Falling in Love with a 1980s J-Pop Idol and the Dangers of Reminiscing

Oginome Yoko is a Japanese pop idol who made her debut in the early 1980s but only garnered attention in 1985. Before I start introducing her to you, I need to tell you how I found Yoko-chan.

There’s a Korean variety show called Weekly Idol where they invite K-pop stars to the studio each week. Around a month ago, Weekly Idol invited CELEB FIVE, an idol group composing of older women comedians. They had been gathering fame in Korea for their single, which can be seen below. (Click HERE for the entire subtitled episode)

I was blown away! These ladies, who are literally middle-aged people, can dance better than most K-pop groups. In the full episode, they explained that the original choreography was from Tomioka High School Dance Club. Here’s an excerpt from Sora News 24 that explains TDC’s performance:

Japan’s economic bubble of the 1980s is a time sorely missed by many Japanese, as a time when money flowed and expense accounts were there to be abused. A group of local high school students, while too young to have actually lived through the period themselves, have now taken the big hair and big fashion of the ’80s and put it into a dance routine that has taken YouTube by storm, ratcheting up millions of views in mere days.

Here’s a video of their performance at one of Japan’s national dance competition:

Seeing the original dance was so amazing! What’s even more amazing is that they’re just in high school! How many professional dancers can actually dance like them? They are honestly so talented. As I watched this over and over, I saw a recommended video, and it looked like they had the actual J-pop idol singing the song along. I clicked it, and here’s what I saw:

Again, I was easily impressed by the choreography. I was also impressed by the singer. I was very judgemental when I saw her because she looked old, and I didn’t think that she could sing consistently. I was proven wrong. She powered through the song and even danced with the girls for a bit. Finally, I found the name of the song, Dancing Hero (Eat You Up) by Oginome Yoko. I clicked the first video I saw, and I fell in love.

A young, cute, fresh face 18-year-old Yoko-chan instantly won me over. Even with her little slip-up, she still was able to perform with grace. Here’s another one of her performance with better quality:

Then I saw another video suggestion of her at 26-years-old. She definitely grew more beautiful, but what shocked me was her voice. Her voice matured so well from a kawaii girl to a sultry onee-sama.

She’s performed Dancing Hero over the years like the one below from 2017 where she looks like radiant ojou-sama *swoon*.

At this point, you’re probably sick of hearing Dancing Hero, so here’s another one of Yoko-chan’s performance called Dance Beat back in the 1980s.

(Here’s Dance Beat in 720p 60fps)

If you made it to this point, congratulations! I initially wanted to title this essay as Finding Oginome Yoko and the Dangers of Reminiscing because I wanted to show you the rabbit hole I went through. I felt like I was being recommended by friends of friends to a girl then eventually falling in love. Does that make sense?

Now, what about the part of reminiscing? Each time I listen to older songs, I’m reminded of a conversation I had with one of my close friends from graduate school. He one day asked me if we could talk about something that happened to him. He told me he had an anxiety attack, which never happened to him before. He thought that he was going crazy since he felt like he couldn’t trust his mind anymore (he couldn’t trust it because he thought he knew himself so well). Then I told him that it was probably a set of circumstances that triggered it. His anxiety could have been a recessive genetic trait and surfaced only now.

He also told me that he wanted to do martial arts as a way to make himself feel better. Then I asked him a question, “Are going to practise martial arts to help improve yourself, or will you do it because you want to go back to those days where you had fewer problems?” He said it was the latter.

That’s the problem with reminiscing. It blinds people of the present day of where they are now. I told my friend that reminiscing is fine; what you want to get out of it is where the problem lies. When I listen to 1980s and 1990s J-pop, I don’t transport myself back in time to where I had anything I could ask for. I use the love that I feel for the music to gather energy and lift me up so I can keep going.

Another danger lies in being stuck in the past. For the majority of my teenage years and early 20s, I was a victim of the past’s temptation. I kept reminiscing about how great my life was and as a result, I wasn’t able to move forward. I wasted 5 years of my life due to my unhealthy obsession with the past.

Many people are victim’s of the past’s temptation, and most of them are older people like my parents. They always dream about what life was like before the changes happened. Maybe that’s just it. People reminisce because they’re afraid of change, and from what I can see, a lot of people who are hoping for change are young or sick of what the older generation has passed on to them.

What do you think? Do you agree with me or not? I wanna hear about it! Write it down in the comment section below.

Featured image from Amazon

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5 songs that made me cry…

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pic via http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1235/1410398234_c341320704.jpg

These songs are composed by great Japanese artists. There are three reasons why I chose these, one, it’s either the lyrics got to me, two, the music itself got to me or three, both :))

1. Renai (love) Spirits by Chatmonchy

chatmonchy_photo

pic via http://image.excite.co.jp/jp/music/closeup/0511/chatmonchy_photo.jpg

part which hit me the most:

Ano hito wo kabusenaide
Ano hito wo kisenaide
Ano hito wo minaide watashi wo mite ne

Don’t cover her
Don’t dress her up
Don’t look at her; look at me

Ano hito ga soba ni kitara
Anata no soba ni moshi kitara
Watashi wo sutete ano hito tsukamaeru no?

If she comes to you
And if I come to you
Would you abandon me and grab her?

Ano hito wo kabusenaide
Ano hito wo kisenaide
Ano hito wo minaide watashi wo mite ne

Don’t cover her
Don’t dress her up
Don’t look at her; look at me

Ano hito ga soba ni inai
Anata no soba ni ima inai
Dakara anata wa watashi wo tebanasenai
Dakara anata wa watashi wo tebanasenai
Dakara anata wa watashi wo tebanasenai
Dakara watashi wa anata wo omotte iru
Dakara watashi wa anata wo omotte iru

She’s not with you
She’s not with you now
So you can’t let go of me
So you can’t let go of me
So you can’t let go of me
That’s why I love you
That’s why I love you

please disregard the video itself :)) I was lucky enough to find the song in youtube :P so just play the song the back ground or something.

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Now I know it’s a chic song :)) but hey, it got me :P

2. Itoshii hito (My beloved) by Miyavi (Meevercakes XD )

Miyavi-baby

pic via http://www.88news.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Miyavi-baby.png

Part of the song which hit me the most:

itoshii hito

My beloved

“anata no tame nara shineru” ja nakute “anata no tame ni ikiru” koto ni shita yo
mochiron anata mo goissho ni.
kono saki mo, sono saki mo.

It’s not “I could die for you” but rather I’ve decided “I’ll live for you”
Of course together with you too, now, forever, and ever

motto anata*** aishite yari na yo, boku wa sono amatta bun de ii kara.

Don’t love yourself any more, ’cause I’ll have what’s left over.

itoshii, itoshii hito

My beloved

tatoe umarekawatta toshitemo, boku wa “kono” boku de iru kara anata mo “sono” anata de itene.
soshite, mata onaji koto**** iu n da.
zutto, zuutto.

Even if we were to be born again, because I would be this me,
And you will be that you.
And I will say this again, always, allways.

itoshii hito…yukkuri sono me akete goran yo.
itsumo to onaji deshou?

My beloved
Slowly open those eyes, it’s the same as always isn’t it?

sore de ii n da yo.

