Kohima | January 14
Kicking off the new year with a message of hope, the Tetseo Sisters have released a cover of the beloved Japanese song “Ue O Muite Arukou” made famous by Kyu Sakumoto in 1961 in Japan and 1963 in the United States.
Set amid Kohima’s golden cosmos, the bittersweet song captures the mood of New Year 2022 – Uncertain but Hopeful.
“Ue o Muite Arukou”, also known as “Sukiyaki”, by Kyu Sakamoto is a moving song that translates across languages and cultures. It’s both sad and hopeful.
The light melody bubbles to the surface and sparks joy in the listeners. Yet the lyrics are more bittersweet and sad. It’s a song about loss, love and alienation and it perfectly captures the mixed emotions of the times we find ourselves in, like when the song was written.
Although “Ue o Muite Arukou” is a song that seems to be about a young couple falling in love, the real inspiration for the mournful lyrics of Rokusuke Ei’s song was the political tension and protests in Japan in the late 1950s. .
At the time, young people in Japan were protesting against the Japanese government’s security treaty with the United States and the continued military occupation. Thousands of people in Japan protested. Despite their efforts, both governments accepted the treaty. The lyricist, like many young Japanese people at the time, felt helpless. Yet, at the same time, they believed they were on the cusp of immense political change.
Ei decided to capture her feelings using more universal phrases across cultures. The sadness he feels for the present and the spark of hope he has for the future are emotions everyone can relate to and are well expressed in the song. That’s what makes “Ue o Muite ArukÖ” such a powerful song about loss and hope.
“Ue o muite arukou” (I look up when I walk)
“Namida ga kobore naiyouni” (So that the tears do not flow)
“Omoidasu harunohi” (Remembering those beautiful spring days)
“Hitoribotchi no yoru.” (But tonight I’m all alone.)
“Shiawase wa kumo no ueni” (Happiness lies beyond the clouds)
“Shiawase wa sora no ueni” (Happiness lies above the sky)
Even though the lyrics were sung entirely in Japanese, Sakamoto’s song was a huge hit in English-speaking countries. And it’s still one of the best-selling singles of all time in the United States. The song has sold over 13 million copies worldwide. The singing version of Tetseo Sisters premiered on their official YouTube channel @tetseosisters.