Friday, March 13, 2009

School Song (校歌)

March is graduation and departure season in Japan. I remember my school days in every March.
Every school has own school song (校歌) and everyone has sung each school song at graduation ceremony of all kinds of schools, elementary, junior high and high schools.

Are there school songs in your school ? And did you sing them at the ceremony ? I don't know it is special culture in Japan. School song is special for us. And pleasant memories in school days crowded in on us when we remember the school song of own alma maters.

In my case, I like a school song of my public elementary school. Lyric of it were written by famous Japanese poet, Shuntaro Tanikawa. The first phrase is "Our classroom is a spaceship and we can go to any places. " It is my favorite phrase. I memorize almost of it and can sing even now.

Do you have good memories in school day ?


Peekaboo said...

As far as I know, schools in Finland don't traditionally have their own school song. It's a shame, because it sounds like a nice way to form a stronger bond with your schoolmates.

In each schools semester ending ceremony the students do however sing a song called Suvivirsi, which translates to "Summer Hymn."

It always feels a bit special to hear that song, because it marks the end of another semester and the start of the long summer break ahead.

Sweet Memory said...

Thank you for your information!!

Chorus competition in Japanese schools is very general. Singing with other people and making harmony of melody might be useful for children to cultivate cooperation.

Arturo Ruiz said...

My name is Arturo Ruiz and I lived in Japan for a little over two years between 1986 and 1989, or Showa 62 to Heisei 1. I attended Okubo Shogakko in Narashino Shi, Chiba Ken. This school was assigned to me at the City Hall, because there was one teacher there who could speak fairly good english and they thought this was the best way to get me settled in. Being a kid of only 11 years old, it was fairly easy to catch up with the language, and within six months I could sustain a conversation with most kids. Sadly enough, though, back in '89 there was no internet and since I came back to my country there was no way to communicate with my friends back in Japan, other than the "reliable" post office, which here in the DR it is still very bad, so needless to say that I lost the only way possible to maintain my japanese. At first my younger sister, my younger brother and I, used japanese to communicate with each other without letting anybody else now what we where talking about, but as time passed and we started hanging out with our own friends in school, we kind of stopped using japanese altogether, and without practice, we eventually forgot it.

Since coming back, I distictively remember my farewell party, which coincided with the elementary school graduation, where we performed a beautiful song that has haunted me to this day. It was so melodical and sad, that it still brings tears to my eyes. Obviously, my japanese is so bad that I can barely remember two or three words from the lyrics, which I will attempt to copy here as faithfully as my memory serves me, with little hope of you figuring out the name, but in case that you do, it will be a blessing, since I would love to hear the song once again.

The only part I can remember, and I have to admit that even I have doubts as to if these are the exact words, is as follows:

" Kimi wa yonde iru, sa de kake io..."

Sorry for the spelling or the choice of words, but my memory betrays me right now.

Hope you can help me solve this mystery that has been eating at my brain for the last 20 years, but I would really love to be able to hear this song at least once more. You know what they say, to remember is to live.

Thanks in advance.

Sweet Memory said...

Thank you for your message. I think it is so unsusal for foreign people to study in Japanese public elementary school because of language. You and your siblings could speak Japanese well, didn't you. I'm glad to know you enjoyed your school life with Japanese children.
I found homepage of your school, however, school song is not mentioned. Sorry. but some pictures of school building is attached.


I hope your good and special memories in Japan can recurre to you.

Arturo Ruiz said...

Thank you so much for your effort. It surely brought a lot of memories seeing those pictures of the school that I had once attended. But I have news for you and I hope that maye you can still help me.

I found this great website where you hum the song, and a software will try to match your humming to one of the songs in its database.

It is amazing what you can do on the internet these days.

I hummed the little part of the melody that I remembered and the first result was a match! It gave me the name of the songs, but I cannot read Kanjis the way i used to, so I had to search the Kanjis in google and I found this address,:

I was hoping that maybe you could give me more information about the song, to see if I can find a video of it in youtube or download it.

Thanks again.

Sweet Memory said...

I'm sorry. I checked the homepage above, however I couldn't find it. I tried to check in youtube, but I couldn't find the video of your school.

So sorry....

Arturo Ruiz said...

Don't worry. You have been pretty helpful. :)

However, it is not the song of the school that I'm looking for. This song that I mention to you is one that we sang for the 6th year graduates at the graduation ceremony.

I already found a version of it on and here is the link:

By the name of the song: 旅立ち, I found a lot of matches on Youtube, but none of those is the one that you can find on the link above.

All I want to know is if these song is popular and if I can find another version of it, be it in its original format or on a video on Youtube.

Anyways, I really appreciate your efforts.

Unknown said...

Here in my country we sang school song everyday during morning assembly before starting our class. Together with school song, we also sang state song and country song. :)

But when i was in college we only sang college song twice. One during intoduction week and the other one is when we graduated from the college. Later when i further my study in Dublin, i dont remember me singing the university song...

Nice blog!

Sweet Memory said...

Where is your contry ? I want to know.

Unknown said...

Ouh Im Malaysian :)