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.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Hiromi Iwasaki -- Hitoribocchi no Heya (ひとりぼっちの部屋)

It's been a while since I've put up this sort of kayo, but in the past, I've found that there were some of the old songs which had some happy and cheerful music alongside some sad lyrics. Basically, the moral of the story was that one not only has to keep that upper lip nice and stiff but that lip also has to be a part of a big smile, no matter how bad the situation. Maybe one of the better examples is Kyu Sakamoto's(坂本九)"Ue wo Muite Arukou" (上を向いて歩こう), aka the "Sukiyaki" song.

Well, I found one of Hiromi Iwasaki's(岩崎宏美)earlier songs from her February 1976 2nd original album "Fantasy"(ファンタジー). Titled "Hitoribocchi no Heya" (Lonely Room), it's another wonderfully delivered 1970s Iwasaki tune with a bit of light funk by Yusuke Hoguchi(穂口雄右), and not thinking too deeply about the title, I had assumed that it was another happy-go-lucky number of being in love. However, Yu Aku's(阿久悠)lyrics relate a young devastated girl holing up in her bedroom due to some adolescent frustration about a boy that she likes. It's quite dark, actually...looking at those lyrics makes me wonder if she is heading into hikikomori territory. But hey, it's still a bouncy tune.

The album "Fantasy" also contains her 3rd single "Sentimental"(センチメンタル)and the title track which was her 4th single. I was surprised to find out that I have yet to write about that one so I will have to rectify this next month. "Fantasy" the album hit No. 2 on Oricon and became the 32nd-ranked album for 1976.

Actually, there is another "Hitoribocchi no Heya" sung by Masa Takagi(高木麻早)back in 1973. I had wondered why in researching about Iwasaki's "Hitoribocchi no Heya" the title sounded so familiar, but Takagi's song is very different in that it's a very folksy number and the lyrics are also much happier in tone.


  1. Nothing about the tune and especially the performance suggests dark. Listening to her vocals, I'd have said that she was expressing similar sentiments to Omoide no ki no shita de.

    I'd like to draw your attention to another of her early songs, closing her first album Aozora, Kono hiroi sora no shita (この広い空の下). She often adopts a sad, wistful tone when singing live.

    The last clip is bookended by Duet and Romance, but has Kono hiroi sora no shita 7:30 in.

    1. Hi, Jim.

      Certainly the song is cheery enough but I still think the lyrics with the girl in her room are pretty unhappy. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree here. Let me take a look at your recommendations. Thanks!

    2. Hello again. I just listened to the concert version of "Kono Hiroi Sora no Shita" and it's a wonderfully country bluesy take. Very bittersweet but the now-separated couple at least have a chance to move on in their lives. I could only listen to that 30-second excerpt of the original version at iTunes, and though I know that it was Yu Aku and Koji Makaino, there's something about that intro that reminds me of a young Miyuki Nakajima. Thanks for letting me know.

  2. I wasn't disagreeing with you on the lyrics of Hitoribocchi no Heya, as I didn't know them at all. I was just saying that, from her performance of the tune, she sounds like she's expressing a triumphant feeling like in Omoide no ki no shita de. I don't know Japanese so I could only listen to the tune.

    1. OK, I misunderstood your message then. I thought you could understand the language.


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