Dear Cutie Party’s Misa…my answers to your J-Music Survey.

Haha it took me about 5 hours to write, upload and scan this.. 😛 what is wrong with me?!! The original posting at Cutie Party can be found here at Misa’s blog. I was thinking that since you state the reason for this survey being an interest to find new J-Pop artists/groups to listen to outside of Hello! Project I would make sure to try and not mention them although they may creep into answers here because it just can’t be helped as H!P runs through my veins I’m afraid. 😛 But still I’ll try to make a conscious effort here…really really try not to mention H!P! :P…as they could appear in numerous answers here if I don’t properly restrain myself!

1. What was the first Japanese song that you ever listened to?

My first guess would be that I may have heard my mom playing Go Hiromi or Saijou Hideki albums when I was little but since I can’t remember that I’ll have to go with the very first J-Pop purchase that I ever made which would be…

…Morikawa Miho’s best of compilation titled “Voices…”, there it was on the shelf at Tower Records and I purchased it because I thought the cover looked nice…so much for deep thoughts. 😛 Looking back it’s a good thing that I enjoyed this album a lot!…because had that not been the case there’s no telling where J-Pop and I would stand today although I do imagine that it would have crept up on me in some other way over the years.

Track one is “Blue Water” and this is literally my first, first hand experience of J-Pop. Right from the start you’ll notice just how powerful, unique and memorable her vocals are and thus my love of J-Pop was born! ^-^

08 ポジティヴ
Morikawa Miho

Track 8 “POSITIVE” may be a familiar one as it was used as a theme for the popular anime “Ranma 1/2.”

13 翼にかえて
Morikawa Miho

And lastly here’s the final track on “Voices…” titled “Tsubasa ni kaete” which was also released as a single (scanned above)…ah I miss the look of 3″ CD singles and their unique casings which were once upon a time the standard release format for singles in Japan.

2. Did it inspire you to like that group/singer, or did it turn you away?

It was love at first listen and I actually went on to purchasing 10 more of her albums as well as one more single which makes up my Morikawa Miho collection today.


3. What is the one song that you have been listening to for the longest time?

This is a really tough one….I’m  going to go with a song that I knowingly have put on numerous compilations that I’ve made over the years and that would have to be…

01 渡良瀬橋
Moritaka Chisato

…Moritaka Chisato’s “Watarasebashi” which was originally released on January 25th, 1993. It would take me a few years but I would finally complete her album and single collection.

Moritaka Chisato's albumsMoritaka Chisato's cd singlesMoritaka Chisato's dvds.

Moritaka Chisato has had a great connection with Hello! Project over the years as Minimoni covered “Rock n’ roll kenchou shozaichi”, Nacchi covered “The Stress” and both Gocchin and Ayaya have recorded versions of “Watarasebashi” which is my favorite Moritaka Chisato song of all time.

Here’s a translation of “Watarasebashi”

Watarasebashi (Watarase Bridge)

Watarasebashi de miru yuuhi wo anata wa totemo sukidatta wa.
kireina toko de sodatta ne. Koko ni sumitai to itta.

You loved to watch the setting sun from Watarasebashi Bridge.
You said, “You’ve grown up in a beautiful town. I want to live here.”

Densha ni yurare kono machi made anata wa ai ni kite kureta wa.
Watashi wa ima mo ano koro wo wasurerarezu ikitemasu.

You would come to this town aboard a train to see me.
I live with the memories of those days in my heart.

Ima demo Yakumo jinja e omairi suru to anata no koto inoru wa.
Nagaigoto hitotsu kanau nara ano koro ni modoritai

Whenever I go to the Yakumo shrine, I still pray for you.
If one of my dreams came true, I should go back to those days.

Tokoya no kado ni potsun to aru koushuu denwa oboete masuka?
Kinou omowazu kaketakute nando mo juwaki totta no.

Do you remember the public telephone standing at the corner of the barber’s?
Yesterday I came to feel like calling you up and picked up the receiver many times

Konaida watarasegawa no kawara ni orite zutto nagare miteta wa.
Kitakaze ga totemo tsumetakute kaze wo hiichaimashita.

