All About Japan

4 Ways J-Pop Has Gone Sakura for 2016

J-Pop Cherry Blossoms Music Video

How important is the blooming of the cherry trees, or sakura, to Japanese society? A quick look at the number of J-pop songs with sakura in the title might give you a clue! Below we present four prime examples from 2016 alone!

4. 7☆3 — Sakura Graduation

7☆3, a supergroup made up of members from Nagoya groups OS☆U, Candy☆Drops, Gallop+, Sakae Girls, Star☆T, Sela, and P.idl Nagoya have sprung up with a video for “Sakura Graduation” from their second single Sakura Graduation/Yume no Katachi (Release date: April 4, 2016).

With school graduation in the spring air, the members of 7☆3 are on the grounds of a school as the cherry blossoms have begun to fall from the trees. Gathered in the schoolyard, they dig up a few colorful time capsules, which were presumably buried back when they first entered the school.

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3. ClariS — Hirahira Hirara

“Hirahira Hirara” is included on ClariS' album Spring Tracks –Haru no Uta–, which was released on March 2, 2016. While sakura isn't overtly in the title, hirahira is Japanese onomatopoeia for cherry blossoms fluttering in the air.

The video, produced by Otohiko Takano, follows his process of preparing an illustration of Clara and Alice, the two girls who make up ClariS.

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2. Rina Yamato — Sakura

Ex-Nogizaka46 member Rina Yamato, who left the idol group in December 2014, released her first solo mini album, Sakura, on March 16, 2016, via Bellwood Records, a subsidiary of King Records.

Her debut album contains an original song entitled “Sakura” and five other cover songs of the same name from Naotaro Moriyama, Ikimono-gakari, Ketsumeishi, Kyogo Kawaguchi and Funky Monkey Babys.

Yamato's original “Sakura” track is about anxiously taking that first step toward the future as spring begins.

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1. Kobushi Factory — Sakura Night Fever

Kobushi Factory offers an upbeat welcome to spring in the video for “Sakura Night Fever” from their second triple A-side single, Sakura Night Fever/Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moshin/Osu! Kobushi Damashii (Release date: February 17, 2016).

Natsumi Taguchi plays a cherry tree in a park as she and the other members of Kobushi Factory talk about the Japanese fascination with sakura to a funky disco beat. There are also a few scenes where Rei Inoue and Ayano Hamaura act out how people in Japan go crazy about hanami (cherry blossom viewing) and blossoming cherry trees, much to Taguchi’s irritation.

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