Ooki no kuri no ki no shita de...
July 29, 2012 12:40 PM   Subscribe

Japanese MeFites: what songs did you learn as a kid?

Inspired by thermonuclear.jive.turkey's fun post, I'm interested in hearing more traditional Japanese nursery rhymes and songs.

Every American knows the abc song, Old Macdonald, etc. What songs are similar in Japan?

I'm looking for, I don't know how to say, native songs, not just language back-fits like Old Macdonald sung in Japanese.

Examples(?): Zou-san and Donguri koro koro...
posted by ctmf to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Suzume no gakko
posted by illenion at 1:32 PM on July 29, 2012

Definitely "Suzume no gakko" ("Sparrows' School"), "Teru teru bozu" and Zou-san ("Mr. Elephant"), as mentioned above. A few others:

- Musunde hiraite ("Close Hands, Open Hands")
- Satchan (about a girl named Satchan, diminutive form of Sachiko)
- Chocho ("Butterfly")
- Tombo no megane ("The Dragonfly's Eyeglasses")
- Kamome no suihei-san ("Sailor Seagull")
- Kishapoppo ("Choo-choo Train")
- Hatopoppo ("Cooing Pigeon")
- Shabondama ("Bubble," like a soap bubble)
- Onakano heru uta ("The Hunger Song")
- Amefuri ("Rainfall")
- and I think all kids learn Sakura Sakura (wiki), though I wouldn't necessarily call it a children's song
posted by (alice) at 3:05 PM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

alice beat me to almost every song I can remember!
posted by xmts at 3:19 PM on July 29, 2012

Two more...
Shojoji no tanuki bayashi (story and lyrics here)
Momotaro-san (story and lyrics here)
posted by illenion at 6:58 PM on July 29, 2012

Response by poster: These are all great, thanks! I'd also be interested in rhymes or chants kids use for jumping rope or whatever else. What's the equivalent of "eenie meenie miney moe?"

On occasion, I end up in the company of kids, and teaching them something (not too difficult, and for short lengths of time) is fun for them AND me.
posted by ctmf at 8:31 PM on July 29, 2012

Search for warabe uta. This page, for one, lists chants for jump rope, rock-paper-scissors, etc., with an mp3 link beside each title. どれにしようかな ("Which one shall I choose?") is what I think of as the Japanese "eenie meenie."
posted by (alice) at 9:49 PM on July 29, 2012

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