The other day I went down to the shore of the Watarase River and watched the water running down for a long time.
The north wind was so sharp that I caught a cold.

Dare no sei demo nai. Anata ga kono machi de
Kurasenai koto wakatteta no.
Nandomo nayan da wa. Dakedo watashi koko wo hanarete kurasu koto dekinai.

Neither of us is responsible for our parting.
I knew that you could not live in such a rural town.
Many times I thought over whether I should accompany you or not.
But I cannot live in a big city, leaving here.

Anata ga sukida to itta kono machinami ga
Kyou mo kurete yukimasu.
Hiroi sora to tooku no yama yama. Futari de aruita machi.
Yuuhi ga kireina machi.

You said you loved this town. Night has been coming.
The sky is getting dark, and I can only see the form of mountains over there.
Night is falling in this town where I walked with you.
Night is falling in this town where the setting sun is beautiful.

01 二人は恋人
Moritaka Chisato

And here’s another much favorited song by Moritaka Chisato…”Futari wa koibito.” Simply one of the most catchy and well written J-Pop songs ever. Edit: Ah and I forgot to mention originally when I saved this post that Moritaka Chisato also plays the drums on many of her recordings and is also talented on the piano and yes! the recorder as heard in “Watarasebashi.” ^-^

4. What group/singer have you liked the longest?

This would have to based on some of my earliest J-Pop purchases and whether those artists had a longevity holding my interest…lets see: Impossible for me to list just one so there’s Zard (a few songs are available there for you to listen to), Sakai Noriko (her “Words of Love” pv)…and I’ll include a song by her a little later in this survey, Moritaka Chisato, Ozaki Yutaka love his music!!, CoCo (post covering them forthcoming), Ribbon (hopefully a Ribbon post forthcoming too!), Smap, Amuro Namie (post includes a few songs to listen to), and Mr.Children (post linked later in the survey). I could really go on and on but I fear you may fall asleep before I’m done. 😛

5. What is the song with the most plays on your itunes/media player?

The low tech soul in me doesn’t even have a loaded ipod or portable media player :P…so I’ll have to think a bit here…most played? Okay! here’s a strong candidate for that answer:

Ribbon’s awesome single “S”ensational Wind! A group really deserving of a complete post here but for fear of having this survey turn into a journey rather than a read I’ll refrain and hopefully post something on them at a later date. ^-^ Just briefly here, Ribbon was one of the top girl idol groups which remained active until the mid 90’s and with incredibly catchy songwriting and the impressive vocals of Satou Aiko, Nagasaku Hiromi (now married to the drummer for Mr.Children!), and Matsuno Arimi, Ribbon is one of the great landmark idol groups of all time.

6. Is that song your favorite?

It’s my favorite song by Ribbon…hmmm…deciding on a favorite J-Pop song of all time would be difficult indeed as I’d have to go through over 1800 J-Pop albums and singles trying to decide that, the product of collecting J-Pop for about 15 years.

7. If not, what is?

Ah too many to choose from! 😛

8. Is there any one group that you can listen to all/most of the songs by? If so, who?

No doubt it’s Mr.Children. For me they can do absolutely no wrong…love every album, ever song…such diversity. The Mr.Children post linked here is my personal most beloved post that I’ve ever written and I guess that makes sense since they rule my universe! ^-^ (my personal attachment to Mr.Children explained as well as 11 songs are available to put on your media player at this post also).

9. What is your favorite agency?

Haha okay I’ve restrained myself for as long as I could during this survey!!!… :P…Up Front Agency and Johnny’s Entertainment.

10. What is your favorite group/singer?

I’ll have to break this down in a few ways to answer accurately….favorite band (male): Mr.Children/ favorite band (female) Princess Princess/ favorite group (female) Momusu, Berryz Koubou, CoCo, Ribbon, Speed, C-ute, Buono!/ (it’s a seven way tie! actually this listing could go on for quite awhile!)/ favorite group (male) Arashi, Smap, Tackey & Tsubasa/ favorite singer (male) Sakurai Kazutoshi, Ishii Tatsuya/ favorite singer (female) Sakai Noriko, Ayaya…ah this part of the list could go on and on but I’m trying desperately to narrow it down!… 😛

Sakai Noriko

From my favorite female vocalist Sakai Noriko…”Pure” is an amazing single that resembles a double a-side as the coupling with song “Photograph” was written by former Princess Princess members Tomita Kyoko and Okui Kaori lyrics and music respectfully while “Pure” was co-written by the very talented Fujii Fumiya!

And last but definitely not the least (the most actually!) is Mr.Children. First here’s “Love” which has a sound reminiscent of The Beatles…for some reason VOX wasn’t allowing this file to be uploaded so after 3 tries I’ve uploaded the song here instead…I’m still using my brother’s “big 808 monkey account.” The file is an mp3 and I promise it’s worth the time getting it! ^-^

01 君がいた夏

and next is their debut single “Kimi ga ita natsu” (pictured above) which is a beautifully written timeless song and one of the finest band debuts ever.

The end. I hope you enjoy the songs Misa and everyone else too and perhaps create new fandoms out there! ^-^

About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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8 Responses to Dear Cutie Party’s Misa…my answers to your J-Music Survey.

  1. Misa says:

    There's so much I want to say!
    I don't think there was a single singer/song in thist post that I don't like.
    Morikawa Miho- wow, she's amazing! So far, and I've only heard the few you've had on here. I am sincerely looking forward to looking up more of her songs!
    Moritaka Chisato- I read about her on wikipedia. I thought "hey, another Chisato!" sorta thing. I decided I liked her, but I barely saw what she looked like and had never heard her songs.
    She's absolutely amazing! Watarasebashi is one of my favorite songs, but I had never heard hers until now. I have to say, its my favorite version.
    Sakai Noriko- I love her songs, PURE and Words of love now. Thank you thank you thank you~
    Rest in peace Ozuzi. His voice is amazing. Absolutely amazing. It's so sad that he had to die so young.
    Mr.Children- I'm sure I have heard their music before.
    One thing I find is I'm really picky with male voices, but some of Mr.Childrens songs I greatly enjoy.
    I'm going to have fun downloading! xD~
    I have to say, I am extremely grateful to you! I'm pretty sure the last time someone spent 5 hrs of their time on me was when I was a baby. xD!
    You have certainly created a new fan of these singers/groups.
    Thank you so much!


  2. Very awesome and diverse selection of idols! I think my first idol CD was Shizuka Kudo's single "恋一夜"… which was actually a mistake because I meant to buy her "慟哭" single. (This was right before I started taking Japanese classes again. ^^;)


  3. Music can be so personal in one one likes and dislikes and I'm so happy to hear that you liked these songs and artists! ^-^ It's amazing that the first Japanese artist that I purchased music of was Morikawa Miho as that day really changed my musical taste landscape forever…I was just so blown away by her voice!!Moritaka Chisato is such a great talent and she was actively involved with songwriting (mostly lyrics) and also played the drums, guitar, and piano in concert. I uploaded a live performance by her on YouTube singing "Watarasebashi" awhile back…she's so cute when she plays the recorder solo in the middle! Ah I forgot to link Sakai Noriko here so that her discography would be visible…it took years but I finally completed her album, single, and video collection (now on DVD thankfully!) with the exception of just one cassette single which was never put onto disc for some reason. She has the most wonderful voice and "Natural Best" was the first album that I heard from her and from there I was so attached!Love Ozaki Yutaka!!…I could go on and on about him, wait I already did in that post dedicated to him! 😛 He was such a passionate performer and an outstanding song writer as he wrote all of his own music. Incredibly strong and unique voice and he had such charisma..whether on piano or guitar Ozaki was simply amazing. He remains as iconic as ever in Japan today and his fans never waver…in fact Sony Records has been releasing previously unreleased material, remastered releases, tribute albums with other artists performing his songs (Mr.Children does an awesome version of "Bokuga bokude aru tameni"!!) as well as first time released concerts and they're all being released on DVDs which is a pure joy!..and it's happening on a yearly basis…it's amazing they just keep on finding new things to release by him although he's sadly been gone for so long. Mr.Children…my favorite band in the universe! ♥ I hope you enjoy the songs that are uploaded in the post about them. I have a funny habit of writing something….then adding to it….then remembering something else that I should add…and it keeps going on for awhile sometimes.. 😛 But truly this was much enjoyed by me as I had a lot of fun writing it. ^-^ Thank you for listening these!


