Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Enka’

Kimonos on Monday: Photos of my Iwasa Misaki concert DVD covers and insert booklets.

“Forget blogging.” That is what I tell myself. I am in so much trouble at work for being such a deadwood employee, that I feel guilty even posting a few photos. I had been wanting to write a review of Iwasa Misaki’s first solo concert DVD last year, but never could. Then she released another solo concert earlier this year. Both are great concerts. There is this inner scream inside me that just wants to tell someone about them …

If I cannot write about them, perhaps some of my readers would be interested in coming over to my house, and we can watch them together. Then I can tell you all about them. I will have some cupcakes we can share, while I give my commentary … We can make an afternoon out of it!

Failing that, I can at least share some of the photo cards and insert pamphlet art which came with the DVDs. Of course, Misaki-san wears beautiful kimonos through most of it.

Next time, I would like to write about my Iwasa Misaki CDs. Each CD came with a unique photo card included … and … oh.

(Denny sighs).

Starlight: If only I could write “Akihabara Starlight” for a living …

Advertisements

Kimonos on Monday: Iwasa Misaki at Shin-Kabukiza Theater

It seems light years since I made a post to my “Kimonos on Monday” series. It has also been a long time since I posted anything about the lovely and talented Miss Iwasa Misaki. It’s been a long time since I rock-and-rolled. Ahem. Excuse me …

Unlike me, the ex-AKB48 Idol turned Enka-singer has kept busy performing concerts, releasing new singles, albums and concert Blu-Rays. Yes I own both concert disks!

Wasamin posts a lot of her glamorous kimono photos on her Instagram page (linked here) and her Twitter site (linked here). I thought that this photo was particularly interesting. Is it a kimono or a costume? Ms. Misaki contributed to a show at the Shin-Kabukiza Theater in Osaka last month. Even though Misaki-san usually wears a stunning kimono for her Enka-music concerts, I would have to classify this kimono as a “costume” for the show.

Wasamin is wearing a WIG in case you could not tell. I wonder if she would ever style her real hair in that traditional way for a special concert.

Wasamin next to a promotion for her latest record release.

“Say Hello to my little friend!”

(Denny’s Readers groan …)

I love both the traditional and popular culture of Japan. Despite that, I could never really get too interested in Kabuki. I’ve seen some Kabuki Theater on YT videos, but I have to admit, I can’t watch for very long. The art and costumes are great of course … but I can’t really understand it. I would certainly enjoy a show if it featured Wasamin though!

The official website for the Osaka’s Shin-Kabukiza Theater is linked here: https://www.osakastation.com/osaka-shin-kabukiza-theater/

Although I do not have video of Wasamin at the SK Theater, here are some recent TV performances: How long will YT leave then up?

Starlight: What, where did they go?

川の流れのように The greatest song of all time?

What is the greatest popular music song of all time?

Is it “She Loves You (Yeah,Yeah,Yeah)” by the Beatles? Could it be “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin? Is your choice “YMCA” by the Village People? Well, all of those are valid choices to be sure …

However, please allow me to make a case for “Kawa no Nagare no Yō ni”, which translates from Japanese as “Like the Waters of a River”.

The music was composed by Akrika Mitake with lyrics by Yasushi Akimoto. They composed this ballad for the famous Japanese enka singer Hibari Misora. The song was to be her last single, and she died shortly after it was released in 1989.

From Wikipedia:  “… was voted the greatest song of all time during a national poll in 1997 by NHK, with more than 10 million votes. It is often the song of choice for artists  performing live tributes to Misora.” According to linguistics blogger Larry Kenny “it is learned routinely by high school students in Japan.” and “The song embodies the very essence of enka, if not the very essence of the Japanese people.”  I would be able to agree with that, as it is a very moving song. Mr. Kenny has provided a great English translation, and has written a wonderful article about the song linked here.

Several famous singers have recorded the song. I am including a little YouTube playlist here.

As performed by Hibari Misora:

This recording is by Cantonese singer Teresa Teng.

Here is a version with American “soul” singer Diana Ross and opera singers Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. Dam!

How about this version by Mexican singer Mariachi Vargas?

You can probably find many others through various YuteTube links. If I was not tearing-up so much, I could probably practice the song with this karaoke:

Mr. Kenny also has created this version that [his singer Evan Ross] sings in English. Now the singing is not as “enka” as some others, I will admit, but [they have] created a very respectable, heartwarming rendition.  (Much better than I ever could.)

