Wednesday, January 31, 2018

[xifpmmhs] Sukiyaki

The lyrics of the song Sukiyaki 上を向いて歩こう are powerfully bittersweet.  As it reached high popularity in the English-speaking world, were the listeners aware of the meaning of the lyrics?  In 1960s America, there were probably very few resources for translation from Japanese.  Does the sentiment carry through in the music even if you do not understand the lyrics?

The name Sukiyaki is of course ridiculous.  Much better would have been Hitoribocchi -- a word used repeatedly in the song -- meaning "lonely".

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