2007/08/25

Aming

Back in early 80's I walked into Shirokiya department store on Maui (yes, we had a Japanese department store) and bought a cassette tape of Japanese pop music by a duo called "Aming". I liked the harmony of their songs a lot, even thought I did not understand the words. I also could not find out anything about the duo - or was it one person singing duets with herself?

I listened to other Japanese pop singers over time and like some of the songs by some of the singers - Pink Lady (tongue partly in cheek), Akina Nakamori, Seiko Matsuda and Miki Imai, who is still a favorite of mine. But I never found another album or any information about Aming. I have kept an eye out for a CD or any indication of more of their music, to no avail. Not that I thought it was fantastic, but I enjoyed it and if nothing else would have liked a CD copy of the tape I already had.

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Aming - Haruko Kato & Takako Okamura
Cover of their single - my cassette tape didn't have their picture on it, just the logo.

A few weeks ago I was riding my bike in town and as I passed the repair shop for the used car dealer, "Lemon Cars" (I'm not making that up and I've posted about it before), I heard Aming being played on the loudspeaker. I was really surprised and mentioned it to K later. How amazing that some auto mechanic liked their music. Or could it be that a radio station was broadcasting such an old tune? It really felt odd to me. I was hearing a song from a group that lasted only a year, some 25 years in the past. I could almost hear Rod Serling - "Witness a lone cyclist, one "Pandabonium", following a tune as he rides down a musical path in a foreign land; a path that can only lead ..... to the Twightlight Zone."

Last week - not even thinking of the incident - I was looking up videos of some Japanese pop songs on YouTube and came across, of all groups, Aming. It turns out that Aming has recently reunited and recorded their old hit song "Matsuwa ".


In 1981, the two girls were in college. They performed together for a year, recorded four singles and two albums, but then decided to split up and go their own ways. (Probably a wise life choice). One graduated and went to work as a secretary, then got married and raised children, the other dropped out of college and became a solo singer/song writer. In the video above Takako Okamura (the song writer) is on the left. Haruko Kato is on the right.

Now, 25 years later, they have come back together to record more music. I wish them every success. After all, I've waited a quarter of a century for their second album.

To see Aming singing Matsuwa on Japanese television in 1982 click here. (Sorry, they won't allow me to embed the video).

Trivia: "Matsuwa" is a song about something along the lines of "I'll wait for you until the other girl dumps you". Whatever. They still sound pretty good to me.

7 comments:

Swinebread said...

Nice song… My SO tells me that it has Stalker overtones.

Pandabonium said...

K agrees, Swinebread. Ah, that creepy romantic feeling...

QUASAR9 said...

Can't say I've heard much japanese music pop or rock - having lived abroad I'm weary of what people are 'rocking' too if I don't know the words ...
sure the tune may be great, the lyrics sound fine - but I really like to know what I'm rock or bopping to.
Still if you like them they must be good
A comeback after 25 years, are they like our Debbie Harrie from Blondie then - lol!

Pandabonium said...

Quasar9 - I can relate to what you are saying, but for me I can listen to the music and not think about what the words may be. There are really beautiful native songs in many parts of the world that I'll never translate, but still enjoy hearing.

Martin J Frid said...

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=HTb81bKwYzI

Three degrees, singing "When will I see you again" in JAPANESE! Well done, ladies. Funny intro too!

Anonymous said...

I heard this song and fell in love with it back in 1982 when I was stationed in Okinawa. 30 years later and I found the original and the 25th anniversary remake on Youtube. Gotta love the Internet.

Anyways, the song brings back some very fond and tender moments.

Pandabonium said...

Anon - I'm glad it brought back good memories for you.

And thank you for your service.