[Evan Ross] sings his beautiful translation of the lyrics in English. [Mr. Kenny] actually provides two English translations of the song in the article. One is a “literal” translation of the words from Japanese, and then he created another “non-literal”  descriptive version. Wow. Just wow. Mr. Akimoto’s original lyrics are so meaningful, so filled with eternal truths … that they may transcend language barriers and even create new meanings. The following is Mr. Kenny’s non-literal interpretation.

Like a dream, like a dream, passing day after day
down this long, narrow road I’ve been walking
If I turn, looking back I can see far away
the old town that I loved long ago.

Roads that wind and twist in every way,
Bumpy roads that have seen too many days
With no map to guide us, every path we cross in our lives,

Ah, just like the waters of a river, countless bygone days,
one by one how gently, how slowly they go,
Ah, just like the waters of a river, on unendingly,
into the sky painted colors of evening flow.

In our journeys and lives, though they start and they end,
still the road never stops, on forever,
as we reach toward a dream, making memories and friends,
we draw near the people who we love.

As the rain beats down upon our heads
and the mud covers all the road ahead
on we walk because soon a bright new day will come again

Ah, just like the waters of a river, slow and gracefully,
lay this body down, let them take me away,
Ah, just like the waters of a river, like the seasons flow,
as we wait for April sunshine to melt the winter grey.

Ah, just like the waters of a river, slow and gracefully,
lay this body down, let them take me away,
Ah, just like the waters of a river, on eternally
as we hear the rushing current flow out to the bay.

http://www.larrykenny.com/enka/kawa.php

I think the lyrics are especially poignant as Hibari Misora passed on soon after the song was released. The lyrics introduce imagery about the philosophy of life — by analogy — flowing like a river. It is nostalgic in that the singer/listener is looking back over their life, not with regrets but with the appreciation of a life that was lived. I have to wonder if she knew she was near the end of her life when she made those live performances. If she had no regrets, and had nothing but love at the end … well — it shows.

I hope you can find your own fluid meaning there.

Finally, “Kawa no Nagare no Yō ni” was also recorded by my favorite enka singer Iwasa Misaki. There are no [legit] music videos of Misaki-san’s recording on YourTube. There are even a few non-Misaki fakes out there! However, let me share this SoundCloud link to Miss Misaki’s great interpretation of the song.

Are you ready? Sitting down? Clasping the armrests? Tissue box nearby?

Wasamin’s version always turns me into a big, blubbering sack of protoplasm. If you enjoy it even half as much as I do, you can order the CD single from CD-Japan linked here. The song 川の流れのように is the third song (a second B-side?) of her three-track CD-Single of Gomen ne Tokyo. Note: Only the REGULAR edition CD-single has the song!

If you want one, I will buy you a copy!

Why not listen to some Enka music? … What feelings do the lyrics pull out of you, or what pictures from your life can you imagine?  … Try to observe nature as if it were a beautiful sound of a song … think of someone you loved … Think of your favorite memories of places you enjoyed … 

Find again what you love about your life. Enka.

Starlight: It took 28 lightyears for 川の流れのように to reach my world.

PS: What is your favorite all time song? You can list your choice in the comments below. If there is a YouFlube link for your favorite please provide that too.

I (HEART) Junko

Silly me, I thought Ms. Junko Akimoto was an “Enka” singer. Music experts say that she is actually a “Kayōkyoku” singer. Enka is based on a pre-war Japanese traditional singing style called “Ryukoka”, while Kayokyoku is a much more modern pop music by instrumentation and singing style. Enka has been likened to tango, Kayokyoku is likened to jazz.  I’m not sure I could explain the distinction. I can remember back in 1979 when I could tell you the difference between Punk and New Wave music. But I digress … 

Call it what you will, I think that Junko-san is grand. She’s beautiful.

junko-51zaikqorzl-_sy355_

I’ve grown to appreciate these genres — mostly because I can’t stand what is popular in America. These songs are all about secret longings, broken hearts, guilt and atonement. It is a lot like country music actually.

I first found out about Ms. Akimoto-san from an Iwasa Misaki music video.

You will hurt my feelings if you do not watch this. You all know that I am a big fan of Iwasa Misaki, and that Wasamin has launched a successful Enka singing career. It was mostly through Misaki-san that I have grown to appreciate the traditional Enka Japanese singing style.

