Thursday, 15 December 2011

Some Japanese Christmas Songs

How are things going everyone? Hopefully good.

Well it's almost that time of the year again when a fat bearded man trespasses into homes and eats your cookies and drinks your milk. If you've been good then he'll leave behind some presents but that doesn't change the fact that he's sneaking into peoples houses. Anyway, yes. Christmas.

There's a little over a week to the joyous day and I thought that I might extend on my random song recommendation posts and share some Christmas themed Japanese songs. They're not Christmas carols as Japanese people just use the English ones with translated lyrics but are just pop songs that have something to do with Christmas. Well, hopefully you'll find some that you like here. 



Ryuichi Sakamoto-
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
First is this theme song from the movie with the same name (Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence). It starred the Rock superstar David Bowie in the lead role and also Kitano Takeshi (teacher from Battle Royale) and Ryuichi Sakamoto himself too. It's a pretty decent movie and worth watching I think.....The song isn't a cheerful one that you probably want to listen to at Christmas but it's a ve~ry beautiful track that I think you should know. As I said before, Ryuichi Sakamoto the person who composed this song also stars in the movie. However, he's not an actor but a very highly regarded composer/producer, having won an American Academy Award and Grammy for his soundtrack on the movie 'Last Emperor'. He was also a member of the influential electro music group, Yellow Magic Orchestra and is quite well known in the West for this reason.



B'z -Itsuka no Merry Christmas
Itsuka no Merry Christmas (Merry Christmas of Someday) is one of the most popular songs by Japan's most successful rock act, B'z. There's a famous video on youtube of this song as a duet between Hamasaki Aymumi and Gackt, so fans of those two would probably have heard this song before.





Yamashita Tatsuro -Christmas Eve
This is one of the staple Christmas songs of Japan, and if you go there around this time you'll hear this song playing non-stop all over the place (as well as 'Last Chrsitmas' by Wham, and the song by Mariah Carey...). I think I might have kind of been brain washed into liking this song because of how often they play it. You have no choice but to come to like it or else you'll be walking around irritated wherever you go. It's also famous for the Japan Rail advertisement it was used on.




Dreams Come True -Winter Song
Dreams Come True are an extremely popular pop duo (originally a trio) and responsible for many hit songs mainly in the 80's and 90's although they are still very successful now. This song was the opening theme for the famous American movie, 'Sleepless in Seatle' featuring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, although I've never watched the movie in full so haven't really heard or seen the part with the song. There's an English version and a Japanese version, and both are honestly good. The singer, Miwa has an unusually good pronunciation of English for a pure Japanese person so it shouldn't bother people that don't really like Engrish.




Kuwata Keisuke -Shiroi Koibito-tachi
Shiroi Koibito Tachi means 'White Lovers' and is by the Japanese music legend Kuwata Keisuke. Kuwata Keisuke is credited as being the first Japanese musician to sing in a foreign kind of accent which paved the way for more Western sounding music to be created with the Japanese language. This is the main reason why a lot of the old rock groups of Japan sing in English (if you've bothered to search for some). The Japanese language with ordinary pronunciation doesn't flow as nicely so what Kuwata did back then with his band Southern All-stars was a revolutionary thing and responsible for the songs that we hear today.



L'arc~en~Ciel - Hurry Xmas
Well here's a song from the super popular rock group L'arc~en~Ciel. Although they do a lot of pop sounding music it's a very poppy song even out of them. Even so, it's a snazzy jazzy uptempo tune with a nice melody.

10 comments:

  1. Won't Santa Clauss catch a cold without his coat? lol

    I love this music "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence"!
    This instrumental is so great. And I love music with strings as arrangement in general.
    I don't remember watching the film but without any doubt "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence" has a "Last Emperor" vibe.

    The lyrics of "Winter Song" were really cute. Ideal for a proposal.

    I didn't know the song "Christmas Eve" before. Well, all I can say the girl in this PV has a huge red lipstick, must be the trend at these times...

    About "Shiroi Koibito Tachi" PV, I didn't know that some Japanese musicians tend to sing with a foreign accent.

    Currently, I'm listening to a song with a Christmas feeling somehow. I love the harmonies of this song. But I don't know if I'm allowed to post it since it's not a Jpop song?

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  2. Haha that Santa is muscley so should be okay maybe. He'll be okay where I live though because it's summer, not winter.

    The advertisment with the Christmas Eve song is from the 1980's so yeah, that would have been the fashion. Probably lol

    Yeah most rock musicians sing with like an English influenced accent. It doesn't mean that English people speak in that accent but.....it's not as rigid as usual and the 'r' are sometimes said as 'l' etc etc...

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  3. Thanks for the explanation!

    It was this song :D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoPA5YS1ZHM
    (Translation of the lyrics: http://secretupdates.tumblr.com/post/11636656013/lyrics-moving-in-secret-hope-k-t-r )

    By the way, Kato Rosa gave birth to first child who is a boy! So great for her! And random fact, it was in France because her husband has to live in France because of football.
    Now Kato Rosa can't say anymore she's single haha

    Oh has the blog a new white layout for Christmas?

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  4. Nice song.

    I read somewhere about Kato Rosa having a baby.
    Congratulations to her!

    I just decicded to change the layout to this because it's easier to read stuff and it looks more tidy. I kind of got sick of the older one too lol.

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  5. Not related at all, but why moai everywhere? I don't get it...

    http://minakosjournal.blogspot.com/2011/05/instruction-manual.html

    http://1000thingsaboutjapan.blogspot.com/2011/12/will-miss-398-moai-replicas.html

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  6. Umm no idea lol
    I would say "Why not?" haha

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  7. I would say:
    Good Choices!

    I also like "Christmas Eve" by Yamashita Tatsuro & "Winter Song" by Dreams Come True.They are nice.

    And I also recommend "Winter, Again" by Glay, "Snow! Snow! Snow!" by Kinki Kids, and "A Winter Fairy is melting a snowman" by Kimura Kaela.
    It's worth to hear them,aww how I Love Christmast~

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  8. Yeah~ they're all good songs. I just didn't want to have too many songs on this post. They'll probably on the Christmas song post for next year haha

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  9. We are selling Shiroi Koibito in the US.
    Please visit our website for more information.
    http://www.guidea.com/Shiroikoibito/

    ReplyDelete