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, July 2, 2012

Teresa Teng -- Aijin (愛人)

I think of all the enka singers I have heard of, Teresa Teng(テレサテン)is one of just three enka artists for whom I've gotten a Best compilation. The arrangements of the melodies just seem to mix in enka, Mood Kayo and a European flair which appeals to me.

"Aijin"(Mistress) was the first Teresa Teng song I had ever heard....on "The Sounds of Japan"radio programme on CHIN-FM. It just sounded like enka and sophisticated pop. It was released in February 1985 as her 15th single, and peaked at No. 10 on the Oricon weeklies. It finished as the 56th-ranked song of the year and earned her first appearance on the Kohaku Utagassen in 1985. I was just surprised that she hadn't gotten on the year before for "Tsugunai"つぐない...Atonement).
The song has been covered by other enka heavyweights such as Sayuri Ishikawa(石川さゆり) and Shinichi Mori(森進一). Toyohisa Araki(荒木とよひさ)and Takashi Miki(三木たかし)were responsible for words and music respectively.


  1. I was reading some new entries and saw Teresa Teng was mentioned in one entry. then I was curious if Teresa Teng has been mentioned on this blog and got to this old entry.

    Aijin is also the first Teresa Teng song ever I had listened to. It's quite amazing how I managed not knowing who Teresa Teng was or had never heard (and remembered) her song before since she was so famous in Asia. maybe because I was so little when she passed away ( and of course I wasn't even born when she was at her peak).

    after reading, I just wonder how people categorize whether the song is enka song or the singer is enka singer. for me Teresa Teng's genre is more like Pop (and wikipedia in English listed her genre as Mandopop, Cantopop and J-pop)

    1. Hi, May.

      I'm gonna date myself badly here, but I first heard about Teresa Teng through my visits to my old university karaoke haunt of Kuri back in the 80s and through my favourite radio program, "Sounds of Japan" at around the same time.

      To be honest, when I first started the blog back in 2012, Teresa Teng was one of the early entries, and I was slightly stymied about which category to place songs like "Aijin" or "Tsugunai". Was it really enka or was it Mood Kayo? I think I may have even mentioned the genre of European enka, since it had that Latin flair (usually my barometer was the singer Julio Iglesias...could I imagine him singing "Aijin"?).

      Ultimately, I placed her in the enka/Mood Kayo category since there was something intangibly old-world and traditional about the arrangement that I didn't see in the New Music/City Pop/Pop genres. Plus, it seemed like she had been appearing a whole lot more on shows like "Enka no Hanamichi" and the predecessors to NHK's "Kayo Concert" which dealt more with the older style of pop. Perhaps, a lot of her discography could just be placed in the larger sphere of kayo kyoku, in general.


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