In Miss Iwasa’s video cover of “Ai no Mama de (The Way Love Was?) it was widely quoted that Wasamin is “tutored by Japanese Enka singer Junko Akimoto”. This particular song, lyrics linked here — was Ms. Akimoto-san’s most famous single. “Ai no Mama de ..” reached the top of the Oricon weekly single charts in January 2009. She became the oldest singer (at age 61) to top the charts in Japan. Well … this still makes her a spring chicken in comparison to any of The Rolling Stones.

Starlight: Oh what time is it? I think that Hee-Haw is on.

Denny’s Valentine’s Day Broth with Iwasa Misaki

wasasoup

I bought all the ingredients for our dinner at a “blue light” special.

You may find it hard to believe that I have never before bought an idol photo book before!

wasaminheartneobk-2056665

I recently ordered Iwasa Misaki’s first photo book from CD-Japan.  It is now shipped and in the air. I hope I get it soon (at least before my wife checks the mail). Don’t worry, I don’t think it will be a “gravure” photo book. Wasamin was never big on cheesecake photos when she was with AKB48. It was known that “showing skin” was really not her thing. I do expect there to be some photos of her great kimono outfits however. There may be one swimsuit photo, but I don’t know, I will wait and see. I also bought her latest records, but I will blog about those at another time.

Denny’s goes into another Wasa-reverie:

Wasamin was so happy that an unknown American fan pre-ordered her book, that she invited me over to her apartment for Valentine’s Day soup! [Denny bites tongue, does not make soup joke.]

She sang me this great Enka song “Blue Light Yokohama” which was one of the songs from her great 2013 album “Request Covers”.  I was thinking that she could have sung this acapella, but somehow there was musical accompaniment.

(You better watch this quick. Heck, it might already be deleted by the time you read this.)

God, I hope that Japanese cabbage does not make me gassy, because I am sitting on the floor. Ahem … Yes, I would love some sake, Miss Misaki …

What a lovely young lady.  She has graduated AKB and is no longer constrained by the “no dating” rules.  Likely, there is some young fellow she has her eye on. [Denny takes heart medication.] I think she was on the phone with him just before our soup. Still, I was happy just to keep her company.

Oh, what a dream …

Starlight: Happy Valentines day everyone!!!  

Image

Kimono on Monday: Iwasa Misaki at the Japan Expo in Paris.

Kimonos on Monday: Iwasa Misaki at the Japan Expo in Paris.

Iwasa Misaki CmwL_tOWgAACZQk

I sure wish I could have been at the Japan Expo in Paris this past week. Iwasa Misaki was there to sing some of her Enka (style) songs. I think that she dazzles in this red with floral pattern kimono. Also, check out this great yukata in dark purple with pink flowers:

You can see more of her kimono, and her accessories on her official Instagram page linked here.

https://www.instagram.com/wasaminnn/

Wanna play some Wasa-games?

#japanexpo2016 #モンハン #レイコレクション #ゆかた #yukata

A post shared by 岩佐美咲 (@wasaminnn) on

Ha! All those people walking right past her. I wonder if anyone knew who she was?

I sure would not bother her though. Plus, she was available for autographs and photos later. Dang it. This may be the only time that I wish that I were in France.

Starlight: “Oh, Muarice … you make me so mad.”

          — Could you give me something like that kid?

Kimonos on Monday: Wasa-hair on Instagram!

iwasa misaki dark kimono5

Look it up in an encyclopedia under “What a man most wants to nuzzle.”

Kimonos on Monday: Wasa-hair! I was very pleased to find Iwasa Misaki’s Instagram post. She has shared some nice photos of her kimono. Her site also features a good number of kimono accessories such as shoes and hairpin ornaments. Of course I also love all those pictures of her with her tied hair up in various ways. Click any to begin the slideshow. Any of these would make great computer wallpapers.

I love it when a pretty lady ties her hair up, so that the nape of her neck is exposed. Do women always know how incredibly beautiful they make themselves? Ladies make themselves extremely desirable in subtle ways. The exposed neck is one such example. The neck is not like looking at breasts or other (ahem) zones – but darn it – the neck nape has serious appeal in a unique way. I like how the wisps of  lady hair grow from out of the neck. The hair is like a beautiful flower, growing from a place which is source of all goodness, and then it diverges and matures into to a life-tree of extreme happiness. It looks so soft and EXTREMELY FEMININE. The visual is one phenom, but then there is the added dimensions of texture, aroma and taste of the nape.

I ramble of course …  you girls have no idea how wonderful your bodies truly are — or maybe you do. Perhaps the neck nape is yet another example of female superiority. What? No one told you? I was hoping you wouldn’t find out because I didn’t want you to start acting stuck-up.