That is good.
That is good.

couldn’t find the ~dokusou~ version :| but this one’s good enough :D

3. Last Song -unplugged- by Camui Gackt (if I was a girl, I would let him rape me… =)) )

Fm0901_Gackt005

pic via http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_JQZyQtGMZdU/Sk6ATjZYdCI/AAAAAAAAAJc/gSY5WbPzqBI/s1600-h/Fm0901_Gackt005.jpg

The whole song pretty much moved me to tears :P

Atemonaku hitori samayoi arukitsuzuketa
Kasuka na toiki o tada shiroku somete
Utsuri kawari yuku kisetsu no sono hakanasa ni
Wake mo naku namida ga koboreta
“Ima mo aishite iru…”

Walked around aimlessly, wandering
My faint breath, just showing white in the air
The meaninglessness of the seasons going by
Brought on the tears, for no reason
“I still love you…”

Furitsuzuku kanashimi wa masshiro na yuki ni kawaru
Zutto sora o miageteta
Kono karada ga kieru mae ni ima negai ga todoku no nara
Mou ichido tsuyoku dakishimete

The sadness that continues to fall
Changes to pure white snow
I kept looking to the sky
If now my wish reaches you,
Before my body vanishes
Hold me tightly once more.

Wakari aenakute nandomo kizutsuketeita
Sonna toki demo itsumo yasashikute
Fui ni watasareta yubiwa ni kizamareteita
Futari no yakusoku wa kanawanai mama ni
“Ima mo oboeteiru…”

We hurt each other so many times
Unable to understand one another
Even then you were always kind,
Engraved in the ring you sprung upon me,
Our promise remains unfulfilled
“Even now, I remember… “

Toozakaru omoide wa itsumademo mabushi sugite
Motto soba ni itakatta
Mou nido to aenai kedo itsumo soba de sasaete kureta
Anata dake wa kawaranai de ite
Saigo ni miseta namida ga kisenakute

My memories getting farther away from me,
Always so bright, I wanted to stay with you longer.
We can never see each other again but,
You always were there for me,
I pray you never change…

Kono shiroi yukitachi to issho ni kiete shimattemo
Anata no kokoro no naka ni zutto saite itai kara

I can’t rid myself of the final tears you showed me

Even if I disappear with this white snow
I want to bloom in your heart forever

Yorisotte dakiatta nukumori wa wasurenaide ne
Chigau dareka o aishitemo
Saigo ni kiita anata no koe o kono mama zutto hanasanai mama
Fukaku nemuri ni ochitai

Never forget the warmth,
Of when we were nestled close, holding one another
Even when you’re loving someone else
I’ll never let go of your voice as I heard it the last time.
I want to fall into a deep sleep.

Furitsuzuku kanashimi wa masshiro na yuki ni kawaru
Zutto sora o miageteta
Kono karada ga kieru mae ni ima negai ga todoku no nara
Mou ichido tsuyoku dakishimete
“Mou ichido tsuyoku dakishimete..”

The sadness that continues to fall
Changes to pure white snow
I kept looking to the sky
If now my wish reaches you,
Before my body vanishes
Hold me tight once more.

‘Hold me tight once more…’

4. Orenji no taiyou by Gackt and HYDE (theme song for Moon Child XD love that movie :,) )

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pic via http://www.abroadcasting.tv/InternetTV/ExtendUVGImages/9544.jpg

and again, the whole song moved me  :D

yuugure ni kimi to mita orenji no taiyou
nakisou na kao wo shite eien no sayonara

The orange sun I saw with you at dusk
making a face about to cry, the big farewell.

kirameku nami to tawamureteita
mujyaki na kimi no sono yokogao
suashi de sunahama wo kakenukeru
kimi ga itoshii

Watching your innocent face
as you played in the glimmering waves.
Running all over the beach barefoot,
How I adored you.

suna ni kaita kimi no na to
kazaritsuketa kaigara ha
kata wo yoseta bokura no mae de
nami ni sarawareta

Your name we wrote in the sand,
and the shells we adorned it with,
shoulder to shoulder
we watched as the waves wiped it away before us.

yuugure ni kimi to mita orenji no taiyou
nakisou na kao wo shite eien no sayonara

The orange sun I saw with you at dusk
making a face about to cry, the big farewell.

aoi sora ha iki wo hisomete
akai yuuhi ni dakareteyuku
boku mo kimi wo dakishimenagara hitomi wo tojita

