Battle of the Songs: The Battle for Heisei’s #1 Song

Battle of the Songs: The Battle for Heisei’s #1 Song

Welcome to another Battle of the Songs here on my new site!

Today marks the beginning of the new era called Reiwa (令和). The Japanese calendar measures time by the reign of an emperor. Emperor Naruhito’s reign started today, thus called the first day of Reiwa 1 (令和元年). His father, Akihito, reigned as Emperor under the Heisei (平成) era from January 8, 1989 to yesterday (April 30, 2019).

I was born in the first year of Heisei, so yesterday was a bit sad as I saw the era that I was born in and only experienced so far come to an end. Though it ups and downs, Heisei was a pretty decent era.

To commemorate the end of Heisei, this month’s battles will be Heisei-themed battles. Today’s battle will be about the number one song vs. the number one artist of this wonderful era.

Number One Song: SMAP – “Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana”

SMAP was the biggest boy bands of the Heisei era. With the group members being in various media from singing to hosting TV events, SMAP captured the hearts of many in Japan as well as overseas. My favorite member was Shingo as he was funny, cute, and a bit crazy (if you ever heard the Shingomama song).

This boy band was more of an idol group as the focus was more on the group’s talents and looks than their singing talents. Trust me, Masahiro Nakai would never make it in the group if it was only about vocal talent. Nevertheless, the group had some pretty great songs, especially “Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana” (The Only Flower in the World).

This song has been a favorite among elementary students as it sung at various schools events like sports day and graduation. During a recent field trip with students during spring break, a bunch of boys suddenly sang this song on the bus, knowing every note and word by heart. And, it’s for good reason. This song is uplifting and has a great message: Don’t try to be number one, try to be unique.

Take a look at the lyrics while listening to the song. Don’t you see the inspiring message?

There’s no need to be Number One
You are a special individual.

I saw many kinds of flowers lined up in front of the flower shop.
Everyone has their favorite kinds but all of them are pretty.
Without competing to see which was the best among them,
they were standing straight up proudly inside the bucket.

So why then do we humans have to compare ourselves to one another?
Even though each and every person is different,
why do we want to be number one?
Yes, we are each…

The only flower in this world
and each and every one of us carries a different seed
We should focus all our efforts on trying to make that flower bloom.

There are people who are constantly unsure of what they want,
as they laugh a little put out.
It can’t be helped, all those flowers,
that did everything they could to bloom, are pretty.


When at last that person comes out of the store,
they’re holding a colorful bouquet
and I see them smiling happily as they go by me.
I never knew their name but
that day they made me smile.

We too are like flowers that bloom in places where no one pays any attention.
Yes, we too are each…

The only flower in this world
and each and every one of us carries a different seed
We should focus all our efforts on trying to make that flower bloom.

Small flowers and big flowers, none are the same as one another.
There’s no need to be Number One
You are a special individual.

Source:
https://www.jpopasia.com/smap/lyrics/55807/sekai-ni-hitotsudake-no-hana-%E4%B8%96%E7%95%8C%E3%81%AB%E4%B8%80%E3%81%A4%E3%81%A0%E3%81%91%E3%81%AE%E8%8A%B1/sekai-ni-hitotsudake-no-hana-%E4%B8%96%E7%95%8C%E3%81%AB%E4%B8%80%E3%81%A4%E3%81%A0%E3%81%91%E3%81%AE%E8%8A%B1/

Number One Artist: B’z – “Ai no Mama ni Wagamama ni Boku wa Kimi Dake wo Kizukenai”

Whew, that title was a mouthful!

B’z was the top-selling artist during the Heisei era. This rock duo has countless number one singles and albums since their debut in 1988. However, their 1993 single “Ai no Mama ni Wagamama ni Boku wa Kimi Dake wo Kizukenai” (My Love is Selfish, But I Won’t Hurt You) remains their top-selling single to date.

I admit that I am not a big fan of this song. I prefer other songs that feature Tak Matsumoto’s amazing guitar skills like “LOVE PHANTOM” or “Ultra Soul”. But, “Ai no Mama ni Wagamama ni Boku wa Kimi Dake wo Kizukenai” is a decent song that showcases classic 90s’ B’z rock style.