Ladies, find a way tonight —  or make some type of excuse — to show the back of your neck to your fellow tonight (say “zip me up”, or “is my necklace crooked”, etc.). Act like you are not even trying to impress … then see what happens.  … and yes, I see that I have digressed from the topic of kimono fashions.

Ahem … indeed Wasamin looks striking in this dark kimono with floral pattern. I will share just a few now, but you will find many more on her Instagram. There are also some stand-alone photos of hair ornament (“Kanzashi”) types as well. Kimono sandals – or “Zori” are also shown. Her site is a treasure trove of beautiful kimonos, accessories and hairstyles!

The Iwasa Misaki Instagram page is linked here. It will be interesting to see what kimono fashion she will add in the coming weeks.

In other Misaki-Kimono news, Wasamin will be bringing her enka-singing show to the Japan Expo in Paris, France on July 7-10, 2016.  I hope she tweets, bookfaces and instagrams a lot of her photos from this event.  She will also be participating in signings at the Expo, thus — one can meet Iwasa Misaki if you are in Paris this week.

Mon dieu — e pas être sorti de l’auberge … I really don’t think I can make it to Gay Paree next month however as I will be stuck down on the hog farm all summer.

Starlight:  … Sorry my mind wandered again.

I've lost count of how many posts I have made about you Misaki-san!

Yes, you might want to start keeping score, Miss Misaki. I have lost count of how many posts I have made about you.

https://www.instagram.com/wasaminnn/

Tag Cloud

太郎

政治 風景 映画 芸能 有名人 ニュース 健康 医療 文化 放射能 中高年

Tokyobling's Blog

Tokyo in Photos

AmeAgari Subs

jp music subs

Annisha Rae

express with passion

I drink and watch anime

Anime drinking games pretending to be reviews

Insomniac Writer!!!

Poems and Stories about everything that is life...and sometimes everything is what it takes to find a better you.

The Godly Chic Diaries

Smiling • Writing • Dreaming

Japan Yabai Post

Cool stuff in Japan and Fukuoka

Video Games Nebula

Out of This World

D-pad Joy

PS4, XBO, Switch and PC news, reviews, indie games and developers

Retro Gamer Ireland

Retro video game nerd with a love of nostalgia and all things gaming.

J and K Blog

J for Jpop and K for Kpop!

Writing Under The Shades of Blue

I write not just to express but to explain.

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Flash Gordon meets Cowboy Bebop at Shaolin Temple

YuriReviews and More

YuriReviews is a blog about everything yuri~

ANIME ANIMÁCIÓK

ANIMÁCIÓS GYŰJTEMÉNY KÉPEKBEN

SilentReaders

Just Readers

Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

愛の演歌: Love of Enka

A blog about my passion for Enka music~

Gastradamus

Gastradamus is my name, and Gassy Topics are my game!

Rationalising The Universe

one post at a time

The Reviewer's Corner

The Sometimes Serious Corner of the Internet for Anime, Manga, and Comics

Pinky's Palace

All Things Anime

Tokyo Five

A family of five in Tokyo, Japan...

Life Confusions

"I Will Find Words, Smith them Down. For Love Is Infinite And So Are They."

Fantage Chatter

Lost in Words

Manga Toritsukareru Koto

"We are not obsessed. We just need anime and manga in our life."

Inner Thoughts of an Extrovert

Thoughts and ramblings from an extroverted anime fan.

2+2=4

AKB48 Shipper? welcome

百合 Goggles

百合 Is Life

Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi

Japanese Culture Magazine for the perpetually Cute and Cool

Rhino

My Journey through Video Games & Geek Culture

The Punch Bowl

raw feelings and thoughts

Dyversions: Blog of 1,001 Games

The [mis]adventures of a gamer and shopaholic

~noor~

I'm not an author. I write only to render a bit of joy...and happily be a part of sad and coy! Your life is my canvas and your smile is the enhancement of my creation!

Falconhaxx

This and that, sometimes and occasionally.

Anime Reviews and Lots of Other Stuff!

Where We Can Watch Our Anime in Peace

Pokécology

Ecologically overthinking representations of space/place and nonhumans in pokéverse! Updated Fridays

JapanTrekker

Explore Japan!

Mage in a Barrel

An Anime Blog for Those Who Want to Find Magic in Unexpected Places

Land of the Rising Sound

Rise to the Sound of Japan!

meta t h e r e s a

process. write. repeat

%d bloggers like this: