Saturday, 27 July 2013

Ue O Muite Aruko

I was driving home this afternoon and listening to Radio-Canada 90.5 and they played this 1963 summer hit song from Japan by Kyu Sakamoto ( His birth name was Hisashi Oshima, born in Kawasaki in Nov. 1941 and died in the crash of a 747 owned by Japan Airlines flight 123 in 1985). The song was written by Rokusuke Ei and Hachidai Nakamura.
Kyu Sakamoto was the first Asian singer to have a hit on Billboard 100.

I really like this song and it brought back memories of the past. Remember in the 1960's everything was made in Japan.  I love the Japanese language it is very nice to listen to. In Beijing I use to watch the news in Japanese on NHK from Tokyo, no matter the gravity of the news, the reader always kept a calm and soothing voice. I also did two trips to Japan while living in China, Tokyo was 90 minutes away. In Japan I travelled by train to many cities in the country on their super fast trains. I should write something about Japan and those trips, it was fascinating and I have kept the most wonderful souvenir of my vacations there.

Though it has been 50 years since this hit song, it is still very nice and to my mind anyways, just as fresh. I prefer this original version in Japanese sung by Kyu Sakamoto.

Ue O Muite Aruko, in english it was given the title Sukiyaki which is a hot pot stew in Japanese and has nothing to do with the song itself, the British owner of Pye Records thought it easier for Westerners to pronounce, it is also known as A Taste of Honey.


  1. It's such a bouncy, happy song! Has always been a fave of mine too. Sad to learn that the singer died so young in that plane crash -- I didn't know that before.

  2. Chances are, I was never going to re-encounter this song in my lifetime, except -- here it is;-)

    I used to listen to Radio-Canada 90.5 -- remarkably clear reception -- driving the Baltimore-Washington Parkway very late at night in the very late Sixties.

  3. This station is part of the National Broadcasting service, it originates from Ottawa but broadcasting waves can travel a long distance.

  4. I remember this song; i must have heard it many years ago. thank you.