cup of herbal tea. You'll be glad you did.


  1. Hello, It's been a long time since I don't comment...

    I'm getting more involved into Yuming's music... On my 20th birthday (November 1st, 2013) I got some courage and published a short cover on video at youtube of this song, that I love so much... I don't even know the translation, but It's perfect to me. I'm glad Yuming was part in my teeanage years, and now she is still there...

    I sang more short covers from her singles mostly at my Soundcloud account:

    1. Hi, Max. Good to hear from you again. Happy Birthday, by the way. And it's nice to know that some of the next generation have become interested in some of the older stuff.

      Yuming may not be quite the superstar that she once was, but her music is still carrying on 40 years after her debut.

    2. Thanks. I think It's important to listen to the roots of Japanese "New Music", classics never die..
      I discovered Yuming when Maaya Sakamoto (a seiyuu and singer-songwriter) sang a cover of her popular "Yasashisa ni Tsutsumareta Nara" and the next year Yuming composed a song for her "Okaerinasai" in which was released as a single with a cover of "A HAPPY NEW YEAR" as a B-side... I would love a Cover Abum from Maaya singing Yuming songs, like Mikki Imai's "Dialogue", her Cover Album with new arrangements.

      I was thinking last night if Yuming's voice is contralto style now, but at her youth maybe she was a mezzosoprano... I don't know.. I got used to her nasal voice as well...

      I love Yuming because she is a skilled musician, all her lyrics and music are by her, and she has contributed to so many artists.

    3. Hello, again. Of course, being the guy who set the blog up, I'm gonna be rather biased, but yeah, I would definitely agree....never let the oldies die.

      I think I mentioned this when I wrote up an article on Yuming's "Dandelion" (1982) that that was the first ever song by her that I heard, which would place her voice between her mezzosoprano and her more nasal version.

      She has had quite the effect on singers and generations over the past 4 decades, and listening to her music can provide some musical touchstones about how Japan was progressing over the years.


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