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.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Jun Mayuzumi/Saori Yuki -- Yuzuki(夕月)


Commenter Jim Laker gave me some trivia that I was surprised that I hadn't come across when it came to the Jun Mayuzumi(黛ジュン)file. Her older brother just happened to be prolific composer Takashi Miki(三木たかし)who unfortunately passed away back in 2009 at the age of 64.

Also, because I haven't written anything about Mayuzumi since 2016, I thought I should give her some more spotlight once more through her 5th single, "Yuzuki" (Evening Moon) which was put out to the masses in September 1968. It's quite the interesting song since I can't quite categorize it in terms of genre all that easily. Obviously with the introductory koto and then the later addition of a shakuhachi, I'm thinking enka but with the dramatic background chorus and the melancholy rhythm, I'm also imagining Mood Kayo. But at the same time, I'm just wondering whether the traditional stuff is simply adorning what is really a straight-ahead pop kayo.

Mayuzumi's brother, Takashi Miki, was indeed behind the music and arrangement while Rei Nakanishi(なかにし礼)supplied the lyrics of a romance that has to come to an end despite the enduring love due to various circumstances. "Yuzuki" definitely hit the right nerves among the kayo-listening public as it peaked at No. 2 on Oricon, became the 20th-ranked single for 1968 and hung on longer to become the 46th-ranked single for 1969. It sold a little more than 660,000 records (her most best-selling single) and interestingly enough, it was to have been the song that Mayuzumi was to perform at her 2nd appearance on NHK's Kohaku Utagassen, but her preceding single, "Tenshi no Yuwaku" (天使の誘惑)had just won the Grand Prize at the Japan Record Awards that year on December 21st, so the singer ended up singing "Tenshi no Yuwaku" instead.

Saori Yuki(由紀さおり)would do a cover of "Yuzuki" much later for her late 2011 album "1969" in a collaboration with the American jazz ensemble Pink Martini. "1969" was an album of kayo covers from the 1960s that got a lot of acclaim in Japan and abroad. On Oricon, the album peaked at No. 4 and after becoming the 99th-ranked release for 2011, its popularity would raise it to the status of 26th-ranked album of 2012. It even topped certain charts on iTunes in Canada, America and Japan.

As for Mayuzumi, some other trivia that I could get from her J-Wiki article is that she's a huge fan of Canadian jazz pianist/singer Diana Krall, loves Atsushi from EXILE, and enjoys dining on beef and pork.


  1. Takashi Miki's last TV appearance was in January 2009 in an NHK Kayo Concert with Jun Mayuzumi, their first appearance together in 30-odd years.

    You mentioned Katsuhisa Hattori in another recent post. I think his last TV appearance was in a Christmas Sound Inn special on 21st December 2019, with Yukari Ito, Akira Fuse, Saori Yuki and Hiromi Iwasaki.

    1. Always enjoy a classy orchestral Xmas show. Thanks, Jim.


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