Masamichi Toyama: Top 5 songs

Founder of Soup Stock Tokyo and all-round art lover picks his top 5 J-tracks

Masamichi Toyama: Top 5 songs

Masamichi Toyama

遠山正道 Businessman and artist
The CEO of Smiles, the company behind prominent Tokyo icons including Soup Stock Tokyo and Pass The Baton, Toyama is also a painter with personal New York exhibitions on his bulging CV.

Shinichi Mori: Erimo Misaki
襟裳岬 - 45周年!森進一ベスト

'This was the first song that came to my mind when I heard about your 100-song list. It's well-known all over Japan. The song was composed by Takuro Yoshida, who combined aspects of folk song and enka, or Japanese ballad, for the first time. This song had a great influence on the Japanese music that was released in its aftermath. Although the song uses singing techniques common to enka, Takuro added a melody that attracts young people at the same time. I am glad to be able to introduce this song to the world! According to information on Wikipedia, both Shinichi and Takuro were both in a hard situation at the time they worked on the song. I think that it's one of their best songs, given the fact that the unspoken messages of the composer as well as the singer are transmitted to the audience.'

Yurayura Teikoku: 3x3x3
'It's on the first and the best album by Yurayura Teikoku. I was shocked the first time I listened to the song. It taught me that a psychedelic world does exist, potentially, within you. I think that the group should be categorized in an artistic group together with Ringo Shiina, given the fact that they are both so unique. The song, the music and the performance do not exist by themselves; they exist bound with the people, principles, and environment of the performers.'

Minako Yoshida: Hoho Ni Yoru No Akari
'Minako whips up my emotion as she is like a representative of the '70s to me and is bound to my youth. She was my goal as an adult, and a beautiful memory prior to the 'Long Vacation' of Eiichi Ohtaki. I reckon her unique voice might be attractive to foreign ears. I would also include 'Kentomeri No Ai No Skyline', if I could choose six songs.'

Taeko Ohnuki: Tokai
'I never heard this song when it initially aired. Mr Matsunaga, who chooses the music played at Soup Stock Tokyo, chose this song and introduced it to me (Minako Yoshida, above, is also one of his selections). The song evokes the urban cool style of the time. It makes you want to go out driving with the windows open, a woman at your side, heading far, far away...'

Hiromi Go & Kirin Kiki: Ringo Satsujin Jiken
'I sing this song sometimes when I go out to Karaoke, and I watch the two singers on YouTube sometimes. I like the way the two are singing; a duet song that does not sound like one. There's something dramatic throughout the song. The modulation when the two are singing the words "Adam To Eve ga" is the climax. They lose you a bit with the "funifunifunifuni" that follows, but grab your attention again with "ato wo tatanai", and bring you in for a soft landing. The song is not only about the singer but also about the charm of the singers' characters and the atmosphere in which the two are singing.'

Translated by Time Out Tokyo Editors
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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