Endō Minoru R.I.P.

ENDŌ Minoru (遠藤実) was an incredibly prolific postwar songwriter who passed away on Saturday in a Tokyo hospital at the age of 76. Let us enjoy two of my favorite E.M. songs via Youtube.

"Tsuite kuru kai" ("Will you come with me?"), sold by Kobayashi Akira and his pompadour. A narrator with nothing to his name but a shady past! An implicit lover with an unspecified health problem! The [+Masc +Showa] interrogative particle kai! Tis song has everything.

"Sensei", MORI Masako (森昌子)'s breakout hit from 1972 (although this performance is from a few years later, because I love her outfit in this video). My soft spot for "Tsuite kuru kai" is partly ironic, I will admit, but what I feel for "Sensei" is pure. The intro riff is both innocent and ominous—in the original, it's call-response between frothy upper-register orchestration and a killer guitar sound—and then in comes the Reed of Pathos... the head of steam built up by this point is more than enough to get me past the ridiculous hand gestures over the chorus—in any case, they, like the lyrics, speak the melancholy of a lost age.

Speaking of melancholy and things being lost, over at Néojaponisme I have apparently written an article so perfect in scope and argument that it defies comment entirely. That or it is so dull no-one makes it to the end. (No, no, this thing is impossible.)

Popularity factor: 5

language hat:

OK, I left you a pity comment. Don't say I never did you any favors.


Always been more of a アキラのズンドコ節 man myself.


I think the lack of comments only means that you know way more than of the rest of us.


And thank God no one forces the kids at junior high schools in Japan to play the Reed of Pathos - they butcher the saxophone well enough, the Reed would just be terrible.


All right, pity! That's where I'm a viking. (I knew that Nabakov namedrop would work.)

Yeah, junior high kids aren't ready to handle the Reed of Pathos. That's why they keep the brass band busy with the themes from Lupin III, Touch, etc.

This Zundoko tune is some great stuff. Thanks, anonymous commenter!

Comment season is closed.