Kumiko Akiyoshi - s/t (1975)

Kumiko Akiyoshi (秋吉久美子) is a Japanese actress and singer, who released one untitled album in 1975. She was 20 years old at the time, and was starring in pinku films by Toshiya Fujita (藤田敏八, he of the 'Lady Snowblood' series) and in Toshio Matsumoto (松本俊夫)'s 'War at the Age of Sixteen' (十六歳の戦争). According to Wikipedia, she did quite a steamy sex scene (for an actress her age) as late as 2004. Her music however seems to be virtually forgotten these days, which is a shame. She is backed by some able musicians here; I read somewhere that her backing band is none less than Japanese prog band 四人囃子 (Yonin Bayashi), who released their popular debut album 一触即発 ('Isshoku Sokuhatsu', sometimes referred to as 'Volatile') one year earlier, but I'm not sure if that is correct. Either way, this is not a prog album, just an experimental pop album with some odd telephone interludes, children's rhymes about Indians, some enka influences and downright bizarre lyrics, like on the beautiful ballad 天才, which on closer inspection turns out to be about some laughing piano player with a donkey's mouth and parsley in his ears. Either that or my Japanese is even worse than I thought. Anyway, here's the tracklist, with some transliterations and translations (my own attempts, with the usual caveats):

1. 赤い靴 (Akai kutsu) (Red Shoes)
2. しゃぼんだま (Shabondama) (Soap Bubble)
3. 星の流れに (Hoshi no nagare ni)
4. 東京ブルース (Tōkyō blues) (Tokyo Blues)
5. エリカの花散るとき (Erika no hana chiru toki) (When Erika's flowers fall)
6. えんがちょ (Engacho) (this is a kids' phrase used while crossing one's fingers to ward off catching 'dirt' from other kids)
7. おそまつさまでした (Osomatsusama deshita) (when someone offers his guests a meal, they will be polite and say ごちそうさまでした, 'gochisōsama deshita': 'that was a real treat!'. The humble host himself however will sometimes utter this phrase, almost apologizing for the grub he has served. Something like 'I know, that was really rather crappy, sorry about that')
8. 10人のインデアン (Jūnin no Indian)* (10 Indians)
9. フロイト (Freud)
10. 天才 (Tensai) (Genius)
11. 未来への想い出 (Mirai e no omoide) (Memories of the Future)

 * actually it says Indean; maybe a typo for インディアン. 



  1. I first heard a song of hers on youtube and I loved it. I never thought I'd get to hear the whole album. Thank you so much for sharing this! I'm thrilled. Great blog too! Blown away!

  2. Hi there!
    Can't beleive that I found this album! Thank you so much! Buuuut... The point is that we can't no longer download it. What if I send you my email, and you send it to me by dropbox or something like this?
    You can find my email on the link to my photos galery. Thank you so muuuch! (From Montreal)(you've to click on my name tho)

  3. I just reuploaded this, check the new link!

  4. Actually she recorded a second record in 1977