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Alternate History

Wagakuni (Cherry, Plum, and Chrysanthemum)

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Wagakuni
ワガクニ
National Emblem of Japan (Myomi)
Emblem of Japan
Wagakuni instrumental
National anthem of Japan
Lyrics Seiyama Masahi, 1919
Music Okano Teiichi, 1914
Adopted 1920 (de facto); 1946 (de jure)

"Wagakuni" (ワガクニ, "Our Country"), also known as Daiwa Minkoku Kokka (ダイワミンコクコ(大和民國國歌), "National Anthem of the Republic of Japan"), is the national anthem of Japan.

History

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.

Lyrics

Japanese

Katakana
  1. ウツクシイ フケイ ヤマカワ
    アオイ キヨキ オヒガミ
    カラフト マデ ナニョ カラ
    イチ ニ ナリ ガ シキシマ
  2. ホコリ カンジル フジヤマ
    サクラハナ ト キクハナ
    キ ト ユダイ ワ コノ デント
    カノ ミンゾク ニ ソノ ヌシ
  3. メデ ガ アタエ ヒキマデ
    チュジツデアル ニチヨル
    ダイナ ソコク ウミタマ
    アマ ノ メグミ ワガクニ
Hiragana
  1. うつくしい ふけい やまかわ
    あおい きよき おひがみ
    からふと まで なにょ から
    いち に なり が しきしま
  2. ほこり かんじる ふじやま
    さくらはな と きくはな
    き と ゆだい は この でんと
    かの みんぞく に その ぬし
  3. めで が あたえ ひきまで
    ちゅじつである にちよる
    だいな そこく うみたま
    あま の めぐみ わがくに
Mixed script
  1. 美シイ風景山川
    青イ清キ大東海
    樺太マデ南洋カラ
    一ニナリガ敷島
  2. 誇リ感ジル富士山
    桜クラ花と菊花ナ
    高貴ト雄大ハ我ノ傳統
    我ノ民族ニ其ノ主シ
  3. 愛デ與エ悲喜マデ
    忠實デアル日夜
    廣大ナ祖國海珠
    天ノ惠ミ我ガ國
Transliteration
  1. Utsukushii fūkei yamakawa
    Aoi kiyoki ōhigami
    Karafuto made nan'yō kara
    Ichi ni nari ga shikishima
  2. Hokori kanjiru fujiyama
    Sakurahana to kikuhana
    Kōki to yūdai wa kono dentō
    Kano minzoku ni sono nushi
  3. Mede ga atae hikimade
    Chūjitsudearu nichiyoru
    Kōdaina sokoku umitama
    Ama no megumi wagakuni

English translation

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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