The blue sky, slows its breathing,
to embrace the red setting sun
As I too held you, I closed my eyes.

ikutsumono yorobi ya kanashimi mo
kazoekirenai deai ya wakare mo
ano koro to kawarazu yasashiku miteru
orenji no taiyou

all the joys and sadnesses,
the countless encounters and partings
just as it did back then,
the orange sun oversees them all

eien wo yume miteta ano koro no bokura ha
itsumademo hanarezu ni dakiatte waratteta

back then we dreamed of an eternity
laughing, we held each other for so long.

akireru hodo kimi wo omou yo
sore dake de boku ha mitasareru
nakanai de itsudatte aeru yo
hitomi wo tojireba…

It’s stunning how much I think of you.
That’s all I needed to satisfy myself.
Don’t cry, We can meet again anytime,
just by closing our eyes…

yuugure ni kimi to mita orenji no taiyou
nakisou na kao wo shite eien no sayonara

yuugure ni kimi to mita orenji no taiyou
nakisou na kao wo shite eien no sayonara

The orange sun I saw with you at dusk
making a face about to cry, the big farewell.

Fan made vid, these are scenes from the movie ;)

5. Sweet Dreams by VAMPS

VAMPS

pic via http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/500/28930289/VAMPS.png

guess what? :D the whole song as well :))

So beautiful

I’ve never seen that place

When the trip is over

I want to go with you

tsuki no machi he to mukau

itsu no ma ni ka tooku made

kokoro no sukima wo

hageshii oto de umeteitte

nemuri ni tsukunda

(I go forward to the next city

before one knows till far away

with an intense sound

I’m going to fill the heart’s crevice)

次の街へと向かう

いつの間にか遠くまで

心の隙間を激しい音で

埋めて行って眠りにつくんだ

Good night to you

I always do think of you

Even when I’m far away

Were you wonderful today?

Because surely there

Will be good tomorrows

Sweet dreams

So beautiful

I’ve never known this joy

When the trip is over

I want to share with you

konna hibi wo sugoshite kita yo

hanaretemo kanjiteru

hitori ni nattara

kimi wo omoi hanashikakeru

mou neta kana?

(many days like this has passed

even if we’re separated I feel you

if I stayed alone I think and talk to you

I wonder if you are already slept?)

こんな日々を過ごして来たよ

離れても感じてる

一人になったら君を思い話しかける

もう寝たかな?

Good night to you

I always do think of you

Even when I’m far away

Were you wonderful today?

Because surely there

Will be good tomorrows

Sweet dreams

Good night to you

I always do think of you

Even when I’m far away

Were you wonderful today?

Because surely there

Will be good tomorrows

Sweet dreams

When I return

I won’t let you go

Sweet dreams

I LOVE this PV, it’s one of the best I’ve seen.

I just copy-pasted this from my iPod, so the lyrics are kinda small :| I can’t seem to adjust font size here…

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so those are just some of the songs… hopefully you guys pass the “oh it’s Japanese so I don’t give a fuck” and give it a listen cause they really are brilliant songs, and to move me to tears before knowing what the lyrics actually meant is really something, now that… is true music.

So as you can see, I definitely love my J-music :)) And to be honest, not a lot non-Japanese band had the same impact on me. Anyway I’ll save that for later :P

I might even make a post on why I like Japanese music, hmmmmm….


sources: (a person with half a brain could figure this out)

http://www.kiwi-musume.com/lyrics/chatmonchy/miminari/renaispirits.html

http://www.leoslyrics.com/listlyrics.php?hid=NKEDtRFsxoc%3D

http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/miyavi/itoshii_hito_beloved_one_english_version.html

http://www.lyrics007.com/Gackt%20Lyrics/Last%20Song%20Lyrics.html

http://www.lyrics007.com/Gackt%20Lyrics/Last%20Song%20(English%20Version)%20Lyrics.html

http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/3530822107858524141/

http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/3530822107858524142/

FOREVER FORNEVER