Friday, 20 December 2013

Captivated by Misora Hibari and Enka

So lately I have become very interested in Misora Hibari. I believe this is due to three factors - 1) I fulfilled my goal of conquering enka in karaoke before the end of the year and it's just so much fun to sing, 2) I really really love Omatsuri Mambo in Zachou Kouen, which happens to be one of her songs and 3) since she was Nana's biggest role model she was the natural choice for me if I wanted to explore the world of enka more.

I feel like I should have looked into her a lot sooner, but I guess perhaps I wasn't ready for it until now. A good indication of this is that the concrete trigger that made me look into Misora Hibari and her life was a video of her singing Omatsuri Mambo on Youtube and her genki and playful style of performance totally captured my attention. Funnily enough though, I think it was the exact same video I linked in my Zachou Kouen entry but back then it didn't get to me like it did now. Hence I guess I wasn't ready to fully appreciate her yet then. Here's the performance, I really love Misora-san's attitude. Really so much genki'ness! And I so love all the faces she makes during the song! Bless this woman!

So after watching this I decided to educate myself in Misora Hibari's life and work. And man, she was quite a woman. From the things that she has done, I get the feeling she was a strong woman character who didn't really take any shit from anyone and was also a very proud person. I think that is a very admirable feat considering the age she lived in - not that many powerful women. I can really see why Nana looks up to her and respects her so much, I am starting to now as well. And really, I am very happy Nana had a great woman like this as a role model when growing up, I am sure it helped her through all her hardships just like Nana herself has been doing for me.  I was inspired enough to brave the unpleasant rain storm today to go and buy one of Misora Hibari's Best of -albums. There are so many btw, I had a hard time choosing... and I think I could have chosen better but this one fit my budget the best. "orz 

At least it has Omatsuri Mambo and Kawa no Nagare no You ni, that was most important for me. I really wanted Kawa no Nagare no Youni since it was Misora-san's last song and considered the greatest Japanese song of all time by a lot of people. And with good cause I must say, it is a really beautiful song that touches you deeply. Or touches me deeply anyway, I can't speak for everyone. And I have to say that even though I haven't been interested in Misora Hibari for very long yet, it does make me unspeakably sad how she died way too early. I feel there was so much more left for her to do and that she so deserved to live a long life and do it all - it's not fair. And I somehow am proud to have been able to be in this world at the same time as her, even if it was for just about two weeks. 

So, I've been listening to this CD all day and I do really like it. I think I should get another one with more songs on it eventually. After looping all the songs for quite some time, I decided to rewatch Nana's performanace in Hibari 7 Days as well and it all touched and meant so much more to me now. I was nearly crying with Nana during Kawa no Nagare no You ni. Oh my goodness. The emotion. And I am so glad my CD also had Makkana Taiyō. It's probably one of my favorites now after listening to it a lot today and Nana singing it in Hibari 7 Days is really epic too.

In Hibari 7 Days

Yesterday also in the wee hours of night, I started thinking if perhaps Misora Hibari served as Nana's inspiration for choosing Mizuki as her artist name. The flow in Misora and Mizuki is quite similar, but they are also different enough to show Nana didn't want to make it too obvious (like instead of using the same Mi as Misora, she went for Mizu, and z instead of s sound) and to me kind of indicates purposefully hiding the connection lol. I guess she might have mentioned this somewhere, my Japanese is still not on the level of reading Shin'Ai for example, but I haven't come across it. So this came up for me as just my own speculation. :3

But enough rambling for now, because I should go to sleep. I have teaching assistant duties tomorrow morning. I will continue delving into the legend that is Misora Hibari and perhaps broaden my enka interest to other artists as well.

Next goal: sing Omatsuri Mambo in karaoke! It will probably butcher me due to its fast pace but I will conquer it no matter what it takes. Guess it should be nothing compared to Vitalization and the likes, and those I can pull off just fine lol. 

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