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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Yumi Adachi -- Kaze no Naka no Dance (風の中のダンス)

For anyone who was watching those J-Dramas in the 1990s, one of the more memorable shows was most likely "Ienaki Ko"(家なき子...A Homeless Child)from 1994 starring then-child actress Yumi Adachi(安達祐実)as a crafty kid who has to grow up and grow hard extremely quickly to get the cash to save her sick mother. The famous line was shouted out by Adachi's character herself "If you're gonna pity me, then give me money!"

Having only heard about the show by reputation, I never saw the toughened Adachi. Instead, I always saw her smiling visage on the many commercials she also starred in. At that young age, she was already becoming the It Girl on Japanese TV. Heck, she had entered show business basically from the age of zero as a baby model from 1981.

As would be the case for many ingenues during those days, Adachi also released her share of songs starting from 1993. Her most successful single was her 5th of eight releases from May 1995 while the sequel "Ienaki Ko 2" was on the air. "Kaze no Naka no Dance" (Dance in the Wind) wasn't the official theme song for the show but it was used at some point during the episodes.

Considering how it sounded, the song must have reflected the future that her character Suzu was hoping for. "Kaze no Naka no Dance" was written and composed by Taeko Ohnuki(大貫妙子), and it's a song about a boy and a girl happily and innocently in love just enjoying the day and relationship together. All that is missing is a bunch of puppy dogs and My Little Pony. And it has a bit of that Ohnuki melodic sweep that I often heard from her in the early 1980s when the singer-songwriter was fully in thrall to her European mood.

The song managed to reach No. 25 on Oricon and sold 150,000 copies.

When I arrived in Japan in late 1994 to start my stint at what was once the overlord of English conversation schools, NOVA, I was working at the Ueno branch for about 6 months. My immediate boss, a young lady from Wales, told me that she used to teach Ms. Adachi one-on-one in the far smaller Okachimachi school just around the corner. Of course, steps were taken to insure her privacy whenever she came over for her English classes but since she was so popular at the time, it was a matter of time before the word got out, and one day, her fans descended upon Okachimachi like seagulls on a new landfill. End of lessons.


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