J-pop singer-songwriter <a href=”/music/Ayaka”>Ayaka</a> released a 13-minute short film to accompany her latest single, “Sakura.”
“Sakura” is Japanese for “cherry blossoms.” Many J-pop acts have released so-called “sakura songs” to coincide with spring, which is graduation season in Japan.
This new single by Ayaka is her first graduation-themed song, and she started performing it live during her domestic tour, which kicked off last September. The tender, bittersweet lyrics captured the hearts of fans, and the song was released on short notice at their request as a tour-only CD last October, then later released digitally Feb. 12.
Rina Kawaei, a former <a href=”/music/AKB48″>AKB48</a> member turned actress, gives a subdued, convincing performance as Natsuki, a teenager who mourns the death of her best friend, Niki, who passes away from a terminal illness shortly before their high school graduation.
The emotional story of Natsuki’s loss and eventual “graduation” from the past that binds her has been beautifully visualized by director Takeshi Maruyama, who has helmed music videos for many major Japanese artists including <a href=”/music/Namie-Amuro”>Namie Amuro</a> (“Do It For Love”), <a href=”/music/Masaharu-Fukuyama”>Masaharu Fukuyama</a> (“Tomoe Gakuen”) and <a href=”/articles/news/international/8208035/mondo-grosso-new-album-attune-detune”>MONDO GROSSO</a> (“Labyrinth feat. Hikari Mitsushima“).
Watch the short film here:
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