Monday, February 13, 2012
Catherine rarely goes to karaoke, but 26 years ago knew Futari no Osaka because her husband is from Osaka. Since then, she’s learned Shima no Uta, because they used to live in Okinawa
Miyako Harumi and Miyazaki Tadashi, Futari no Osaka:
The Boom, Shima Uta
Helen likes Masaharu Fukuyama’s Sakura Zaka and Masayoshi Yamazaki. She says she doesn’t “remember the names, early stuff”. She doesn’t pay much attention to J-Pop, but know Utada Hikaru’s Automatic because her friend used to sing it at karaoke. As for herself, she tried to do Ryuichi Kawamura’s Glass a long time ago, and has been known to sing along to her husband’s attempts at Ken Hirai’s Grandfather’s Clock and the GeGeGe Song, but says she doesn’t read hiragana/katakana fast enough usually!
Fukuyama Masaharu, Sakura Zaka:
Yamazaki Masayoshi, One More Time, One More Chance:
Utada Hikaru, Automatic
Kawamura Ryuichi, Glass
Original GeGeGe no Kitarou opening song:
Janine's favorite is Satoshi Ikeda’s Tsuki no Fune, from 20 years ago. She generally does not like Japanese music, though her daugher is becoming a teeny-bopper and she is subjected to AKB and other horrors regularly these days! She sings no Japanese karaoke songs, and says “Karaoke is for having fun with my English friends”
Satoshi Ikeda, Tsuki no Fune
Melissa likes Angela Aki, Ayaka Ide, NOT AKB or any of that pop stuff. Her music preferences stop in the mid 1990s. No karaoke—“can’t even sing any songs in English.”
Angela Aki, Every Woman’s Song
Tammy has only one Japanese CD, Hikaru Utada’s Greatest Hits, which she bought her first year in Japan. She likes Ayaka Ide’s videos that she’s seen on YouTube, thanks to her mom! “She has a beautiful and strong voice”. She also like the songs she’s heard by Mika Nakashima (of Nana fame).
For karaoke, Tammy has three Japanese songs in her repertoire: Time Will Tell by Hikaru Utada, Cutie Honey by Koda Kumi, and Glamorous Sky by Mika Nakashima.
Koda Kumi, Cutie Honey
Nakashima Mika, Glamorous Sky, acoustic version
Rachel Greenwood Yokomatsu:
My favorite all-time favorite Japanese band is Blankey Jet City. Actually, they’re one of my favorite all-time bands, period. Especially this song about going to Disneyland:
Blankey Jet City, Akai Tambourine
I was introduced to the band by my husband, but before I met him and his more alternative taste, I liked bands like Yellow Monkey, Glay, and Globe.
Yellow Monkey, Love Love Show (fan video, very interesting!)
Globe, Faces, Places:
Another favorite was Judy and Mary:
Puffy is my go-to standard for karaoke!
Kore ga Watashi no Ikiru Michi was the first Japanese song I learned, as part of my Japanese study! I like how different the girls looked from the usual pop stars with their grungy jeans. I also like singing Asia and Ai no Shirushi
Puffy, Ikiru Michi:
Puffy, Ai no shirushi:
I even took karaoke lessons for a short while, and was taught a couple of Japanese enka, Nagayama Yoko’s Suterarete and Teresa Teng’s Toki No Nagare Ni Mi Wo Makase
Nagayama Yoko, Suterarete
Teresa Teng, Toko no Nagare ni mi wo Makase:
I was so into J-Pop at the time that I even selected several Japanese songs to be played at our wedding, including:
Chara, Yasahii Kimochi:
Blankey Jet City, Sweet Sweet Days:
Member “EM” knows very little about presently popular artists, she prefers the ‘old’ ones like Kato Tokiko and Miyuki Nakajima. She also likes the actor Isamu Mukai, who was the son of Ieyasu in last year’s Taiga drama. “at least he’s a young star” she adds. She doesn’t go to or sing karaoke at all.
Kato Tokiko, Now is the Time:
Miyuki Nakajima, Earthly Stars:
Cherrian doesn’t have any favorites, but her daughter likes AKB48. At karaoke, she names Kyu Sakamoto’s Sukiyaki, but adds “I am not a singer and I would not dare try it again…”
Sakamoto Kyu, Ue o Muite:
Adele names Angela Aki and Ken Hirai, but adds that “music sounds the same so I don’t really bother with it”. She never goes to karaoke.
