夕焼小焼け – Yuyake Koyake

After some time living in Japan I realized everyday at 5PM in many places you could hear a 30 seconds catchy melody. You can usually listen it near schools, city halls and official buildings; they use pretty powerful speakers, if you are walking around Tokyo at 5PM is very probable that you will listen it.

The song is used as a signal, it means that Japanese children finish school and can go home. The title is Yuyake Koyake (夕->Sunset 焼->Burn 小->Little 焼け -> Burn), “Yuyake” means something like “the red sunset sky” and Koyake “the after sunset orange sky”.

The song was composed by a school teacher called Nakamura Uko eighty years ago. Nakamura Uko was born in Hachiouji, in that city there is bus stop called Yuyake Koyake.

Here you have many Yuyake Koyake versions I found on the net:


Yuyake Koyake was made for Japanese children.

This is the song lyric:

1 夕焼け 小焼けで 日(ひ)が暮(く)れて
山(やま)のお寺(てら)の 鐘(かね)がなる
おててつないで みなかえろう 烏(からす)と いっしょに かえりましょう
 
2 子供(こども)が かえった あとからは
まるい大(おお)きな お月(つき)さま
小鳥(ことり)が夢(ゆめ)を 見(み)るころは 空(そら)には きらきら 金(きん)の星(ほし)

The sunset is the end of the day,
the bell from the mountain temple rings
hand by hand let’s go back home together with the crows.

After the children are back at home
a big and round moon shines,
when the birds dream, the brightness from the stars fills the sky.

8 Comments
  • FFrank

    May 9, 2007 at 7:21 am

    Wow. I’ve heard that tune before and never knew what it was. Very beautiful. Could someone post the romaji for us clueless losers? I’d love to be able to sing it but my Japanese is very poor.

  • Adrian Havill

    July 12, 2007 at 4:07 am

    FFrank, here you go:

    1. Yūyake koyake de hi ga kurete
    Yama no o-tera no kane ga naru.
    O-te de tsunaide mina kaerō karasu to
    issho ni kaerimashō
     
    2. Kodomo ga kaetta atokara wa
    Marui ōki na o-tsuki-sama.
    Kotori ga yume o miru koro wa
    Sora ni wa kirakira kin no hoshi

  • Zina

    September 27, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    Thank you so much for blogging about this song. I was in Japan on the JET Program and loved hearing this song every evening. On my last full day in Japan, I rode my bike to the river where it met the Pacific ocean and listened to the song (while crying) one last time. This song brings so many good memories of Japan and I am so happy that I have been able to hear it again. Thank you! (^__^)

  • Ariana

    December 25, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    hi
    well, I’m a brazilian girl
    end I’d love to download this music
    I wanna sing for my child
    Were would I could download this song?
    thanks…
    Waiting for your answer

  • Ariana

    December 25, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    and…
    sorry for my bad english….

  • Alicia

    October 23, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Hi, I’m Alicia from Taiwan.
    Since I’m learning Japanese and I’m a beginner, I very appreciate the music you offered.
    I was worried that it was hard to find the music so that I would forget how to sing this song.
    You really help me a lot! Thank you! 🙂
    Alicia

  • Beanoo

    November 17, 2008 at 3:34 am

    isn’t this the song from Swing Girls .. when they were standing at the traffic lights waiting for it to turn green?

  • korte

    June 5, 2010 at 11:51 am

    possibly you were in Ageo shi?