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.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

George Yamamoto -- Hana mo Arashi mo (花も嵐も)

In commemoration of this day that I don't celebrate and still have no idea how its current day "rituals" are related to the Saint Valentine, I'd like to talk about George Yamamoto's (山本譲二) "Hana mo Arashi mo". It has got to be the most sappy yet sweet song that I've ever come across, and that says a lot, coming from someone who had Aska's ballads on constant replay for the past number of years, and I thought he was mushy!

The man behind the lyrics of Yamamoto's best known hit was Takashi Taka (たかたかし). I much prefer calling his name in the Japanese way though, Taka Takashi, for various reasons. For one, it's really fun to say consecutively. Anyway, like your typical Enka ballad, "Hana mo Arashi mo" centers around the relationship between a man and his wife. Despite trials and tribulations, good times (Hana) and bad (Arashi), he will always love her and protect her even if it means risking his life, that they will always be happy as long as they've got each other. A lovely set of lyrics that would make one go, "Aw, that's so sweet!". But the line that just completes this honey-doused jelly donut of a song like a sugar-encrusted chocolate bar (actually, just imagining this concoction is making me sick) would be the last line of the chorus...

Omae wa ore no  Omae wa ore no                        You are my  You are my
Ore no takara mono                                              My precious/treasure

Now ain't that just the sweetest thing? I don't know anything about relationships, but I think that any recipient of the song would be quite pleased or delighted.

Tetsuya Gen (弦哲也) was responsible for composing the music for "Hana mo Arashi mo". It sounds rather grand with the blare of the trumpets and rolling drums throughout, making the song like our protagonist's triumphant declaration of his undying love for his loved one. Yamamoto also belted out the words with such emotion and in such an exuberant manner, adding to the dramatic effect. I guess that's why I like this guy quite a bit, he's capable of singing both sappy love songs and gritty, manly ones.

Where I had learnt the meaning of the song.

"Hana mo Arashi mo" was released 15 years ago in on 1st February 2000. And by the way, Gen and Taka had paired multiple times to spawn many of Yamamoto's singles, with a number of them becoming hits.

Still really cool. I wouldn't say suave,
just cool.

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