A second CD of songs associated with Lerch-san, a character to promote skiing in Niigata Prefecture, has been released, aiming to generate interest in both the sport and the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line. At his first “major debut” from Victor Entertainment, Lerch-san, modeled after the Austro-Hungarian soldier who demonstrated skiing for the first time in Japan during the Meiji period (1868-1912), said he aims to sing in the Kohaku Utagassen (Red and White Year-end Song Contest), saying: “I'm totally gunning for Kohaku!”
The songs in “Lerch-san no Uta,” his first CD, were actually performed by Spur Ongakutai, a group of three sixth-grade primary school students from Niigata Prefecture. The girls also sing tracks on the second CD.
The CD’s title track “Go! Go! Lerch-san” has an up-tempo melody and is packed with local Niigata words and dialect, such as “Kinase,” which means “Come visit us,” as well as plenty of Lerch-san’s personality and references to Niigata’s regional specialties. The second track “Oishi, Tanoshi, Ureshi” (Delicious, fun and happy) expresses the exciting aspects of trips to the prefecture.
During a press conference at the prefectural government office on Feb. 4, Lerch-san displayed a placard to clearly express his desire. The members of Spur Ongakutai are eager to make the character a national celebrity through their songs.