  4. I have a little bit Kudo Shizuka too!….that same song is on a best of album that I have titled "She Kudo Shizuka Best of Best" and I also have two of her singles including "Kirara"/ "in the sky" which if I remember correctly was used in the drama "Kamisama mou sukoshi dake" starring Kaneshiro Takeshi! and Fukakyon! Did you used to watch Hello! Morning?…in the skits segment Kaorin did a really great impersonation of Kudo Shizuka! 😛 I love to watch the Kouhaku every year too!..and yes! dramas!!! Found so many great songs that way! Here are a couple of posts on my favorite dramas: ranking may be a bit dated on this second one but it accurately represents my favorites at one time and I'm thinking you may have watched some of these same dramas as we both live in Hawaii and watch KIKU! :) I have a few Nakayama Miho albums/singles too and just three albums by Iijima Mari. I bought those Iijima Mari albums out of being curious after a customer ordered a whole bunch of them back when I was doing the J-Pop ordering for a record store and he ended up not buying all of them when they arrived. I really like her voice and music too. I think soon I'll be listing some of the artists on my shelves that I've collected over the years and off the top of my head right now Tanimura Yumi, Matsuda Seiko, and Imai Miki come to mind but the list should cover them all when I do post them. I actually started listening to Tanimura Yumi after I had an impulse buying moment at Shirokiya one day awhile ago…and I went back and purchased whatever else they had by her. I'd suggest her album "Ai wa genki desu" first…and I believe there are photos of the album somewhere on this blog, I think it's in an Ayaya post since Tanimura Yumi wrote both the a and b-sides to her single "Egao."


  5. denadel says:

    My first Japanese purchases were Utada's "Sakura Drops", BoA's "amazing kiss" and Hitomi Yaida's "hitori jenga" singles. They are all from the early 00's, so i always enjoy reading about the jpop scene from before that time 🙂 The music and voices are somewhat different i think, and these songs were really nice! Thank you for writing about these artists 🙂


  6. Those are great artists that you started off with and I can easily see how they helped to begin your love of J-Pop! I'm happy you enjoyed these songs and artists and it's so true that the sound of the 90's was quite different in terms of vocal style and music stylings…..I plan to share more artists and music from this time period in the future. Thank you denadel. ^-^


  7. Mikey says:

    Once again MB, you've outdone yourself, just by being who you are! :)Watarasebashi (Watarase Bridge) – I remember your post about that from before! (See? I can remember a few things! ^^) And that you so graciously translated it for us too! I hope VOX is serious about archiving all theses posts – they are too important to risk loosing. Some Blogs offer backups, etc. I backed up as much of my Tabulas Blog as I could (back to 2005). Many of your posts will be valuable years from now, especially with many records out of print, plus your personal recollections and enthusiasm for them all! :)I should start a VOX MB fan Group! I'm just kidding – not because it isn't a good idea, but because I can see you turning beet red by now! 😛 Your modesty is most endearing too! :)Now, can I have the "damaged" PB?! 😛


  8. Oh I didn't hear that they were planning to archive blog entries here….that's a lot of stuff to save!!! :O Hmm…maybe some of these will continue to appear in search results even after awhile, I do wonder. Haha that's definitely not a good idea!!! :O I'm afraid you and Shirow have to have a jan ken po challenge to decide that…but seriously I'm still not sure how to give it away. Maybe I could post something where you guys would have to figure out the correct answer and the first to do I will send the pb to?….???


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