A bit of an oddity here, for sure, but a song that needed including in this series was a track by famed Japanese actor and entertainer Joe Yamanaka. There was quite a few options for Yamanaka songs, but we've settled on "Hot Vibration".
For those unaware Yamanaka was himself a boxer as a teenager, before developing a massive career in Japan as an actor and singer, having a lengthy and hugely successful career until his death in 2011.
This particular song will never go down as one of his best, but has got strong links to boxing thanks to the fact it has long ties for former Japanese Middleweight Shinji Takehara.
Seriously hardcore fans of Japanese boxing may recognise the name Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi, or possibly his voice. It's his track "Kamikaze Special Attack Corps" that Junto Nakatani has used as an entrance song during portions of his career.
Despite that link to boxing it's certainly not Nagabuchi's only connection to the sport, and the same album that features "Kamikaze Special Attack Corps", an album called "Come on Stand up!", has a track called "Fighting Boxer", which is a rather upbeat and fun track.
Interestingly this said is said to have been created as a support song for former world champion Hideki Todaka, who is listed in the credits for the album!
This track is partially in English, a fairly normal thing for Japanese tracks which use English words and sentences quite liberally at times, and is genuinely quite a fun, hooky one. Given some of the songs we've featured in this series have been awful this is actually a decent song and one we do enjoy listening to!
For this weekly segment we do tend to like knowing who the artist is, and who the song is about. Sadly this week we don't know who the artist is, but the track is known as the "Rap about Zhanat Zhakiyanov" and is about the former WBA Bantamweight "super" champion.
This is a relatively short Kazakh rap song and whilst it's nothing amazing it is quite fun, and quite decent sounding.
Back in 2020 we put up "10 facts you probably didn't know about... Fighting Harada" and one of the many facts in that article was that he recorded a musical track, "Boxing Kouta",
Whilst Fighting Harada will always be regarded as a Japanese boxing legend, and one of the truly great Flyweight and Bantamweights, he will not go down was well for his singing ability. In fact after hearing this it's probably obvious why he didn't end up recording many, if any, other songs.
Regardless of it's quality it's amazing to think that one of the all time great Japanese fighters recorded a song, way back in 1966!
During these weekly musical interludes into our normal boxing content we have included a number of songs by various people, including Manny Pacquiao. We have included a song by Manny mother, which was...we less said about the better. But it turns out the family does have a genuinely talented musician.
That talented musician is Manny's son Michael Pacquiao who is a pretty solid rapper and in 2020 he became a viral hit with a live performance of his track "Hate". This isn't the love, instead being a studio recording of the track, but it's something that is worth listening to if you like rap, or are interested in the exploits of Manny's children.
For a third week in a row we feature a song about former Japanese Flyweight champion Seisaku Saito in this weekly musical interlude. This time it's a jazz track from Akira Sakata called "Ballad for Taco", which is a reference to Saito's stage name of Hachiro Tako.
We'll accept we're not big on Jazz though we do know that Sakata is one of the biggest names in Japanese Jazz music and that this track was originally on the album "Tacology".
For those who enjoy Jazz this is likely of more interest than the tracks we include that are limited by lyrical language barriers, but again we know Jazz is a musical style that can be hard to grasp, and we certainly have no grasp of it at all.
In 1985 Japanese band Moon Riders, who covered pretty much every genre of rock music from their formation in 1975, released their 9th original album, "ANIMAL INDEX".
The opening song on the album is a song called "Sad News", which is about former Japanese Flyweight champion Seisaku Saito. Or more exactly Hachiro Tako, the name he was known as when he was an entertainer after his boxing career.
The song was about the former fighter who had drowned in the sea earlier in the year, hence the title being "Sad News", or rather what translates from Japanese as "Sad News".
For those who liked New Wave music from the mid 1980's, this is well worthy of a listen. It has a feel that sounds familiar, yet different and is a song which has a good musical sound and tempo. Despite the language barrier, a common issue with Japanese songs about boxers, the track it's self is still very easy to listen to and is worthy of at least one play.
Although not a very famous boxer in the west Seisaku Saito was a former Japanese national Flyweight champion who later went on to have a very, very successful career as an actor. Sadly he passed away well before his time, though his legacy in Japan lives on due to his infinite charm, memorable tales and numerous TV and movie roles.
Although boxing fans may recognise him as Seisaku Saito others will likely know him as Hachiro Tako, the name he used on stage.
He was a genuinely big name in Japanese entertainment, so much so that that the prolific Japanese musician Kazuki Tomokawa, who was a personal friend of Saito's, recorded a song about him. The song title translates as "He was there-Yes! There was Tako Hachiro" and is a very personal and emotional sounding song.
The meaning is likely lost if you don't understand Japanese, but the emotional is very clear, and musically it's an enjoyable track despite the language barriers.
Last week we featured Latigo Rapper's track about Rey "Boo Boom" Bautista and we mentioned he did two tracks about Filipino boxers. This is the other one, and is imaginatively named "AJ Bazooka Banal Rap", and is about AJ Banal.
Again not the most amazing of musical tracks, but it does make us wonder why we don't see more upcoming fighters, from the Philippines, which Banal was at the time, linking with musicians to have songs about them in an effort to raise their profile and give them a unique track to enter with. It seems a fun idea and something that more fighters perhaps should consider.
At one point in time it seemed like the ALA Gym was sat on a wealth of emerging talent and that the Philippines was going to have a generation of brilliant fighters. One of those fighters was Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista. He was a good looking kid, with power, an exciting style and a lot of promise and potential.
He was one of two fighters from the ALA stable to get a rap recorded for him by Latigo Rapper. The song is nothing amazing, but it is, in some ways, a sign of just how popular Bautista was at this point in his career. Sadly Bautista failed to reach the heights expected of him in the sport, but he is one of the few fighters to have a special rap recorded about him.
Some things don't fit in elsewhere on the site so have been put here as a result.