The Curse of the Catchy Tune

Japanese horror has had its cursed videos, cursed mobile phones, and now… The song “Boku no Hana” is central to the latest adventure in Japanese horror, “Densen Uta”. With a title that translates literally as “infectious song”, the Harada Masato-directed movie features a cursed 1990s pop song (by fictional singer Goi Michiko) that brings death to anyone careless enough to sing it. Though only her voice appears in the movie, talento and one of the top idol singers of the 1980s Matsumoto Iyo (42) plays someone foolish enough to have recorded the song, and paid the price. It was her first solo recording in 17 years. Distributors Shochiku have teamed up with major karaoke company Joysound to have the 1995 and 2007 versions of the number available at karaoke rooms across the country. Choose the wrong one and presumably the singer gets a bit of a fright halfway through. The Goi Michiko version of the song is to be released as a single on August 22, but in a neat marketing twist, distributors will wait to see if it really is cursed before deciding whether to release Matsumoto’s version. The movie, due for theatrical release on August 8, stars Matsuda Ryuhei and Oshima Yuko, a member of young idol group AKB48. Though Matsumoto’s idol image is becoming a distant memory, it had something of a revival last year when she teamed up with two other mothers and former idols (known as “Mommydols”), Hayami Yu (40) and Hori Chiemi (40), to release the single “Cutey Mommy”. She has been married to talento Hiromi (42) since 1993 and they have two children.