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, September 2, 2015

Hiroshi Itsuki -- Omae to Futari (おまえとふたり) of the enka classics. Just that one song that I would love to hear inside a proper nomiya, and which most likely got plenty of play on multiple episodes of "Enka no Hanamichi"(演歌の花道)in one of those mock-up bars.

"Omae to Futari" (The Two Of Us) turned out to be Hiroshi Itsuki's(五木ひろし)biggest hit after it was first heard in October 1979. Written by Takashi Taka(たかたかし)and composed by Yoshio Kimura(木村好夫), lyrically speaking, it comes off as being counter-intuitive when compared to some of the other enka tunes.  Usually when I hear an old ballad, I expect the story to be about the aftermath of a ruined love affair and one of the former couple drowning his/her sorrows in copious drink. But with "Omae to Futari", the story is of a couple together at last after some hinted trials and tribulations in the past...both of them escaping from unhappy marriages, a long separation due to various circumstances, etc.

Perhaps it is because of the meaning behind the lyrics that I tend to prefer the slower version of the song (as shown above) since it melodically describes that quiet denouement after all the unneeded tension. I could imagine the man and woman embracing on some bench in a park at a late hour celebrating their long-awaited reunion. That intro sets the mood perfectly. And of course, there are the heartfelt vocals by Itsuki himself which ensures a good patient listen by the entire audience.

"Omae to Futari" got as high as No. 3 on Oricon and became the 7th-most successful song for 1980. As well, it earned a Gold Prize at the Japan Record Awards for 1979.

Still, there is nothing wrong with the jauntier version of the song. I think it can be quite celebratory.


  1. Oh wow, an enka tune that's actually happy for once. Don't get to hear that often. Listening to both renditions of "Omae to Futari", I prefer the faster version as I find that it fits the lyrics better. The slower version actually sounds pretty forlorn, and if I were to listen to it without you explaining what the song is about, I'd think that "Omae to Futari" was another melancholic enka song. But either way, I can see... hear... why this was Itsuki's biggest hit. It's quite catchy, and I have a feeling that the "Shiawase wo" part is gonna be stuck in my head for a while.

    1. Yep, strangely enough, there are actually some happy-ending enka out there. For those, I usually think of the festival-based ones by folks like Sabu-chan, so it's actually quite refreshing to hear a romantic enka that ends well.

    2. Yeah, it's usually the festival enka that's starts off and ends on a joyous note. Actually, romantic (well, sort of) enka songs do have happy endings or contexts too. Sometimes. If the topic happens to be husband and wife relationships, that is. e.g. Yoshi and Kozai's "Asu no Meoto Zake".


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.