Kyu Sakamoto – Sukiyaki

First Hit #1: June 15, 1963

In honor of Sukiyaki, I propose that all big hits get their names from random foods in their place of origin. “Born this Way” can be “Street Corner Hot Dog,” and Taio Cruz’ next hit can be “Spotted Dick.”

So, in spite of the bizarre name change, what can I say about Sukiyaki, a rare hit that’s completely in Japanese and thus a song I can’t actually understand. Well, it’s very clearly Japanese, with a bit of a traditional sounding background to it. Sakamoto also has a really nice and pleasant voice, and he does sound pretty happy, though I suspect this is very much in the same vein as every other pop song and mostly about teen love. It’s got a funky little beat that makes it easy to walk to, and whistling, which makes it pretty fun.

I have no idea why this is the song from Japan that caught on around the world. It’s a good little pop song, but it doesn’t seem that much more special than the pop songs most of the market could actually understand. But what do I care? It’s catchy and fun, and everyone could use a bit of international flavor in their playlists now and again.

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