Only three people, including Shizuka Ijuin, have achieved this… “Unexpected person” who is likely to win the “Naoki Award and the Record Award” next | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Only three people, including Shizuka Ijuin, have achieved this… “Unexpected person” who is likely to win the “Naoki Award and the Record Award” next

Masashi Hosoda's Entertainment Space-Time Detective (15)

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In ’20, he collapsed from a subarachnoid hemorrhage but survived. In October of this year, Shizuka Ijuin announced that he had intrahepatic bile duct cancer and had been battling the disease.

On November 24, writer Shizuka Ijuin passed away. He was 73 years old.

In his 20s, he was busy as a commercial director, and also wrote “Summer Champion” (Yuko Asano) and “Ye! Yes! (Ikue Sakakibara), “Do Your Best” (Pink Lady), “Feel It Night” (Lazy), etc. Under the pen name “Date Ayumi,” he wrote lyrics mainly for idols, and in his 30s, “Gingira Gingira Gin Sarasagashi” became a big hit, which he provided to Masahiko Kondo. In his thirties, he had a big hit with “Gingiraginnen nasirinashi,” a song he wrote for Masahiko Kondo. He has written eight singles for Masahiko Kondo, second only to Takashi Matsumoto, including “Jounetsu ☆ Natsufu ☽ Serenaade” and “Manatsu no Ichisoku,” and also directed Yumi Matsutoya’s concerts and was the brains behind the release of her albums.

I first heard of Shizuka Ijuin on “Tunnels’ All Night Nippon. The reason why the name “Ijuin-san” came to be used in the program’s free talk was that the Tunnels’ mini-album “Gonenga” released on New Year’s Day in 1988 had all of its lyrics written by Ijuin-san.

After “Ano no Carnation,” released in 1989, he shifted to full-fledged writing in his 40s. He has established himself as a writer with works that have been made into films, such as “Nippo” and “Kikansha Sensei,” and in recent years he has released a succession of high-profile works, including “Nagisa Hotel” and “Otona no Ryugi” (Adult Style). He was a man of many facets and activities, easily transcending genres such as advertising, entertainment, and the literary world, and could be appropriately called a “child of the industry.

There is no question that his death marks the end of an era, but it is not often mentioned that he was, in fact, the final holder of a certain record. During the heyday of the songwriting world in the 1970s and 1980s, many of the world’s songwriters secretly or openly aimed for that record, some publicly declaring it, and some even suddenly changing their life plans as they wrote. The record is the record of winning both the Naoki Award and the Record Award.

Although the “Japan Record Award” now seems to have lost its authority, there was a time when lyricists of the past were told that they were “on their own when they wrote the lyrics for a RECODAI song,” and there was definitely a time when lyricists, singers, and composers worked in tandem to win the RECODAI. In addition to this, winning the Naoki Prize meant being a double crown winner in the literary and entertainment worlds, as well as being a top-notch writer. As mentioned above, Shizuka Ijuin, who was also active as a lyricist, won the Japan Record Award in 1987 for “Idiot,” which he provided to Masahiko Kondo, and the Naoki Prize for the first half of 1992 for “Ukezuki,” which he published in 1992. She was the proud holder of the “double crown” record.

Yoko Yamaguchi, the madam of the Ginza club “Hime” and a popular lyricist of yesteryear. She is the first person in history to win both the Naoki Award and the Reco Grand Prize.

Only three people, including Shizuka Ijuin, have ever won this “double crown,” and the first to pass through this narrow gate was Yoko Yamaguchi. The first to pass through this narrow gate was Yoko Yamaguchi, the madam of the Ginza club “Hime” in the past. She won the Japan Record Award in 1973 for “Yozora” (Night Sky), which she provided to Hiroki Itsuki, and shifted her focus to novels in the 1980s. She won the Yoshikawa Eiji Literary Award for New Writers for “Private Live,” and was nominated for the Naoki Award twice, for “Gongu Onna” and “Yajirobei,” but both were unsuccessful; her third attempt, “Enka no Mushi/Old Plum” won the Naoki Award for the first half of 1985, making her the first ever winner of both awards. As a Naoki Prize-winning author, Yoko Yamaguchi was also selected as a judge for the Kohaku Uta Gassen (Red and White Singing Contest) for the first time that year. She was followed by Shizuka Ijuin.

So who was the last person to win a double crown? His case is interesting. He has the longest career of the three in both lyrics and novels, and his first Record Award was for “Tenshi no Seduction” in 1968, which he wrote for Mayuzumi Jun. At this point, Shizuka Ijuin and even Yoko Yamaguchi had not yet become lyricists. He also won the Reco-Dai three times with “Farewell Today” (Yoichi Sugawara, ’70) and “Kita Shaba” (Takashi Hosokawa, ’82). Still, the Naoki Prize was the only one he had no luck with.

It was in the first half of 1998 that his autobiographical novel “Brothers” was nominated for the Naoki Prize. The following year, he published “Nagasaki Burabura bushi” (Nagasaki, Nagasaki), which beat off strong rivals such as “Shirayagyo” (Higashino Keigo) and “Aegis” (Fukui Harutoshi) to win the Naoki Award in the second half of 1999, fulfilling a great wish after 30 years of hard work. It is widely believed that the narrow defeat of “Brothers” led to his winning of the prize the following year, which may have been some kind of atonement for his brother’s prodigal behavior during his lifetime.

Rei Nakanishi is one of the most famous lyricists of the Showa period. After winning the Naoki Prize, she changed the title of her novel “Teruko-san, the Teru Teru Boy” to “Teru Teru Kazoku” (The Teru Teru Family), and it was made into an NHK morning drama.