I have been a fan of B’z since 2001 due to their unique hard rock style. My brother is also a fan foro the same reason. Vocalist Konishi Inaba and guitarist Tak Matsumoto — and their amazing session musicians — showcase their talents in well-crafted songs like “Ai no Mama ni Wagamama ni Boku wa Kimi Dake wo Kizukenai”.

Check out the translated lyrics here:

You whispered, “I can’t believe anymore” and hung your head
Dangling the ingredients for anxiety on my waist, it bit at my heart
I know we match, like a perfect fit 
Because it’s the two of us, let’s go as far as we can go

As my love, selfishly, you are the only one I won’t hurt 
Even if the sun freezes over, just “me and you” please don’t disappear

That’s right, over praying to a worldly god that only saves te ones who believe in him,
It would feel so much better to stay with me forever
If you just cry about all the pain, you’ll only increase the number of wrinkles in your heart 
Because it’s the two of us, let’s have fun and dance

As my love, selfishly, you are the only one I won’t hurt 
Even if the sun freezes over, just “me and you” please don’t disappear

If we are hand in hand I won’t ever let go, even in the pouring rain
Even the dusty bonds will begin to shine

As my love, selfishly, you are the only one I won’t hurt 
Even if the sun freezes over, “you and me”” please don’t disappear 
Because it’s now, because I love you, don’t live giving up 
Even if someone’s blood runs, let’s hold up our earnest feelings 

Source:
http://www.animelyrics.com/jpop/bz/ainomamani.htm

What Will It Be?

Now it is your turn to vote! Who will be the victor of the first-ever “Battle of the Songs”? Tell me in the comments below! Also, tell me why you choose a particular version! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

I am also part of The “Battle of the Bands” blog collection. After you vote, please visit the other battles from this blogger circle. There are really exciting battles!

🌞 Visit TOSSING IT OUT by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit MIKE’S RAMBLINGS’by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit CURIOUS AS A CATHY by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING by clicking HERE
🌞 Visit JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit ANGELS BARK by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit THE DOGLADY’S DEN by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE by clicking HERE
🌞 Visit STMoC PRESENTS BATTLE OF THE BANDS by clicking HERE.


Pin This!

This Post Has 120 Comments

  1. I really don’t listen to this kind of music but they sound awesome! Heisei sounds good!

    1. Heisei had a lot of good songs from rock, pop, R&B, and etc. It was an amazing 30 years!

  2. I’m going to have to go with B’z! They’re song was more upbeat and fun it was more my style

    1. B’z is sure awesome! Thanks for your vote! Make sure to check out the result here on ai love music on May 11.

  3. I am so out of the loop when it comes to bands from other countries…make that even my own country:) I will have to give it to B’z because it was more catchy and fun. I am not a fan of boy bands and SMAP didn’t do much for me.

    1. It’s all cool! Thanks for your vote! Make sure to check out the result here on ai love music on May 11.

  4. I couldn’t figure out how to comment the first time I stopped by, but now I see.

    I found both songs to be to my liking, but my preference goes to SMAP.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. SMAP sounds really nice in this song and the lyrics are great. Thanks for your vote! Make sure to check out the result here on ai love music on May 11.

  5. I’m going to go with B’z as well, for all the reasons stated so far. It’s not that I didn’t like SMAP, I just liked B’z better.

    1. Thanks for your vote! Make sure to check out the result here on ai love music on May 11.

  6. While I haven’t heard of either of these, I think I prefer B’z. I loved boy bands when I was younger, but if it isn’t those few that have the nostalgia aspect, I am not as interested. The B’z was fun!

    1. Which boys bands did you like when you were younger/ Thanks for your vote! Make sure to check out the result here on ai love music on May 11.

    2. This is very interesting and enlightening. I have not listened to this music before. Thank you for sharing.

  7. It’s a toss-up as to who is better but boy do they have the boy-band moves in sync! Love it!

    1. Asian boy bands got the whole “boy band” thing done. Korean boy bands are the same!

      1. This is a fun idea. I enjoy music. This article has introduced me to some songs I was not familiar with

  8. These are all completely new to me. And you shared some really fun songs!

  9. Hmm I’d have to say B’z as well. I don’t listen to music much, but was neat to hear other countries music. Thanks for sharing. I wish all well with ya’lls new Emperor (I read about Akihito moving on).

