That the question of today’s Music Moves Me. On today’s Music Moves Me Monday, the theme that picked was featured a “song where a particular instrument has moved you – whether it’s a favorite vocal sound, bass line, drumming/beats, piano, guitar solo, …’. There have been some great songs that have moved me that were featured previously on this blog. Some examples were: Toshinobu Kubota’s “Missing” and Selena’s “Dreaming of You”.
When I was thinking about using a song that hasn’t been featured here on this blog, I thought about using an enka song. Particularly, one that has moved me very much to tears. That song is Sanae Jonouchi’s “Kanazawa no Ame”.
Enka = Japanese Blues
Enka started in the late 1800s during the Meiji Era. At this time, it is unclear how it really came to be. Some people thought that the musical genre was some form of protest song. Others thought that just songs that were performed as most early enka singers were street performers. Wikipedia said that Enka was “refer to political texts set to music which were sung and distributed by opposition activists belonging to the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement” back in the day. 
Modern-day Enka started in the 1950s with Kasuga releasing the song “Wakare no Ippon-sugi” (A Cedar of Farewell). The musical genre evolved and now a new leading musical style: “Major Scale without Four and Seven” from the Ryo Scale. It is said that Enka is similar to blues.
It became prevalent in the 60s, 70s, 80s, with famous artists like Hideo Murata, Keiko Fuji, Hibari Misora, and Hiroshi Itsuki. However, what must come up must always come down as Enka slowly decline in popularity at the end of the ’80s as younger Japanese embraced Western sounds, especially the electronic dance sound.
Enka is still performed by many artists and featured mainly on the public television channel NHK. The genre has been changing to add different musical flavors and newer techniques.
Inside the Rains of Kanazawa
Today’s pick is late 80s enka song done by well-known Sanae Jonouchi. The enka singer is renowned as she got her start first in a pop idol group called Onyanko Club in 1985. She was known as the member who could perform enka and released her first enka single “Ajisaibashi” while being in the group.
“Kanazawa no Ame” (Kanazawa’s Rain) is a sad song that deals with the painful memories of lost love. Enka is known for singing about heartbreak, painful memories, loss, love, and enduring hardship. And, “Kanazawa no Ame” is full of that longing as lost in the lyrics, the mood, the key, and even in the vocals.
I picked this enka song because the vocals moved, especially at the final chorus. You can feel the emotions during that chorus as Sanae’s vocals as her vocals crescendos as the loudness reflects the climax of her longing and longing. How, the sound concludes with Sanae’s vocal going to a softer volume, almost whimsical, as there is hope for a better tomorrow hinted in the lyrics.
This song makes me cry a lot due to the sorrowful melody, Sanae’s powerful vocals, and remembering my own memories about lost love. How about you: What song reminds you of lost love? Let me know in the comments before.
You can check “Kanazawa no Ame” here:
Here are the translated lyrics:
Swayed by the last train,
Alone among four people,
I pressed my cheek against the glass window,
Closing my eyes on the long night.
Without saying goodbye,
I hold in my heart the pieces of love.
Nearing the railway crossing,
Ah, I long for someone.
I want to forget you in Kanazawa’s rain
While being struck by memories.
This sadness will feel like a dream.
I want to try to use my voice
As is it OK for only three minutes, but
There is no one at the morning train station.
I feel lonely on the way to the station.
The days that two people spent
Is something that I can’t revive
In the corner of the city, there is a poster with faded color.
Ah, I long for someone.
You are not in Kanazawa’s rain, however
I’m walking on the same stone-cobbled route like that time.
I want to forget you in Kanazawa’s rain.
On the other side of the rain cloud,
I’m searching for the blue sky that will return tomorrow.
 “Enka.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Apr. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enka.