I would like to list the writers who have won two prizes and lost out on the glory.

The first one that comes to mind is Yuu Aku. He was the first one to focus on winning the Naoki Award and Reco-Dai, and he publicly announced his intention to do so with extraordinary persistence. He was the first person to notice and publicly announce that he had won both the Naoki Award and the Reco-Dai Grand Prize, and he was the one who was exceptionally dedicated to the achievement. His autobiographical novel “Setouchi Shonen Yakyu-dan” published in 1979 was nominated for the Naoki Prize that year. Although there were other strong candidates such as “Himo no hanashi” (Tsuka Kohei) and “Hane” (Chinatsu Nakayama), it was widely believed that “Yuu Aku was the real winner.

However, the result was, as expected, “no winner. After that, he continued to publish novels at a high pace, including “Family Myth,” “Red Face Period,” and “The Age of No-Names,” and was nominated for the Naoki Prize twice, for “Kassai” in the first half of 1988 and “Sumi-nuri Shonen Opera” in the first half of 1989, the former for “COO from the Far Sea” (Tamio Kageyama The latter was defeated by “Koenji Junjo Shotengai” (Shoichi Nejime) and “Kagero kuni kara kara no murderer” (Akira Sasakura), and ultimately failed to win the Naoki Prize. I have heard from a friend that “Mr. Aku was obsessed with the Naoki Award until the end of his life,” but I cannot help but feel the irony of his life that he won the ultra-difficult Recording Award five times, but could not overcome the obstacle of the Naoki Award alone.

It is needless to mention that Aku Yu was a former broadcaster, but it was Rokusuke Naga, a broadcaster while still a student at Waseda University, who wrote the lyrics to “Kuroi Hanabira” (Hiroshi Mizuhara), the song that won the memorable first Japan Record Award. Rokusuke Ei also won the Record Award for “Hello Baby” (Azusa Michiyo) and has since published a number of books. Rokusuke Ei was the earliest person to win both the Naoki Prize and the Reco-Dai. However, although he had some bestsellers such as “Daiōsei” (1994), he wrote mostly essays and was not interested in writing novels, so naturally he was not nominated for the prize.

The opposite is also true. Like Rokusuke Naga and Yu Aku, Yukio Aoshima, who started out as a broadcaster and went on to become a lyricist, TV personality, and politician, wrote most of the Crazy Cats’ hit songs in the 1960s, including “Sudara-bushi. In contrast, however, he did not win the Naoki Prize for the first half of 1981 for “Ningen Manjyo Ebo ga Heigo,” which he published in 1981 while serving as a member of the House of Councillors.

The person who came closest to winning the double crown, even more than Ei Rokusuke and Aku Yu, was probably the drama director Kuze Mitsuhiko.’ In the 1970s, while making a name for himself as the director of many dramas that have left their mark on television history, including “Terauchi Kantaro Ichika” and “It’s Time”, he also wrote many lyrics under the pen name “Kotani Natsu”, including “Hitori nanai naranai” (Tenchi Mari), “Kobalto no season no nakade” (Sawada Kenji), and “Midnight’s Hero” (Hiromi Go). He changed his pen name to “Mutsuki Ichikawa” (Ichikawa Mutsuki) and provided the song “Mutezaka” (Kaori Kosai), which suddenly became a big hit. The following year, his debut novel as a writer, “1934 Winter 1 Rampo,” was nominated for the Naoki Prize for the first half of 1994, and the industry was in an uproar, wondering if he would win both the Recording Grand Prize and the Naoki Prize in succession.

If he had won the Naoki Award, he would have become the third author, following Yoko Yamaguchi and Shizuka Ijuin, to win two awards, but he was unsuccessful, falling behind “Two Rivers” (Akihiko Nakamura) and “Homeward Bound” (Yasuhisa Ebisawa). In the second half of 1998, he was nominated for the second time with “Kakusui Hanji no Yoseicho” (Running Water: Hanji’s Book of Uselessness), but he was defeated by “Reason” (Miyabe Miyuki), and he passed away in 2006.

Now that Shizuka Ijuin has passed away, there is no one left to hold the record, and we would like to finally consider who will take over the crown of the double crown.

In recent years, Akimoto Yasushi has been producing idols such as the Sakamichi Group, and has also been involved in serial dramas.

Akimoto Yasushi is the first person that comes to mind. The famous lyricist, who has won the Recording Grand Prix four times (second only to Yu Aku) with “Flying Get” and “Manatsu no Sound good! He has also published numerous novels, including “Chakushin Ari,” “The Back of an Elephant,” and “Adrenaline Night. If he were to completely save his other work to write, as Yoko Yamaguchi did in the past, he would be much closer to winning a double crown, but the biggest question is whether or not he is interested in the record. The most important question is whether he is interested in the record or not.

A surprise surprise is music producer Kiyoshi Matsuo, who wrote the lyrics to the song “Ti Ami. He won the Record Award in 2008 for “Ti Amo” (EXILE), for which he wrote the lyrics, and made his debut as a writer in 2009 with “Eien no Kasumi. In a sense, he may be even closer than Akimoto Yasushi to a double crown, and if he continues to publish novels in the future, his chances are not small. (Honorifics omitted)

Shizuka Ijuin at the age of 41 in 1992 when he won the Naoki Prize.
  • Interview and text by Masashi Hosoda

    Nonfiction writer, born in 1971. His recent book, "The Man Who Let Chu Sawamura Fly the Vacuum: A Biography of Showa Promoter Osamu Noguchi" (Shinchosha) won the 43rd Kodansha Yasuharu Honda Nonfiction Award.

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