Born on June 22, 1953, at Nara prefecture, Yoshiko Sai since his childhood demonstrated its precocity and many artistic gifts. During her elementary school days, she loved to paint and read all the classics from mythical writer Edogawa Rampo (The Japanese Poe). In junior high school, she was a member of the coral, taking his first lessons in music; by high school, she played (casually) in a folk-rock group.
In 1972 she tried to enter the Kyoto City University of Arts but wasn’t accepted, then she tried the Kyoto Doshisha University where she passed the entrance examination. In May of that year, she was caught by kidney disease, having to spend a year in observation.
Over this period she would recall:
‘I read a LOT of books from famous novelists, such as Mushitaro Oguri, Yumeno Kyusaku, Juran Hisao, and Yokomizo Masashi. These dark novels made me accept and relax about the disease, my forthcoming production of lyrics and music was strongly tied with this fact.’
After leaving the hospital, she incessantly started to wrote poetry and in 1974 debuted and won a contest at a local radio program. She then received an invitation to play an opening act for Rabi Nakayama concert. Two record companies became interested in her music and after the show, she was contracted by Teichiku Records.
Yoshiko Sai recorded four albums in four years, between May 1975 and December 1978, the 2nd (Mikkō) and 3rd (Taiji No Yume) of her releases may be considered more Progressive than Folk. Unfortunately, she abruptly retired from a career at the age of 25 in 1979.
A story told is that Yoshiko may have doubted her talent in music and lost her self-confidence. In recent years, a revival of interest in his music made her come back to record a new album with Jojo Hiroshige, called Crimson Voyage in 2001. Lastly, there’s been some re-releases from its 70s records, unedited live performances and poetry books.
Let’s go to our album:
In 1977 she moved to the Nippon Columbia company, and on September 25, she announced Taiji No Yume (Fetus Dream). Heavily inspired by the pre-war oddball and ghostly neurosurgeon doctor and writer Yumeno Kyusaku, hence the strange atmosphere this disc abides in. Quite dark in the overall texture, at the time of this she was merely 24 years old. Totally unknown for non-japanese listeners, this album is really a must for people into some more advanced Japanese historical recordings.
With utterly beautiful arrangements by the legendary Yuji Ohno, this is certainly my favorite album from her. A kaleidoscope of genres that spring from the depths of the inner mind: folk, jazz, bossa nova, flamenco, prog, rock and so. Yoshiko Sai plays the role of each and invites us to another dimension of reality, the “IM’ highlights are for:
Aoi Glass-Dama, with nice synths and strings, this rock ballad has an interesting crescendo, delivering an amazing emotional interpretation. And Taiji No Yume, a 9-minute epic, simply one of the best Japanese songs of all time, without exaggeration, I’ll let the words and adjectives to you, do not miss Yoshiko Sai’s haunting realms. 良い旅!
A1 ヒターノ (Gitano)
A2 アルハンブラの青い壜 (Alhambra No Aoi Bin)
A3 ある晴れた夜 (Aru Hareta Yoru)
A4 波止場 (Hatoba)
A5 春の夢 (Haru No Yume)
A6 海の沈黙 (Umi No Chinmoku)
B1 青いガラス玉 (Aoi Garasudama)
B2 遍路 (Henro)
B3 白昼夢 (Hakuchūmu)
B4 胎児の夢 (Taiji No Yume)
All songs and lyrics by Yoshiko Sai
Blow Up LX-7021A /// 25/09/1977
Drums: Yasushi Ichihara
Electric & Acoustic Guitar: Tsunehide Matsuki
Gut Guitar: Kiyoshi Sugimoto
Electric Bass: Kenji Takamizu (1,2,4,5,9,10) /// Akira Okazawa (3,6,7,8)
Acoustic Piano: Masahiko Sato
Electric Piano, Solina, Spinet & Synthesizer: Yuji Ohno
Percussion: Lary Sunaga
Arranged (strings, brass, instrumental) by Yuji Ohno
Directed by: Shun Ohki
Produced by: Akira Sakajima
Engineer: Tomiji Iyobe
Art Director: Kazuhiro Saito
Cover Illustration: Yoshiko Sai
Illustration: Tsuyoshi Takigaito
Photography by: Jin Komine
Layout: Takashi Eakabayashi