Double Bonus Sakamoto Night Studio – Akiko Yano
J-Pop night’s unexpected (even by me) surprise encore does science! and research.
So this post about Vanilla Mood earlier tonight included the song “Harusaki Kobeni,” which is a rather poppy song. At the time, I did a quick youtube search to find the original by Akiko Yano but had no idea what I was reading since all results came back in Japanese, and
I’m too lazy an internationally famous nighttime DJ like myself doesn’t have time to mess with that sort of thing.
Enter wdydfae, who commented –
The song apparently goes back to the early 80s and was sung by Akiko Yano, backed by none other than Yellow Magic Orchestra, the milestone techno fusion band. It was quite a thing at the time.
During his research he discovered a post about the song on a site called Kayo Kyoku Plus, which explains that the song is about “enthusiastically admiring the cherry blossoms.” Enthusiastic is an understatement.. the song is so ferociously upbeat it makes last week’s relentlessly cheery songs seem like dirges –
The song was such a hit that it was used in a commercial for Kanebo Cosmetics –
So very 1981.
The writer of the KKP site relates an apocryphal story…
I found out a rather interesting piece of trivia that I’m still not totally convinced about. Yano has had professional relationships with a wide variety of Western artists ranging from Janis Siegel of The Manhattan Transfer to Thomas Dolby.There is the famous line in Dolby’s biggest hit, “She Blinded Me With Science” in which he sings, “Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You’re beautiful!”Apparently, Yano had been observing the recording of the song, and Dolby was referring to her, since she had been married to YMO’s Ryuichi Sakamoto（坂本龍一） at the time. This is according to J-Wiki, but at another site, Miss Sakamoto is supposed to refer to their daughter, Miyu（美雨）, who is now also a musician but was only around 1 year old when “Science”came out. Not sure if this is true or not…just throwing it out there.
Posted on October 10, 2015, in ♫ ♪ ♫, Fun Stuff, Science! and tagged 80s, fun stuff, love letter to japan, music, radio, Saturday Night Studio, science. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.
Oh, what a tangled early 80s speculative anecdotal musical hearsay web we weave.
It’s kind of typical, but the name of the product or jingle is related to the words of the song (see for instance pretty much all of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu featured CMs). “Kobeni” in the song means “tiny red,” and “Kuchibeni” means lipstick (literally mouth little red), and this is “mini kuchibeni”, a super compact lipstick.
Yeah, that CM (shot on the famous Li river in China) is pure 1981. The Princess Di is strong in this one!
Correction: lipstick = kuchibeni = mouth + red
Which, now that I think about it, is kind of dated, since they have black lipstick and such.
Hey, Kayo Kyoku Plus is an amazing site. Check out the length and meticulousness of the “Labels” on the right column. A real labor of love.
The top entry when I went there was a duo called Charisma.com…. cheerfully and murderously catchy.
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