Japan's most mysterious song (Lost Akiba Tape)


A thrift store located in Akihabara, a district within Tokyo, is where our story begins in the early 1990s. In the iconic Radio Kaikan building, an unmarked cassette tape was purchased for only 50 yen at a thrift store. The tape was found in a box by the entrance of the store. The purchaser had visited many times in the past with his friends and on this day, he purchased an unmarked cassette tape that stood out from the rest of the cassette tapes as the rest were often marked with the names and bands or singers of the recording. The buyer brought the tape home to listen to it and enjoyed many recognizable songs from that era until a certain song started to play which gave chills to the listener. The song had extremely dark themes and creepy lyrics with the singer evoking strong emotions with each tune that she sang. The song was released to the public and made it to YouTube, gaining prominent attention after being covered by various YouTubers such as Sakura Stardust. Many have said that the song itself is a curse due to the nature of the lyrics and thus, it becomes the de facto title on the list of things you shouldn't Google in Japan.

But how much of this story is true? The song itself is very real and you could listen to it on YouTube by searching up “The most mysterious song in Japan” which was the name given by Sakura Stardust due to the obscure and creepy nature of the story and song. It is known also as “Fly Away” taking one of the repeated words in the lyrics and has been known as such in Japan. What are the lyrics about? Well, it is difficult to give a good explanation of it in English, but when it is sung in Japanese it comes as unsettling due to its possible indication of a suicide theme. However, many have stated that the song could be referring to a breakup between a couple which is reflected as a positive alternative that many have said compliments the somber and melancholy tune. In 2000, the original purchaser uploaded the song to 2chan – an anonymous Japanese textboard – with the request of helping him identify the song. Attached to that was the background on how he got the song and his thoughts on the song. The song was in a compilation cassette tape together with other famous songs of the time such as a song from Yumiko Takahashi. However, despite being exposed to many social media platforms, the song has yet to be identified.

Are there any leads so far? There have been some speculative ideas about who the singer might be. The two prominent ones are said to be the closes in terms of vocals. The first possible singer is Yukiko Okada. She was a Japanese singer and actress, active in the mid-1980s who committed suicide on April 8th, 1986. Okada jumped from the seven-story Sun Music building which killed her instantly and that caused a huge controversy because the reason for the suicide is unknown. Why she is the possible singer of this mysterious song because of the tone of the song which is extremely familiar to her unreleased song Hana No Image which some speculate to have similar themes to the mentioned song. Some have said that the vocals, when the pitch is changed, resemble that of the deceased singer. Okada may have been the author of this song as it reflected her rejected love with actor Tōru Minegishi – a rumor that went about after the death of Yukiko Okada – which caused her to commit suicide due to the rejection. Another potential singer would be Yui Saito. An unknown individual today in the entertainment industry, she was a JAV (Japanese Adult Video) actress back in the 1980s who wanted to flesh out her career by moving into mainstream media. She did so by wanting to sing and she proves herself to be talented at that. Saito was able to record and release only one song, Midnight Sympathy, which after many decades has a cult following with many who are interested in the City Pop genre. Many have said that she is a potential candidate due to her voice, as well as her time in her music career, being short. There have been speculations that Yui Saito may have other recordings that went unreleased due to her unsuccessful shift toward mainstream media. Thus, Fly Away may be a song by the forgotten JAV actress.

Currently, various individuals try to remaster or fix the pitch of the song to make it sound as if it was released as a complete song in an album. There is also an English cover on YouTube by Liyan which you can listen to.


Popular posts from this blog

Minato-ku Girl Phenomenon Revealed

Exploring the Honour Culture of Japan

Gachi Meaning Explained