    1. This is totally cool! I’ve never heard of this group, but love to learn more about world music.

      1. That is great! Which group did you enjoy from the videos above?

    2. Thanks for the well wishes, the Japanese hope that the new era is a peaceful one like the Heisei era. Thanks for your vote! Make sure to check out the result here on ai love music on May 11.

  10. I couldn’t get the link to B’z to work. But I listened to the first one. I loved how the dance moves for all boy bands are universal and cute the boy’s from the High school all knew the words!

    1. Johnny’s boy bands are like that. (Johnny’s is the name of the agency that produced SMAP. They produced a lot of successful boy bands since the 60s). Thanks for your vote! Make sure to check out the result here on ai love music on May 11.

  11. Amy,

    I’m taking a break since the A2Z Challenge wiped me out. I like the looks of your new blog layout. Both bands are introductions. The one getting my vote in this round is gonna be B’z their vocals sound more masculine which I like better over high-pitched male voices. Have a songsational day, my friend!

    1. I read that you were taking a break. I hope you get the rest you needed. I am on a week vacation and I didn’t go out a lot because I wanted to stay in and just rest. Thanks for your vote! Make sure to check out the result here on ai love music on May 11.

  12. Always feels so touching when you can commemorate the past histories…with relatable music to start with! And I am loving song number one- the lyrics and their tune is just so beautiful!

    1. It is great! Thanks for your vote! Make sure to check out the result here on ai love music on May 11.

  13. I think my favorite is also the first one. It makes me think of my high school time, ages ago 🙂 I love the fact that you always add the lyrics.

    1. You are so welcome about the lyrics! Thanks for your vote! Make sure to check out the result here on ai love music on May 11.

  14. Oh I love this, I really enjoy the lyrics, they are really powerful! I think I am going to choose B, I really enjoyed this battle!

    1. You are so welcome! Thanks for your vote! Make sure to check out the result here on ai love music on May 11.

  15. Not really my kinda music but it was so much to try something new, love it actually. Heisei are awesome.

  16. I can’t decide who I like better. But wow do they have some moves!!

    1. Thanks for your vote! Make sure to check out the result here on ai love music on May 11.

  17. Amazing guitar skills and lyrics are pretty cool! Great reviews!

    1. Tak Matsumoto is one of the best guitarists in the world. B’z is on the Rock n’ Roll Walk of Fame in the US. They are world famous!

  18. Every time I visit your blog, I learn something new about Japanese culture and new music.

    1. You are welcome! Have you been to Japan before?

  19. I love almost all kids of music depending on my mood and always love to listen to new voice and culture. I feel Music really binds people of different culture and it is relaxing. Thank you for sharing

    1. I feel like the same! Music is life* it can make us happy, sad, and feel other emotions. It contains magic and it is so powerful. Thanks for stopping by. Which song did you like?

  20. I always hear new music by reading your posts! It’s such a great way to grow my music knowledge. 😀

    1. You are welcome! Which song did you like above?

  21. I always love discovering new artists so I loved listening to this group! Thanks for sharing!

  22. I have not heard of any of these before, but I do love my music. always makes me feel motivated xx

    1. It does! Which songs do you like to listen to when you are motivated?

  23. I have not hear of either of these bands, I know my Daughter does sometimes so will ask her what she thinks x

    1. Let me know. I would love to hear her opinion!

  24. These are all fun! I can’t choose! Can I love them equally? Lol

    1. Yes, you can! There is a both option!

  25. i don’t know of these artists so it’s kinda hard to say for me

    1. It’s all cool. What kind of music do you like to listen to?

  26. Apparently I need to broaden my music taste, because I’ve never heard of this song either.

    1. Did you enjoy either of the songs featured above?

    1. Oh, what kind of music do you listen to? Did you get a chance to listen to either song?

    1. You are welcome/. Which song did you like?

  27. I am really digging the one from B’z . It’s a super fun song that I can really get into!

    1. Thanks for the vote! Check out the results on May 11!

  28. My vote goes to SMAP. I like the lyrics of the song. It is so inspiring. BZ has good vocals and the song sounds like something out of a Japanese action/robot cartoon soundtrack (i.e. Voltes Five)

    1. B’z did do a lot of anime songs, mainly for Slam Dunk and Detective Conan. Thanks for the vote, check out the results on May 11!

