北ウィング is a mystery

Call it a mystery or pure bad luck, but due to inexplicable circumstances (or someone just way too keen), 北ウィング lost out on the No. 1 coveted spot on the Oricon Chart in January 1984.

According to this site, if one observed the chart for 1984.1.9, which collects sales data for the week ending 1983.12.26, 北ウィング makes its debut on No.2 on its first week on the Oricon chart, selling 8.5万枚, losing out to eventual 1984 sales champ もしも明日か。。。by わらべ. Call it bad luck.

Chart 1984.1.19

If you look at the chart closely, you will notice that 北ウィング is the only single released on 1984.1.1.

Now, let’s look at the next chart, which collects sales data for following two weeks (as Japan shuts down for the New Year). You will see that 北ウィング sold more (two week total) at 12.3万枚, but still insufficient to defeat the champ.

Chart 1984.1.16

However, look at the sole new entry that week -クライマックス御一緒に by あんみつ姫 (小泉今日子). The release date for that single is the same as 北ウィング (1984.1.1), which means that 北ウィング’s entry in the previous chart was premature.

Somehow, Oricon had calculated 北ウィング’s sales in advance and charted it early, causing 北ウィング to miss out on the coveted No. 1 spot, which it would have because its combined sales would have been 20.8万枚, eclipsing もしも明日か。。。and entering at No.1.

What caused this? An over eager staff member releasing the single for sales earlier and Oricon punishing Warner? An over zealous Seiko fan who was working at Oricon? I guess we will never know. It’s unfair but there’s nothing we can do to correct “history”.

The only saving grace is that 北ウィング topped ザ・ベストテン chart for 5 weeks, which is a more definitive chart of sorts because it tabulated airplay requests as well.


10 thoughts on “北ウィング is a mystery

  1. I don’t understand how Oricon works. If the 1st chart was tallying sales for the week ending Dec 26, 1983, how could 北ウイング, released Jan 1, 1984 be included? How could a single have sales before the sales day?

  2. So this would change Akina’s list of concurrent number one singles? Not that I really care about such things but if the media likes playing around with such trivia then they should get it right :D! It’s just strange how obvious it now is when you look at it, yet it’s never been corrected?

  3. I agree with you MG. I think we should just ignore the stats and correct it ourselves … 😉

    Larry – Yes, which is why it is a mystery. From what I understand, Oricon at that time depended on the record sellers to collect their sales data and then send it back to Oricon. Due to this less than perfect system (as opposed to scanning), smaller record stores may not report back the sales, which is why the sales figures must be referenced as “Oricon stats”.

    I don’t understand why it works and it is unfair. I wonder if this is the reason why they released “北ウィング” as the coupling song for “Refrain” and then combine the sales figures …

    Did they believe that Refrain would actually top the chart?

  4. ..中森明菜泡香草茶 減緩皰疹痛
    自由時報 – 2011年10月13日 上午4:27.




  5. Thanks Wei, for sharing the news.

    For those who do not understand Mandarin, here is my rough translation …

    Akina contracted shingles last year and was left with no choice but to retire temporarily from showbiz. Though she made plans to resume her career last Summer, the degradation of her condition forced her to give up that hope.

    Japanese gossip magazines (i.e. possibly less credible) reported that though Akina is still in pain, she has recently discovered a pain remedy. That involved growing herbs on her balcony, which she ends up brewing into tea, aiding in her mental calmness.

    It is reported that though Akina had plans to resurrect her career last Summer, the spreading of the shingles to her face caused her to both suffer from pain and dejection, and the isolation at home caused her to slip slowly into further depression.

    Her concerned friends encouraged her to start growing herbs on her balcony and she started by choosing basil and mint. Her interest extended to brewing basil and mint tea, initially out of fun, but soon realised that it had an added advantage of pain relief. Charmed by this progress, Akina developed a new interest in herb growing and slowly stepped out of her low mood.

    Akina’s father relaxed much after recognising Akina’s shift in mood and it is reported that Akina’s elder sister calls her daily to check on her. It is everyone’s wish for her speedy recovery and for her prompt return to her love – music.

    I don’t know how true this article is, but it may explain her “sudden turnaround” in the reports of her return in June. I’m wishing Akina a super duper speedy recovery for her 30th anniversary. Maybe she can appear in a CM for herbal tea …

  6. Such a shame if she still has to battle with her condition. At least it looks like it isn’t affecting her face anymore (if the article was true) based on the latest Fanclub issue where she looks pretty content. Would be nice if she could make nice return in 2012. ;(

  7. hi Akina, really wish u recover faster n be bless 🙂 u must be strong to fight thru this obstacle ya..hope to hear your new song soon! Cheers! 🙂

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