As has been mentioned here and elsewhere, exemplar tough-girl actress Kaji Meiko (????) also had a budding singing career during the 1970s. Her voice graces several themes songs from well-known films of that era. And more recently, Quentin Tarantino used Kaji's original songs in his noir-samurai-tough-girl flick Kill Bill volumes 1 & 2.
Kaji produced a single audio CD, a "complete works" collection entitled Kaji Meiko Zenkyokushu [????????]) (and yes, zenkyokushu in fact means "complete collection of songs"!). The CD contains a total of twenty songs all of which Kaji sings, including the theme songs of the Scorpion and Lady Snowblood films (which Tarantino also used), films, I should add, in which Kaji plays the leading role.
Below I've added the titles of each of the songs as well as some scans of the sexy little booklet which accompanies the CD.
The songs included on this CD are the following:
(The English translations are my own. I don't know if formal English titles for these have been established.)
- Urami Bushi [???] (Bitter Melody / aka Grudge Song)
This is the theme song of Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion and was also used by Tarantino on both volumes of Kill Bill.
- Translated lyrics
- Onna no Jumon [????] (The Spell of a Woman)
This is the theme song for Female Convict Scorpion Jailhouse 41
- Shura no Hana [????] (Flower of Carnage)
This is the theme song of Lady Snowblood and is also used by Tarantino on both volumes of Kill Bill.
- Translated lyrics
- Yadokari [????] (Hermit Crab)
- Jiinzu Buruusu [????????] (Jeans Blues)
This is the theme song for director Nakajima Sadao's (????) 1974 film Jeans Blues - Asu Naki Furaiha [????????????????] in which Kaji played the lead role of Seiko. (Nakajima's more contemporary work consists of the series of Gokudo no Onnatachi films.)
- Inga Hana [???] (Flower of Fate)
- Ginchou Watari Dori [?????] (Silver Heron Bird of Passage)
This is the theme song of a 1972 film by the same name by director Yamaguchi Kazuhiko (????) in which Kaji played a lead role.
- Onna Negai Uta [??????] (Song of a Woman's Request)
- Bestu ni Dootte Koto de mo Naishi [????????????] (No Big Deal / Nothing Special)
- Sakaki no Uta ???? (Rice Wine Season Song)
- Akane Kumo [????] (Shimmering Cloud)
- Nokoribi [???] (Ember / Smouldering Fire)
- Meinichi [??] (Death Anniversary / Memorial Day)
- Umi Hoozuki [?????] (The Ocean's Black Cherry Blossom)
- Fune ni Yurarete [??????] (Rock the Boat)
- Wakare Hanashi Nanka [??????] (Things like Talking about Seperating)
- Ame no Yoru Anata wa [???????] (That Rainy Night with You)
- Minami Kaze [??] (Southern Wind)
- Banka [??] (Late Summer)
- Meiko no Yuumei wa Yoru Hiraku [??????????] (Meiko's Dream Breaks Open the Evening)
Below are scans I took this evening of the cool little booklet which came with the CD. As you can see, it contains an introductory welcome letter from Kaji, the Japanese lyrics to all the songs, and cool, sexy poseur pics of the femme fatale herself.
This is a very fun CD which can easily set a unique ambiance for your next party filled with kimono-clad, sword-wielding, breast-baring patrons. Or, you can use it like I do, to simply set the mood during your whiskey sipping while contemplating the sheer coolness of some remarkable Japanese films.