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.
This Post Has 33 Comments
I was unfamiliar with this “enka” term but I’ve heard songs in this style. The song “Kanazawa No Ame” is melancholy and haunting–lovely.
Many songs remind me of lost loves. Anything by Dan Fogelberg reminds me of my first wife, especially “Last to Know”–that song always makes me feel a bit misty-eyed.
Tossing It Out
Thanks for sharing. I have heard of Dan Fogelberg but never heard of “Last to Know”. I am going to check it out. Thanks for listening to “Kanazawa no Ame”.
This is a really pretty song and glad to see the lyrics. I have to think about a song that evokes similar thoughts in me
Thanks for stopping by!
I enjoy your blog because of the number of songs you post that I’ve never heard of before! Nice!
Thanks for stopping by! <3
Your first tune was really nice, but your second tune totally awesome. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. She’s quite beautiful and her voice is amazing. The keyboard there is huge. That’s what I play, but my keyboard is a third of that. So much smaller in other words. This tune is lovely. Thanks again for sharing with us and thanks for playing Monday’s Music Moves Me! Have a great week! HUGS!
I love your breakdown of this. Music plays such a huge part in our lives.
Yes, I was busy for quite a time then suddenly heard something familiar and boom. All emotions came back.
What a great song! I actually have Spotify playlist for every mood I have. When I feel down, I listen to sad love songs. LOL. I also have a different playlist for work, and for road trips.
There are definitely some songs where all I have to hear is the open few notes or that catchy beat or phrase and I’m taken back to the time when I first heard it. Music is truly transportive. It can make you feel a sense of happy or sad nostalgia.
I really don’t have much knowledge of music genres in Japan. These are very interesting. The mixing of them with hip hop is super cool.
I sure hope you’re feeling better today. I came by last night but didn’t get a chance to finish listening to your mewsic picks. I was blown away by your first artist. I was totally not expecting this hip-hop lookin’ guy to sound the way he does – way to go! I think the second song reminds me the most of a ‘lost love’. Thanks for sharing Enka with me. I’m going to check him out on YT. 🙂
I really wanted to listen to some new music other than what I usually hear too. Definitely checking out your shared songs. 🙂
It’s interesting to hear about different songs to those I am used too. These are all new to me as I don’t normally hear this in the UK.
I have been lucky enough to find my deep true love, but I can admit that some songs bring a memory of past mistakes, rather than lost love.
I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. Thanks for sharing this iconic lyrics
I really like enka. Japanese music is special to me, I dunno why. may be it is language based. thanks for sharing this beauty
I am not familiar with this type of music but I do know what you mean about how certain instruments can bring about memory or feeling. It’s a very powerful thing.
I see why it made you cry! That song is amazing and her voice is awesome!
Japanese music is beautiful! I also hope to visit Japan this year so I can hear it live.
Music is such a moving thing. My husband writes and sings his own songs. There are a lot of songs from history that seemed to lose their place in this world that were GREAT songs!
One of things that I love about your blog is I get to listen to songs that some I have never heard of before. Music is such a powerful thing that can really change our mood and bring back sweet memories.
Enka is one of the most beautiful culture music in Japan their music so great.
My hubby was my first love – when I hear our songs from high school – ah so many memories come flooding back!
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music is what brought me to Jesus, along with His word of course. I love listening and singing out to songs about Him!
We’re not so familiar with Japanese music, but we sure like these songs 🙂 Pawkisses for a wonderful day🐾😽💞
Those are some beautiful pieces. I definitely have reminisced about lost love through music. When my ex-fiancee dumped me I remember a song playing that just perfectly captured all of my feelings.
music sure is powerful and is one of the few things in life that moves people in a way nothing else can. Thanks for sharing these pieces, I learned something new ; )
I have never heard of this type of music but I love melodious music and regarless of where it comes from it can touch peoples lives.
I thought Kanazawa No Ame was too short! No matter your culture, lost love is known to all of us and we can so identify. As for Jero – that was absolutely awesome. It was kind of jazzy but not quite jazz – at certain points I would have sworn that Carlos Santana had joined in with his guitar. Thank you for joining up with us once again. By the way, in Orlando, Florida there is an Enka Avenue – I wonder if the name is related to this style of music in any way.
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