Less than a week before spring arrives and it was bitterly cold out there today. The wind chill felt like Minus 1 million at times but I managed to see an old friend and his family visiting out from Vancouver earlier today at the city diner Sunset Grill. Nice to see and talk with longtime buddies over a hearty lunch on a frigid day.
I think it's also nice to listen to this song from way back when to hopefully herald the coming of the warming season. It was performed last night on the weekly "Uta Kon" (うたコン) and I was charmed enough by "Anata no Kokoro ni" (To Your Heart) to seek it out online.
The original singer was Chinatsu Nakayama（中山千夏）who has been one of those celebrities who has worn a lot of hats in her professional career. Starting out as a child actor, she continued her acting career into adulthood, but was also a singer, a seiyuu, a tarento and a member of the Japanese House of Councillors. According to her J-Wiki bio though, she is currently an author.
As for her singing career, Nakayama did do some singing during her time as a child actor but she officially started her time as a singer in September 1969 when she debuted with "Anata no Kokoro ni", a folksy love ballad for which she provided the lyrics while Shunichi Tokura（都倉俊一）made the music. Tokura would later become even more famous for his compositions in the 1970s for a variety of singers such as Momoe Yamaguchi（山口百恵）and Pink Lady, but this particular song was his own debut as a composer.
Of course, I like the nostalgic arrangement and the image of sitting calmly on a grassy hill on a sunny spring day when listening to "Anata no Kokoro ni". And if Nakayama had been as successful in her other ventures as she was singing this song, then I think she probably had a very illustrious multifaceted career. Her debut single went as high as No. 2 on Oricon and sold over 400,000 records. It became the 47th-ranked single of the year. She would release some more singles into the 1970s but it looks like "Anata no Kokoro" was by far her biggest hit.
The song has had its share of different versions including Midori Karashima's（辛島美登里）surprisingly slightly rock-oriented one for her 2001 album of cover tunes "Eternal-One".
Then in 2003, Hiromi Iwasaki（岩崎宏美）provided her own cover of "Anata no Kokoro ni" as her 58th single. An album version of the song was also available for her successful "Dear Friends" album which came out at the same time. That album peaked at No. 59.