Karleen C. Chinen

Usagi oishi ka no yama

Ko-buna tsurishi ka no kawa

Yume wa ima mo megurite

Wasure-gataki furusato

Ika ni imasu chichi-haha

Tsutsuganashi ya tomogaki

Ame ni, kaze ni tsukete mo

Omoi-izuru furusato

Kokorozashi o hata shite

Itsu no hi ni ka kaeran

Yama wa aoki furusato

Mizu wa kiyoki furusato

I chased after rabbits on that mountain.

I fished for minnow in that river.

I still dream of those days even now

Oh, how I miss my old country home.

Father and mother — are they doing well?

Is everything well with my old friends?

When the rain falls, when the wind blows,

I stop and recall of my old country home.

Some day when I have done what I set out to do,

I’ll return home one of these days

Where the mountains are green, my old country home,

Where the waters are clear, my old country home.

“Furusato”— Music by Teiichi Okano, lyrics by Tatsuyuki Takano

Are you familiar with this century-old Japanese children’s song, “Furusato?” I’d heard the melody before, but I didn’t know the lyrics or what they meant until I attended a Honolulu Fukushima Kenjin Kai event late last year at which there was group singing of this song. Fortunately for me, the lyrics and translation were printed on the program that was distributed to the attendees.

There are other songs that speak to the longing to return to one’s furusato, meaning “old home” or “hometown.” My favorite is a song by Japanese pianist/singer Mayumi Itsuwa titled “Shiosai.” The Obunsha dictionary defines shiosai as the “murmuring of a rising tide.” It was a recurring tune in former newscaster Bob Jones’ 1985 Japanese centennial documentary, “Land of the Rising Sun.” You can find the tune on YouTube.com.

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The Herald’s Feb. 17, 2017, edition will be devoted to a reminder of the lessons of Executive Order 9066. If your organization or business would like to share a message in the issue by way of an ad, please contact Herald advertising manager Grant Murata at 845-2255 or email him at grant@thehawaiihochi.com.


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