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Emblem of Japan
|National anthem of||Japan|
|Lyrics||Seiyama Masahi, 1919|
|Music||Okano Teiichi, 1914|
|Adopted||1920 (de facto); 1946 (de jure)|
The tune of "Wagakuni" actually come from a song composed by Okano Teiichi and written by Takano Tatsuyuki in 1914 named "Furusato." "Furusato" literally means “Hometown” and its lyrics describe the nostalgic feelings of persons who working distantly from their childhood home. The song was so popular at that time, especially among the urban industrial workers and college students who mainly worked away from their hometowns.
According to some popular accounts, during Nagayama Yoshida's visit to a meeting of Kyoto factory workers' union on May 1919, a group of workers spontaneously sang the song at the close of the meeting. Some of the attendants immediately burst into tears with the singing of "Furusato". Nagayama, who was also present at the meeting, eventually gave a passionate speech to calm the emotional attendants.
During the early days of its establishment, the Republic of Japan didn't have any anthem to represent the new government. Many groups, like the leftists and the Christians, used different anthems in their own events. Some leftists used the popular revolutionary song "The Internationale" at their meetings, while the Japanese Christians in Kyoto and surrounding cities used the hymn "Rock of Ages". Ironically, some republicans, including the Nationalist Party, used the imperial anthem "Kimigayo" with altered lyrics on their own occasions.
In September 1919, Nagayama Yoshida asked Seiyama Masahi, a secretary of the Nationalist Party, to write an anthem for the Party that would be set to the tune of "Furusato". The use of "Furusato" tune for the new Party's anthem was Nagayama's personal choice, probably inspired by the spontaneous singing of the song by the group of Kyoto workers he witnessed earlier on May 1919. Seiyama's lyrics describe the beautiful scenery of Japan in general, making the song politically neutral and acceptable to people with different political views. The new anthem then subsequently was called "Wagakuni" after the closing line of the song ("Ama no megumi wagakuni").
On October 12, 1919, the new party anthem was used for the first time at the opening of the new session of the Central Committee of the Japanese Nationalist Party. After its introduction, the new Nationalist anthem quickly gained popularity among the college students, the workers' unions and the Christian community in Kyoto as well as the Japanese Citizen Army for its patriotic tone. The first state ceremonial use of the song was on February 16, 1920 where the military orchestra of the Citizen Army played the song during the ceremony celebrating the first anniversary of the Japanese Republic.
Under the direction of Nakano Seigo, then-Prime Minister of the Republic and the Nationalist propaganda chief, the song became a part of the Republic's education policy. Japanese schoolchildren were taught to sing the song every Monday morning during the flag raising ceremony in order to grow the nationalistic spirit and loyalty toward the Republic among the youth. Similar nationalistic ritual was also taught to non-Japanese students in Korea and the South Pacific.
- ウツクシイ フウケイ ヤマカワ
アオイ キヨキ オウヒガミ
カラフト マデ ナニョウ カラ
イチ ニ ナリ ガ シキシマ
- ホコリ カンジル フジヤマ
サクラハナ ト キクハナ
コウキ ト ユウダイ ワ コノ デントウ
カノ ミンゾク ニ ソノ ヌシ
- メデ ガ アタエ ヒキマデ
コウダイナ ソコク ウミタマ
アマ ノ メグミ ワガクニ
- うつくしい ふうけい やまかわ
あおい きよき おうひがみ
からふと まで なにょう から
いち に なり が しきしま
- ほこり かんじる ふじやま
さくらはな と きくはな
こうき と ゆうだい は この でんとう
かの みんぞく に その ぬし
- めで が あたえ ひきまで
こうだいな そこく うみたま
あま の めぐみ わがくに
- Mixed script
- Utsukushii fūkei yamakawa
Aoi kiyoki ōhigami
Karafuto made nan'yō kara
Ichi ni nari ga shikishima
- Hokori kanjiru fujiyama
Sakurahana to kikuhana
Kōki to yūdai wa kono dentō
Kano minzoku ni sono nushi
- Mede ga atae hikimade
Kōdaina sokoku umitama
Ama no megumi wagakuni
- The beautiful scenery of the mountains and rivers
The blue and clean water of the Pacific
From Karafuto to the South Seas,
It is a great archipelago that became one.
- Mount Fuji that always makes me proud
As well as Cherry blossoms and Chrysanthemums
The noble and magnificent cultural heritage
It all belongs to our people.
- Let’s give our love to this country every time
Let’s be loyal to this country forever
A big and vast ancestral land, the gem of the ocean
It is the gift from the Heavens: Our country.