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Saori Minami - 17-sai.jpg
Single by Saori Minami
from the album 17-sai
English title17 Years Old
B-side"Shima no Densetsu"
ReleasedJune 1, 1971 (1971-06-01)
Format7-inch vinyl single
LabelCBS Sony
Producer(s)Masatoshi Sakai
Saori Minami singles chronology
"Shiokaze no Melody"

"17-sai" (17才 (じゅうななさい), Jūnana-sai, lit. "17 Years Old") (also known as "Seventeen") is the debut single by Japanese singer Saori Minami. Written by Mieko Arima and Kyōhei Tsutsumi, the single was released by CBS Sony on June 1, 1971. Tsutsumi based the song on "Rose Garden" by Lynn Anderson when he learned it was Minami's favorite song. Arima, who was 40 years old at the time, surprised her close friends when she was able to express the feelings of a 17-year-old girl in the song's lyrics.[1][2]

The jacket cover features Minami wearing a shirt that has a drawing of a crab, which symbolizes Cancer as her zodiac sign. Stickers of a crab mascot were distributed in the campaign promoting the single.[1]

The song peaked at No. 2 on Oricon's singles chart and was the 11th best selling single of 1971 in Japan, catapulting her into stardom as an idol.[1][3][4] It also earned Minami numerous awards such as the Best New Artist at the 1971 Japan Music Awards and the Gold Prize at the 1971 Shinjuku Music Festival. Minami was also nominated for Best New Artist at the 13th Japan Record Awards, but lost to Rumiko Koyanagi. The song gave Minami the top spot in the Red team on the 22nd Kōhaku Uta Gassen.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by Mieko Arima; all music is composed by Kyōhei Tsutsumi.

1."17-sai" (Jūnana-sai (17才 (じゅうななさい), lit. "17 Years Old"))2:46
2."Shima no Densetsu" ((島の伝説, "Legend of an Isle"))2:36

Chart positions[edit]

Charts (1971) Peak
Japanese Oricon Singles Chart 2

Chisato Moritaka version[edit]

Chisato Moritaka - 17-sai.jpg
Single by Chisato Moritaka
from the album Hijitsuryokuha Sengen
English title17 Years Old
ReleasedMay 25, 1989 (1989-05-25)
Format8 cm CD single
Cassette single
LabelWarner Pioneer
  • Yukio Seto
  • Hideo Saitō
Chisato Moritaka singles chronology
"The Stress"
Chisato Moritaka - 17-sai LD.jpg
Video by
ReleasedNovember 10, 1989 (1989-11-10)
LabelWarner Pioneer
Chisato Moritaka chronology
Mite Special Live in Shiodome Pit II 4.15'89
The Third Live Video Hijitsuryokuha Sengen

A cover version of "17-sai" was recorded by Chisato Moritaka and released by Warner Pioneer on May 25, 1989 as her seventh single. She debuted the song during her Mite ~Special~ Live Tour earlier that year. This version is known for its Eurobeat arrangement and Moritaka's catchy dance choreography on live performances, which often featured colorful costumes with flashy petticoats. The single peaked at No. 8 on Oricon's singles chart and sold 195,000 copies, making it her first top 10 single in her career. It was also ranked at No. 43 on Oricon's 1989 year-ending chart.[6][7][1] Moritaka's "17-sai" was nominated for the Grand Prix at the 22nd Japan Cable Awards, but lost to Princess Princess' "Diamonds".[8]

Two other versions of the song appear in Moritaka's fourth album Hijitsuryokuha Sengen. The first is "17-sai (Carnation Version)" (17才(カーネーション・ヴァージョン), Jūnana-sai (Kānēshon Vājon)), an acoustic rock version arranged by Masataro Naoe of the band Carnation. The second is "17-sai (Orange Mix)" (17才(オレンジ・ミックス), Jūnana-sai (Orenji Mikkusu)), which is an extended remix of the single.[9] In addition, a different remix of "17-sai" is included in the 1989 greatest hits album Moritaka Land.

The music video of "17-sai" features Moritaka dancing in three color variants of her signature dance outfit. The white/blue outfit shown on the LaserDisc cover does not appear in the video, but was as prominent on live and TV performances as the blue/yellow version.[10] The contents of the original LD release were compiled in the 2000 DVD Chisato Moritaka DVD Collection No. 5: Mite/The Stress/17-sai.[11]

In the years since the release of the music video, Moritaka's "17-sai" costume has been replicated by other artists. In 2010, Rina Koike wore the white/blue outfit to promote her gravure book, also titled 17-sai.[12] Erina Mano wore a variation of the white/blue costume in the music video of her 2012 single "Doki Doki Baby".[13]

Moritaka re-recorded the song on both vocals and drums and uploaded the video on her YouTube channel on January 5, 2013.[14] This version is also included in Moritaka's 2013 self-covers DVD album Love Vol. 3.[15] During her "Premium Nights @ Cotton Club" show on December 11, 2015, she introduced a smooth R&B arrangement of the song called "17-sai (Slow Version)" (17才(スローヴァージョン), Jūnana-sai (Surō Vājon)).[16]

Track listing[edit]

All music is arranged by Hideo Saitō, except where indicated.

