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.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

KAN -- Propose (プロポーズ)

(cover version)

Back around the late 80s and early 90s for a very brief time, there seemed to have been a small boom in geeky male singer-songwriters...y'know, nice shy guys who would've blanched at the thought of taking a girl out on a date. There were bespectacled Senri Oe(大江千里) and lovably luggy Noriyuki Makihara(槇原敬之), for example. And then there was KAN. With that slim figure, sad puppy dog eyes and the geeky bow tie he sometimes wore during performances, he was likelier to have been selected as a Japanese Doctor Who than as a rock god. But in any case, I think he was more than happy to be just a good ol' creator of pop songs.

"Propose" (Proposal) is KAN's 10th single, released in July 1991, almost a year after his blockbuster hit, the happy-go-lucky "Ai wa Katsu" (愛は勝つ...Love Will Triumph). As the title indicates, it's a song-length proposal/serenade to his lady love as he promises to take her to that lovely park nearby for a stroll and to listen to anything she has to say. KAN has never had the steadiest of deliveries but I think his polished amateurishness works well here as the nice shy guy getting up the gumption to pop the question. KAN had his TV base on the old Wednesday-night variety show "Yamada Katsutenai Terebi" やまだかつてないテレビ) on Fuji-TV for which "Ai wa Katsu" got full exposure. And sure enough, "Propose" got its chance as the theme song for one of the relatively dramatic segments on the show in which every week,  a 5-minute filmed vignette was shown with one of the regular stars (usually comedienne Kuniko Yamada herself) in a slice-of-life romantic scene with a hunky actorly guest star. Frankly, I thought the bit was somewhat jarring compared to the surrounding hilarity of a comedy show.

The song peaked at No. 5 on Oricon and is a track on KAN's 6th album, "Yukkuri Furo ni Tsukaritai"ゆっくり風呂につかりたい....I Wanna Soak Slowly in a Bath) released in May 1991 which itself peaked at No. 2. If the song sounds a bit familiar to Western pop fans, KAN based the melody on Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed".

And here is a cover of "Propose" by none other than Sakurai-san of Mr. Children!


  1. You know, I should really do a profile on another KAN song when I have the time, probably "Mayumi" or "St.Petersburg" (for obvious reasons). His songs and I seem to share many characteristics in common, one of them being that goofy shyness that you've mentioned.

    I've got this song on the "Yukkuri Furo" album and it's a pleasant listen indeed. Aside from The Beatles and Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder also had a major influence on KAN's songs. Heck, he dedicated almost a whole album to him a few years later and then came in dressed as Stevie for the related concert tour. But that's another story altogether...

  2. Hi, nikala.

    Yeah, please go ahead with a KAN song if you have time. I think I may know just a couple of more tunes by him but that's about it for me. One of them is his Xmas song that I'll save for later this year.


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