Thursday, 15 December 2011
Some Japanese Christmas Songs
Well it's almost that time of the year again when a fat bearded man trespasses into homes and eats your cookies and drinks your milk. If you've been good then he'll leave behind some presents but that doesn't change the fact that he's sneaking into peoples houses. Anyway, yes. Christmas.
There's a little over a week to the joyous day and I thought that I might extend on my random song recommendation posts and share some Christmas themed Japanese songs. They're not Christmas carols as Japanese people just use the English ones with translated lyrics but are just pop songs that have something to do with Christmas. Well, hopefully you'll find some that you like here.
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
First is this theme song from the movie with the same name (Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence). It starred the Rock superstar David Bowie in the lead role and also Kitano Takeshi (teacher from Battle Royale) and Ryuichi Sakamoto himself too. It's a pretty decent movie and worth watching I think.....The song isn't a cheerful one that you probably want to listen to at Christmas but it's a ve~ry beautiful track that I think you should know. As I said before, Ryuichi Sakamoto the person who composed this song also stars in the movie. However, he's not an actor but a very highly regarded composer/producer, having won an American Academy Award and Grammy for his soundtrack on the movie 'Last Emperor'. He was also a member of the influential electro music group, Yellow Magic Orchestra and is quite well known in the West for this reason.
B'z -Itsuka no Merry Christmas
Itsuka no Merry Christmas (Merry Christmas of Someday) is one of the most popular songs by Japan's most successful rock act, B'z. There's a famous video on youtube of this song as a duet between Hamasaki Aymumi and Gackt, so fans of those two would probably have heard this song before.
Yamashita Tatsuro -Christmas Eve
This is one of the staple Christmas songs of Japan, and if you go there around this time you'll hear this song playing non-stop all over the place (as well as 'Last Chrsitmas' by Wham, and the song by Mariah Carey...). I think I might have kind of been brain washed into liking this song because of how often they play it. You have no choice but to come to like it or else you'll be walking around irritated wherever you go. It's also famous for the Japan Rail advertisement it was used on.
Dreams Come True -Winter Song
Dreams Come True are an extremely popular pop duo (originally a trio) and responsible for many hit songs mainly in the 80's and 90's although they are still very successful now. This song was the opening theme for the famous American movie, 'Sleepless in Seatle' featuring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, although I've never watched the movie in full so haven't really heard or seen the part with the song. There's an English version and a Japanese version, and both are honestly good. The singer, Miwa has an unusually good pronunciation of English for a pure Japanese person so it shouldn't bother people that don't really like Engrish.
Kuwata Keisuke -Shiroi Koibito-tachi
Shiroi Koibito Tachi means 'White Lovers' and is by the Japanese music legend Kuwata Keisuke. Kuwata Keisuke is credited as being the first Japanese musician to sing in a foreign kind of accent which paved the way for more Western sounding music to be created with the Japanese language. This is the main reason why a lot of the old rock groups of Japan sing in English (if you've bothered to search for some). The Japanese language with ordinary pronunciation doesn't flow as nicely so what Kuwata did back then with his band Southern All-stars was a revolutionary thing and responsible for the songs that we hear today.
L'arc~en~Ciel - Hurry Xmas
Well here's a song from the super popular rock group L'arc~en~Ciel. Although they do a lot of pop sounding music it's a very poppy song even out of them. Even so, it's a snazzy jazzy uptempo tune with a nice melody.