1."17-sai" (Jūnana-sai (17才 (じゅうななさい), lit. "17 Years Old"))Mieko ArimaKyōhei Tsutsumi4:55
2."20-sai" (Nijū-sai (20才 (にじゅうさい), lit. "20 Years Old"))Chisato MoritakaHideo Saitō4:45
1."17-sai" (Jūnana-sai (17才 (じゅうななさい), lit. "17 Years Old"))ArimaTsutsumi  
2."Daite (Las Vegas Version)" (Daite (Ras Begasu Vājon) (だいて (ラスベガス・ヴァージョン), lit. "Hold Me (Las Vegas Version)"))MoritakaSaitō  
3."Yoru no Entotsu" ((夜の煙突, lit. "Night Chimney"))Masataro NaoeNaoeCarnation 
4."The Making [Watashi wa Onchi]" (Za Meikingu [Watashi wa Onchi] (ザ・メイキング [私はおんち], lit. "The Making [I'm Tone Deaf]"))MoritakaYuichi TakahashiTakahashi 

Chart positions[edit]

Charts (1989) Peak
Japanese Oricon Singles Chart 8

Other cover versions[edit]

  • Masako Mori covered the song in her 1972 album Sensei/Dōkyūsei.
  • Yuri Hayama covered the song in her 1972 album Akogare.
  • Hiromi Kurita covered the song in her 1973 album Taiyō to Umi to Orange.
  • Junko Sakurada covered the song in her 1974 album Junko to Hana Monogatari.
  • Jō Toyokawa covered the song in her 1975 album Kegarenakiitazura/Hoshi Meguri.
  • Kaoruko Arai covered the song in her 1982 live album Kaoruko... Live Best.
  • Corinne Tell covered the song in her 1989 album Himitsu no Rakuen.
  • Gilgame Sexy Mates covered the song in their 1992 album Sexy Time Slip.
  • Bambee covered the song in English as "Seventeen" in her 2001 album Fairytales. This version was also included in the soundtrack album Dancemania PRESENTS J★PARADISE for the video game Dance Dance Revolution 5th Mix.
  • Shinko Katsuno covered the song for a 2001 Fibe Mini commercial.
  • Saori Gotō covered the song in her 2005 album Mansuri Moe Vocal Collection Vol. 1.
  • Reika Morishita covered the song in her 2006 album Romantic Woman Trance ~ Ā Mujō.
  • Shōwa Shocking covered the song in their 2007 album Song for Life.
  • Alani Ohana Band covered the song in their 2007 album Tokyo Hawaii.
  • wiz-us covered the song in their 2007 album Nakayukui.
  • Donna Fiore covered the song in her 2008 album fiore.
  • Ginnan Boyz covered the song as a single in 2008.[1]
  • DJ Sasa with Island Souls (featuring Yammy) covered the song in their 2010 album Island Souls Reggae for Drive.
  • You Kikkawa covered the song as the B-side of her 2012 single "Koko kara Hajimarun da!" and her 2012 cover album Vocalist?.
  • Rina Rukawa covered the song as a single in 2014.
  • Tsubaki Factory covered the song in their 2016 EP Tsubaki Factory Sound + Vision Vol. 1.
  • Sayuri Hara, Ruriko Aoki, and Marie Miyake covered the song in 2018 for The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls album Cinderella Party! Dere pa Ondo Don Don Ka.
  • Tao Tsuchiya and Kanako Momota covered the song in the 2019 TV special Yakusoku no Stage: Toki wo Kakeru Futari no Uta.


  1. ^ a b c d e "TBT: "17 Sai" by Minami Saori". Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi. 2015-10-08. Retrieved 2020-05-05.
  2. ^ デビュー30周年記念メモリアル特別企画CD-BOX『 CYNTHIA ANTHOLOGY 』(2000.6.7、ソニーレコード)封入解説書参照。
  3. ^ 長田美穂「スターに愛されたガサコの編集者人生」『新潮45』2008年2月号、新潮社
  4. ^ Kase, Kimio (2005). Transformational CEOs: Leadership and Management Success in Japan. Edward Elgar. p. 163. ISBN 1 84542 046 2.
  5. ^ "22nd Kōhaku Uta Gassen History". NHK. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  6. ^ Eremenko, Alexey. "Chisato Moritaka". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  7. ^ "Chisato Moritaka – 17-sai (a J!-ENT World Groove CD Single Review)". J!ENT. 1999-05-25. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  8. ^ "第22回 日本有線大賞". Cansystem Co. Ltd. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  9. ^ "非実力派宣言". Chisato Moritaka Official Website. Up-Front Group. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  10. ^ "「17才」(VHS/LD)". Chisato Moritaka Official Website. Up-Front Group. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  11. ^ "「CHISATO MORITAKA DVD COLLECTION No.5 見て/ザ・ストレス/17才」(DVD)". Chisato Moritaka Official Website. Up-Front Group. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
  12. ^ "最強女子高生・小池里奈が17歳の写真集を発売". ASCII Media Works. 2010-09-27. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  13. ^ "まのえり、アキバに立つ!! ── 真野恵里菜「ドキドキベイビー」PV撮影の裏側密着". BARKS.jp. 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  14. ^ Moritaka, Chisato (2013-01-05). 森高千里 『17才』 【セルフカヴァー】. YouTube. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  15. ^ "「デビュー25周年企画  森高千里 セルフカバーシリーズ "LOVE"Vol.3」". Chisato Moritaka Official Website. Up-Front Group. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  16. ^ Moritaka, Chisato (2016-09-23). 森高千里『17才(スローヴァージョン)』. YouTube. Retrieved 2020-03-29.

External links[edit]

Saori Minami
Chisato Moritaka