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.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mina Aoe -- Koukotsu no Blues (恍惚のブルース)

It's Hump Day...otherwise known as Wednesday; a couple of days away from Blue Monday and a couple of days away from TGIF. Not quite as depressing but not quite as exciting as well. So, most likely if I were a salaryman in Japan, I'd probably hit the nearby izakaya with some buddies to drink some of those mid-week blues.

Speaking of which, I wanted to bring in some of those Mood Kayo Blues. So I went with Mina Aoe's(青江三奈)"Koukotsu no Blues" (Ecstasy Blues), the lyrically suggestive debut single for the late singer with the breathy voice. Unlike the sensual gasp-punctuated "Isezakicho Blues"(伊勢崎町ブルース)which was arguably Aoe's most famous hit, this June 1966 release was a bit more mild-mannered in melody with the de rigueur laidback sax, guitar and strings by Kuranosuke Hamaguchi(浜口庫之助), the same man who also wrote and composed "Yuuhi ga Naiteiru"(夕陽が泣いている), a hit for the Group Sounds band, The Spiders, in the same year. The lyrics were written by Kohan Kawauchi(川内康範)who also provided the words to the aforementioned "Isezakicho Blues" a couple of years later. Strangely enough, those lyrics struck me as surprisingly unsuggestive, but he had certainly given a lot more charge to the words for "Koukotsu no Blues", as the title would indicate. A few lines from one verse was an innuendo either intimating that the heroine's lover brought her out of her shell and showered her with tons of blue pearls, or that he made her a complete woman.

As for the title itself, it was inspired by a short story serial, "Koukotsu" that had been written by lyricist Kawauchi for the journal "Shuukan Shincho"(週刊新潮). Aoe, who had been working as a singer in one of those Ginza nightclubs under her real name of Shizuko Ihara(井原静子), adopted the name of the protagonist (who was also a singer) from the story, Mina Aoe....and the rest, they say, is history.

"Koukotsu no Blues" sold 800,000 records which would have been a sure Oricon No. 1 if that ranking system had already been in place. Aoe merely had to settle for an invitation to the 1966 Kohaku Utagassen.


  1. Hi J-Canuck,

    Ah, this is really Mood Kayo! The sax, the husky voiced singer... I've seen "Koukotsu blues" a number of times, but when it comes to Aoe, the first song that comes to mind would be "Isezakicho blues". But now that I've listened to "Koukotsu blues" - I haven't bothered to listen to it until now - I would say that I prefer it to "Isezakicho".

    As for the lyrics... from whatever I could understand, it doesn't seem that suggestive, but since you said that it's an innuendo, I couldn't help but read into it and snicker. First it was the sighs from "Isezakicho" and now this...Yeah, my classmates have corrupted this brain of mine.

    1. Hi, Noelle.

      Yeah, I really needed to have a glass of scotch with this one, and I don't even drink! As for the innuendo part, even blow torches couldn't burn off the smirk on my face whenever I heard this one.


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