Ken Hirai, My Grandfather’s Clock:
Annette can sing the Algorithm March (こちむいてふたりでまえならへ) from NHK’s Pitakora Switch!
Sarah likes Ulfuls (Urufurus) and Exile, and sings Ulfuls at karaoke, for example this one:
Urufurus, Te wo Tsunaide
Cheryl hates J-pop mostly, but her husband has an extensive music collection, she hears a lot of oldies—Inoue Yosui, Harada, Sho-ken, Yazawa Eikichi, plus jazz artists. She doesn’t sing Japanese karaoke, but is tempted by Saori Yuko and Pink Martini versions of classics on the ‘1969’ album: Mas Que Nada, Is that All There Is, etc.
Inoue Yosui, Youme no Naka e:
Eikichi Yazawa, Tomaranai Haha (Ichiro Suzuki’s ‘at-bat’ song in 2008):
Saori Yuko and Pink Martini, Mas Que Nada :
Fiona has a similar opinion about karaoke: “People would pay me not to sing karaoke.” She sings the Anpanman song at home until everyone tells her to shut up.
Rebecca “love, love, loves” Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra! She doesn’t know many songs for karaoke, just one or two folk songs*
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Skaravan:
Amanda: “I used to like plenty of Japanese artists and songs, but recently, all I see is the crap put out by overly-populated idol groups such as AKB48 and their multitude of copycats. I know there are talented artists out there somewhere, but it gets annoying to wade through the crap. I used to listen to Kyosuke Himuro...that is the one I most remember from my high school days.”
Kyousuke Himuro, Kiss Me:
For karaoke, Amanda likes Ue o Muite, otherwise known as Sukiyaki (see below for link) in the West. She taught her daughter how to sing it, and now they enjoy singing it together.
Bessie says she is not good at karaoke, but cites ‘chanson (French lyrical song)’ Ai no Sanka
Okuda Aikko; Ai no Sanka (Hymne a L’amour):
Lynda declares Spitz’s Cherry is the only one she likes enough to mention! For karaoke, she cites Cherry, plus “all the really well known songs that you can’t escape in Japan!”
Charmaine also likes Spitz:
Rachel likes Angela Aki, especially Sakura Iro and Tegami, and that’s about it! She loves music of many different genres, but doesn’t really enjoy Japanese pop music. She doesn’t do karaoke, but would not do any Japanese songs if she did. She only knows kids’s songs well enough to sing them.
Angela Aki, Sakura Iro:
Angela Aki, Tegami:
Marybeth likes some Arashi and SMAP because the tunes are everywhere and they grow on her. She also thinks Ken Hirai is good and enjoys Ayaka Ide along with her daughers, and Dreams Come True, because “they all have actual talent”. She adds: “SMAP members should ONLY sing as a group—never with solos”
A very cute video from Arashi:
SMAP the singles:
Dreams Come True, Winter Song (in English
Video of Ayaka Ide’s previous single, featuring the wild horses that live around where she and her mother, an AFWJ member, live in southern Miyazaki prefecture.
Ken Hirai, Pop Star, live
Sunday, February 12, 2012
We asked on femail and facebook for members (and non-members!) to post their favorite Japanese songs, both for listening to and for singing at karaoke.
Here are the results! Please click on the links to be taken directly to YouTube to have a listen to this incredibly diverse selection
The songs Sandra likes are: Nadasoso, Ringonouta, Amahikoue, plus many others. All the songs she likes, she can sing at karaoke.
Natsukawa Rimi, Nadasoso:
Nakashima Miyuki, Chijou no Hoshi
Vivian likes Nakamura Masatoshi. She leaves it to her daughter to recommend more recent songs, but doesn’t remember their names. She hasn’t been to karaoke for a long time, but used to sing Shiroetto Romansu, and English songs with other foreign wives.
Nakamura Masatoshi, Fureai
Kisugi Takao, Silhouette Romance:
Kisugi Takao, Goodbye Day
Vicky also recognizes songs that her kids play, but doesn’t remember the names! She likes Angela Aki and Ayaka Ide. And karaoke: “You couldn’t pay me enough to sing karaoke in ANY language!”
Ayaka Ide’s single, Hikari, featured on a Pantene shampoo ad:
Ayaka Ide’s single, Kitto Zutto, featured on NHK drama 'Tightrope Woman':
Ayaka Ide’s previous single, Sukoshi Zutsu:
Angela Aki, One Family, which she sang on the Kohaku Uta Gassen last year, nine months pregnant!