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Karasu no Nyoubou (カラスの女房; The Raven's Wife) is Nakazawa Yuko's debut single, released as a CD single on August 5, 1998, and later on cassette on October 21, 1998. The single reached #19 on the weekly Oricon charts and charted for eleven weeks. It sold 21,200 copies in its first week and 74,700 copies overall, making it Nakazawa's best-selling release.

TracklistEdit

Yuko Nakazawa - Karasu no Nyoubou

Yuko Nakazawa - Karasu no Nyoubou

Karasu no Nyoubou (PV)

  1. Karasu no Nyoubou
  2. Otonashibashi (音無橋; Soundless Bridge)
  3. Karasu no Nyoubou (Original Karaoke)
  4. Otonashibashi (Original Karaoke)

Single InformationEdit

  1. Karasu no Nyoubou
  2. Otonashibashi

TV PerformancesEdit

Concert PerformancesEdit

Karasu no Nyoubou

TriviaEdit

  • Before the release of this single, in mid-June 1998, Nakazawa was offered a solo career as an enka singer. Initially, she was confused and upset because the president of UP-FRONT AGENCY has decided she should become an enka singer. After consulting with her mother, who told her not pass up the opportunity, as well as being told by her manager, "Well, if your mind isn’t 100% with this decision, you might as well quit", Nakazawa decided to take on the challenge.[1][2]
  • In July 1998, Nakazawa promoted the single through a campaign called "Enka Yoru Campaign". She handed out flyers to the public in the streets and went from bar to bar singing the song. She was followed by two staff members carrying flags with the single logo on them. During the daytime, she also took the trains to several different cities, such as Fukuoka, Hiroshima, and Nagoya, doing the same kind of promotion at offices, restaurants and retirement homes in addition to bars.
  • Wada Kaoru, Nakazawa's manager, made a bold comment saying if the song wasn't in the top ten, he was going to shave his head. "Karasu No Nyoubou" was placed 19th during its first week of the release. The day after, he walked in and his head was fully shaved.[3]
  • Horiuchi Takao released this song as his 43rd single on November 21, 1998. He then re-released it as "new version" on his 50th single in 2004 (which was used as the theme song to the detective series Hagure Keiji Junjou wa).
  • The lyrics "KARASU mitai ni tondekanaide / nanatsu no kodomo ga koishikutatte" is a reference to the song "Nanatsu no Ko".
  • The single was released on Suzuki Kanon's day of birth.

InterviewsEdit

Interview
Shortly after the release of Morning Musume's first album, Nakazawa was approached and offered a career as a solo singer in addition to being in the group. The CEO of the group’s agency wanted her to be an enka singer, for which Nakazawa had this to say:

" […]my manager/agent asked me, “Hey Nakazawa. Why don’t we go back to the office together?” …How scary it is! […] So my reaction was, “Oh my goodness. I think he is going to yell at me privately. I am in trouble.” So, I got on a van, which was filled with camera crew, and I immediately thought, “Are they filming ASAYAN?”. Yes, I clearly remember, including the face of the camera guy. […] So here I was, at the office. And as I entered into the president’s suite, I saw another camera crew standing by to film me. […]

Then, suddenly, they told me the news: “Hey Nakazawa, I know you just made a debut as a member of Morning Musume. But we’ll let you debut as a solo singer.” “What?! Me? As a solo singer?” I was excited and elated at first, just during that brief period of time. Then they said, “As an enka singer.”…”What? No way.” I mean, I went through the process of “SharamQ Rock Music Vocalist Audition”[Sic] and successfully debut as a J-pop singing group, Morning Musume. So why on earth Enka? I was unable to give them my answer right away and I was just crying at that moment because I had no idea what was going on. So I just told them, “I am very sorry but I am unable to give you any answer right now.” And I just went home.

I usually don’t consult much with my mother, but this time, I had to ask her opinion. She said, “Are you an idiot? How can you pass up such a wonderful opportunity? There are 50,000 people in this country who are desperate to become a singer and are dying to be in your position right now. And you can debut with Takao Horiuchi’s song. ” […]

The next day, I told my manager/agent about how I felt, and he said, “Well, if your mind isn’t 100% with this decision, you might as well quit.” That really turned on my competitiveness. I was like, “What the heck is he saying?” His words of not fully following my decision were a bit insulting to me, and I wanted to prove that he was wrong. Maybe he used a reverse psychology on me. Who knows?"[4]

Nakazawa said in an interview in 2008:

"Honestly, I don’t remember what was going on back then. I remember I went to Japanese inns, beer gardens, Japanese bars etc. […] I remember my staff was wearing Happi-clothing with a lettering of “Karasu No Nyoubou” on their backs while they were handing out promotional flyers and talking to people: “This is Yuko Nakazawa from Morning Musume. She made a solo debut. Please give her a warm support.”

One day, a drunken guy took a flyer out of someone’s hand, made it into a ball and ate it.[5] […] Yes, things were a bit chaotic back then."

"As for this song [Karasu no Nyoubou], back then, assuming because of the music TV programs, people were very much concerned with the ranking position on the music charts. As for me, whether it was Morning Musume’s debut single or a second single, it didn’t matter at what position the song was being ranked. But they began talking about “Karasu No Nyoubou” and what position it was going to be placed as it was being released.[…] my manager/agent [Kaoru Wada] at that time made a bold comment saying, “If the song won’t be positioned within 10th, I’m going to shave my head.” […]

“Karasu No Nyoubou” was placed 19th during its first week of the release. The day after I saw the result, I already knew. I was thinking, “Oh no, it didn’t make it within 10th place.” I’m sure others had the same thing on their minds. At a photo studio in Tokyo, there was a photo shoot of Morning Musume so I was there with other members. They gave me warm words like, “Wow, Yu-chan, you did a great job. We saw the ranking result. That’s really cool.” While I was showered by the congratulatory words, my manager/agent walked in and his head was fully shaved…Oh my goodness, I was so scared! (bitter laughter)"[3]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Yuko Nakazawa Solo Debut The 10th Anniversary Special DVD!
  2. Episode of ASAYAN aired on June 21 and June 28, 1998
  3. 3.0 3.1 中澤裕子- Solo debut The 10th anniversary SPECIAL DVD
  4. [1]
  5. This was also aired on episodes of ASAYAN in July 1998.

External LinksEdit

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