  29. SMAP! Love the lyrics. And congrats on your new blog site! I can post comments. 😃

    1. Yay! You can post now!!! Thank you for voting! Check out the results here on May 11!

  30. I admit I don’t know these artists or songs, but I don’t mind it, on the contrary … I love discovering new names!

  31. I hadn’t seen any of these artists before. I really do love learning about new music. I think if I was to choose lyrically I would have to go with SMAP even if I am not a huge boy band person.

    1. Thanks for the vote! Check back here on May 11 for the results!

  32. Wow! The song sounds really interesting! I do not usually listen to Japanese songs, but I will try to listen to this song! Thank you for sharing this! You may also try to listen to Korean pop songs!

    1. I love Korean pop songs. I have been a fan of Kpop since 2002, my first album was BoA’s No. 1. I actually talked about KISS and their iconic song “Because I’m a Girl” a week ago, you might want to check it out. Right now, I am loving Blackpink. How about you? What Kpop artists do you like?

  33. I liked them both, but the Bz is probably more to my usual taste. Interesting back story on the Emporer and the Heisei.

    1. Thanks for the vote! Check back here on May 11 for the results!

  34. Great songs. I think it’s a tie.

    1. Great! Thanks for the vote! Check back here on May 11 for the results!

    1. You are welcome. Which one did you like the best?

  35. The lyrics seem to make some impression on younger generations. I will add it to my music list to listen in my music time.

    1. Thanks! Let me know which one you like!

  36. I had never heard of these bands before. Loved the music though and its B’Z for me!!!

    1. Thanks for the vote! Check back here on May 11 for the results!

  37. Congratulations on your new site. A very old follower of your blog.

    Love and hugs <3

  38. Never heard of this before. That was really a great song. I think B’z made it better.

    1. Thanks for the vote! Check back here on May 11 for the results!

  39. They both sound awesome but I gotta pick B’z – Ai no Mama ni Wagamama ni Boku wa Kimi Dake wo Kizukenai.

    1. Thanks for the vote! Check back here on May 11 for the results!

  40. Good to read about music from outside where I live. Never heard of these guys before. They both sound great.

  41. Interesting battle, Amy!

    Glad that I found you again. (I haven’t visited my own comments yet, so don’t know if you gave me the new address there).

    I’m voting for SMAP. While I’m not a huge boy band fan, I found them a little easier to listen to.

    ~Mary

    1. Hey Mary, how are you doing? I did comment about the move in your latest Battle but you been busy, it seems. Thanks for the vote! Although, my friend has compared B’z to Aerosmith, would that seem to be right?

  42. The beat of the second song is a little more moving, but the lyrics of the first are more inspiring. Not sure which I prefer.

    1. Thanks for the vote! Check back here on May 11 for the results!

  43. This is a tough one for me. I think I’m going to play it safe and say Bz

    1. Thanks for the vote! Check back here on May 11 for the results!

  44. This is not my type actually but I love to read your blog as a musician 🙂 Happy blogging.

  45. Never heard of either until now. B’z sounds pretty cool.

  46. Now that Reiwa has finally started, the cultural discourse can turn to figuring out how this new period’s sound will come together. Let’s see.. wink!

  47. This isn’t really my sort of music – but it sounds like you and a lot of others really like it 🙂 x

  48. I love the songs they really do sound rocky for me but is unfortunate that I can’t access the B’z video so I just go with the Heisei.

  49. I will have to choose Heisei but they both sound great! always a new find when I’m here 😀

  50. Those moves !! Looks like you love music

  51. All the options sound great its hard to pick one

  52. I wonder how do you get time to work so hard. You seem to spend time in finding out details about the history and present about music. This music are not known for me. So, it’s new thing for me.

  53. Interesting song. Never heard it before.

  54. Not my type of music but I prefered B’z.

  55. Hahah love this! Genuinely unsure of who I would choose!

  56. I’ve never heard these songs but as a Japanese fan of music, I would love to check all of these!

  57. Wow jpop is so cool. My little sister is really into kpop right now and I’m glad pop is getting more inclusive of Asian music in the states

  58. More new stuff I’ve not heard of – thanks again for sharing!

  59. I’m gonna go for Heisei. Their songs are awesome.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar