Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nihon no Kodomo no Uta - 日本の子供の歌 (Japanese Children's song)

My third post is about 日本の子供の歌 (Nihon no Kodomo no Uta/Japanese Children's song).
This is kinda interesting. Because Japanese songs lyrics, usually have a deep meaning for it. Now, I will talk about the type of Japanese children's songs and about one of popular children's song from Japan.

Have you ever heard any Japanese Children's songs?
Japanese Children songs are kinda different than other country. What is it? Let's check it out~

童歌 (Warabe Uta): it is a Japanese Traditional songs, similar to nursery rhymes. They are often sung as part of traditional children's games. They are described as a form of min'yo: traditional Japanese songs, usually sung without accompanying instruments. Some example of Warabe Uta which is popular are 通りゃんせ(Tōryanse), てるてるぼうず(Teru-teru-bōzu), & 冬の歌 (Fuyu no Uta)

But, I will just take one as my topic from Warabe Uta, it is 通りゃんせ(Tōryanse). I often hear this song at 'Daiso' (it is a chain store from Japan which sells anything in same price). Because of it, I want to talk more about this songs. In Japan, it was sung as part of a traditional game identical to "London Bridge Is Falling Down". Two children facing each other link their hands to form an arch 'checkpoint', and the remaining children walk through underneath in a line (and back round again in circles). The child who happens to be under the arch when the song finishes is then 'caught'.

The tune being played at Japanese pedestrian crossings is an analogy to this game. Which means it is safe to cross until the music stops.
This songs also related with Shichi-go-san. It talks about going to the shrine in honor of the child’s 7th birthday.
Here are the songs and the Japanese, Romaji and English translated song lyrics:

通りゃんせ 通りゃんせ
ここはどこの 細通じゃ

天神さまの 細道じゃ

ちっと通して 下しゃんせ
御用のないもの 通しゃせぬ
この子の七つの お祝いに
お札を納めに まいります

行きはよいよい 帰りはこわい
通りゃんせ 通りゃんせ

Tōryanse, tōryanse

Koko wa doko no hosomichi ja?
Tenjin-sama no hosomichi ja

Chotto tōshite kudashanse 
Goyō no nai mono tōshasenu
Kono ko no nanatsu no oiwai ni
O-fuda wo osame ni mairimasu

Iki wa yoi yoi, kaeri wa kowai
Kowai nagara mo
Tōryanse, tōryanse

English Translation:
Let me pass, let me pass

What is this narrow pathway here?
 It's the narrow pathway of the Tenjin shrine

Please allow me to pass through 
Those without good reason shall not pass
To celebrate this child's 7th birthday   
I've come to dedicate my offering 

Going in may be fine, fine, but returning would be scary
It's scary but
Let me pass, let me pass

What do you think of this songs? For me, this song is kinda scary. Besides the melody, some of the lyrics also have a 'weird scary' meanings. But the good point from Japanese song is, their song lyrics was used for education, especially for children. Because it teach them to get discipline, by walking after the songs have finished, which means you are safe to across the street.
This kind of songs, I think not many country have it. Lol~ ∩(︶▽︶)∩
Well, it is the end of the 3rd post. It is not as many as my other post, but, i hope it can be useful to learn more about Japanese culture.   
Please don't forget to credit me if you want to share it to other social page, as keirininoo or link to this page. (ᅌᴗᅌ* )

Book of Musical Development and Learning: The International Perspective  by David John Hargreaves, Adrian C. Nort.
, Sep 1, 2002

Thank You

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