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Parody of the Japanese national anthem, Kiss me Kimigayo

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A parody of the Japanese national anthem, Kimigayo, is now spreading on the web. Interestingly, the lyrics of this parody song is written in English, not in Japanese, but what is most striking is that every line of this English lyrics sounds similar to the pronunciations of the original Japanese one (See below). And more importantly, the meaning of the English lyrics is completely opposite to that of the original Japanese anthem, a "heartfelt respect" for the Imperial House. A commentator in Sankei Newspaper, one of the leading conservative newspapers, accuses the parody song of a "sinister protest."

Probably, the readers of this blog would need "background" information about the Japanese national anthem, Kimigayo. But before that, please see the English parody song, and the original Japanese anthem.

Parody:

Kiss me, girl, and your old one
a tip you need, it is years till you're near this
sound of the dead "will she know
she wants all to not really take
cold caves know moon is with whom mad and dead"

Meaning (besed on a Japanese explanation attached to the parody song):

Kiss me girl and kiss those old jokes (such as "The Nanjing massacre did not exist" etc.) and say good-by to them.
I will give you a piece of advice you need. It took many years for this voice of the dead to reach you.
"A nation wants what must not be taken, but will the day come when the nation comes to realize it? Even cold caves (such as in Okinawa etc.) know that the moon always looked at those who went mad and dead injured by the war."

The original Japanese anthem:

Ki mi ga a yo o wa
chi yo ni i i ya chi yo ni
sa za re i shi no
i wa o to na ri te
ko ke no mu u su u ma a a de

Meaning of the original anthem (according to Wikipedia):

May your reign
Continue for a thousand years,
For eternity,
Until pebbles
Grow into boulders
Covered in moss.

Correspondence:

Ki mi / ga / a yo / o wa
Kiss me, / girl, / and your / old one

chi yo / ni i i / ya chi / yo ni
a tip you / need, it is / years till / you're near this

sa / za re / i shi no
sound of / the dead / "will she know

i wa / o to / na ri / te
she wants / all to / not really / take

ko ke / no / mu u / su u / ma a a de
cold caves / know / moon / is with whom / mad and dead"

Particularly, the first sentence (kiss me girl and .... and ki mi ga a....) and the last phrase (mad and dead... and ma a a de...) are excellent. Those who know Japanese language will be impressed with this.

First, we have to know that the original anthem is a song for praising the "everlasting glory of the emperor's world (or society)" (a literal translation of "Kimigayo" is "the emperor's world"). The problem is that the Korean and Chinese people remember their painful memories of World War II, especially Japanese invasion into their countries and massacres executed by the Japanese army under the name of Japanese emperor. It should also be noted that Japanese nationalists continue justifying their past invasion of China and Korea, and they aggressively stress that the Japanese should respect for the emperor and Imperial House, and that the Japanese must swear loyalty to the emperor by singing the Japanese anthem loud and clear in a ceremony etc.

In constast, those who object to the justification of the past invasions refuse to stand and sing the Japanese anthem, for example, at a school entrance ceremony. An extreme tension exists on this topic in our country. (I am among those who refuse to sing the Japanese anthem.)

Several years ago, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology ordered teachers in public schools to stand and sing the anthem. More than a hundred school teachers who refused to stand were punished, some were even fired. The principal of a school committed a suicide. Today, many teachers who oppose to the justification of the Japanese invasion in the past are forced to stand and sing the anthem that praises the Japanese emperor, in their school entrance ceremonies. Their final protest was to stand in the ceremony but not to sing the song, or just moving their mouths but not uttering a voice. Then, the board of education of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government started measuring the volume of voices in school entrance ceremonies using a special machine in order to know whether the anthem is sung loud and clear.

You might think this is ridiculous, but this is the reality of Japanese school education.

Ok, let us go back to the parody song. This song was invented to save those who are "forced" to sing in a ceremony. Since the parody song sounds like the Japanese anthem, no one can distinguish which song they are actually singing.

I am not sure whether teachers actually start singing this parody song in a school entrance ceremony and in other settings. I really HATE the mentality of Japanese society that seeks to suppress different opinions and ideas.

Some comments from today's Japanese blogs:
"If you hate Japan, please leave Japan, and never come back again." CutplazaBlog http://plaza.jugem.cc/?eid=1537
"Why don't you cure your mental illness and abandon your nationality?" NichijononakanoHinitijo http://drugmania.exblog.jp/3154149
"This might be one of the left-wing's plans to destroy Japan." Oyobidenakutomo.. http://knstir.exblog.jp/2338044

Report by Reuter: Parody of Japan anthem spreading as protest
Guardian: Japan's rebels sing out with English parody of anthem

Related article: Racist Cartoon Image
                      Yasukuni Shrine and the justification of war

Related external links: http://smt.blogs.com/mari_diary/2006/05/i_read_lation_v.html

Photo: My kitchen

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

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Comments

seems japanese are very sensible with their national pride. that sometimes for free thinking people can be a burden, I understand you well. arash

Why call this garbled nonsense a parody? It's a school-boy jest, and not a very good one at that. Many nations have poor national anthems. Unlike those second-rate imitations of the Marseillaise, Kimigayo is authentic, it is beautiful and solemn and poetic.

音に合わせたとは言え、「君が代」を粗末に扱うなど言語道断。

Please write in English, sir.

He's saying that to treat "Kimigayo" so crudely is preposterous.

sometimes i just dont know what to think during conflicts like these. being half korean half irish, ive never really known about my culture in depth, im not going back there anytime soon. but i do go to a korean church,here i talk to my friends who all carry very well a prejudice towards japanese from past generations. they never witnessed mass murder yet they know this anger since birth almost. and they can just say it so easily... while being in a nation founded and made in prosperity apon many different ethnic groups. and since ive grown up in a post-melting pot country, ive nearly forgot all the history of struggle they've TAUGHT me. yet all my friends(korean) seem to have that specfic idea of HATE ungrained into there head, and i know that the invasion was a horrible time for korea, but it just seems so funny to me how they cannot think of any other impressions or ideas of the japanese people other than "oo those guys are jerks" my point is i think that japan, korea and possibly other asian countries all have that aspect of control of behavoir or animosity to different ideas from tradition even if the country is a democracy.
or maybe im just being ignorant of what really happened and its impact on my country.

well i think the anthem is good... the melody is yes. if the japanese don't like the words, change it. The idea that it is praising the emperor isn't really that bad, i mean considering there is more than ONE emperor plus it is not the same one as during WWII, and as a 1/4 chinese myself, i do believe the chinese are koreans are taking things a bit too far.

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