Checkout the below listed latest and best top 10 best Japanese songs of all time 2017, Japan is an absolutely fascinating country. Japan has taken art in all it’s media, and created mangas, anime’s, film, art and music, all influenced by its history, while blending in bits and pieces of international cultures. Its music is the same, as traditional folk tunes have a prominent place in Japan’s music scene. A deep respect for the folk sounds, as well as the newer pop/rock music. Below are some of the best Japanese songs of all time, from folk tunes that have endured decades and are still loved by the people, along with the popular music of modern times.
- 10. Sakura Sakura – Various Artists
- 9. Ringo Oiwake – Hibari Misora
- 8. Minna Yume no Naka – Various Artists
- 7. Yuki no Hana – Mika Nakashima
- 6. Tegami (Haikei Jūgo no Kimi e) – Angela Aki
- 5. Kimi ga Iru Dake de – Kome Kome Club
- 4. Tsunami – Southern All Stars
- 3. Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana – SMAP
- 2. Onna no Michi – Shiro Miya
- 1. Oyoge! Taiyaki-kun – Masato Shimon
Here we present the list of top 10 best Japanese songs of all time 2017.
10. Sakura Sakura – Various Artists
“Sakura Sakura” is a well loved, traditional folk song from Japan, and translates to “Cherry Blossoms, Cherry Blossoms”. “Sakura Sakura” centers around the arrival of the spring season and the birth of cherry blossoms. “Sakura Sakura” has historical significance in the heritage of Japanese musical culture, in that during Japan’s Edo Period it was required of students at the Tokyo Academy of Music. Since then “Sakura Sakura” has remained an influential, and has been covered and sampled numerous times. In fact, the Japanese rock group “Babymetal” sampled “Sakura Sakura” for their 2013 track, “Megitsune”.
9. Ringo Oiwake – Hibari Misora
Ringo Oiwake is a folk song, or ‘erika song’ and is very famous in Japan, and has been covered by a multitude of artists. However it is the Hibari Misora’s is the one that is the most popular. “Ringo Oiwake” tells the tale of a young girl who hails from Tsugaru. One day, the apple blossoms begin to fall, and the girl experiences a feeling of sadness, and learns that it was her mother. As a result, each and every year the apple blossoms fall, she feels saddness. “Ringo Oiwake is played in the tradition of ‘shibui’, which means ‘to be subtle’.
8. Minna Yume no Naka – Various Artists
This is another lovely folk ballad of Japan. “Minna Yume no Naka” was composed by Kyoko Takada. and revolves around the importance of mysteries in life, and how to reflect over the loss of love. “Minna Yume no Naka” loosely translates to “It’s All Dream”, and touches on the Japanese concept of ‘Yugen’. Yugen is an aesthtic which expresses that in truth, life is dull when all things are known to you, that a little mystery can sometimes be a good thing.
7. Yuki no Hana – Mika Nakashima
“Yuki no Hana” translates to ‘Snow Flower’ and was released as a single in 2003 by Japanese actress and singer, Mika Nakashima, and reached number 3 on Japan’s weekly singles chart. Tyouki Matsumoto composed the melody and lyrics were by Satomi. “Yuki no Hana” has been covered a multitude of times by various artists in Japan, South Korea, China and Germany, to name a few. “Yuki no Hana” is a soft, melodic composition, sentimental in nature, and revolves around loved ones experiencing their first snowfall together.
6. Tegami (Haikei Jūgo no Kimi e) – Angela Aki
The song title translates to, “Letter: Greetings to a 15 Year Old”. Composed by Angela Aki, and released in 2008, it was her eighth single, and hit the third position on Japan’s Oricon Weekly Charts. The track concerns a letter to a young 15 year old, and speaks of the importance of siezing the moment, and making the most of it, to never settle, never give up. The heart of the song revolves around the importance of living in the here and now, as in reality, it’s the only time we have.
5. Kimi ga Iru Dake de – Kome Kome Club
Kome Kome Club is a Japanese musical group that was created in 1982. What made them unique, and added to their success what their ability to combine and infuse funk, rakugo, and soul music. Their track, “Kimi ga Iru Dake de” concerns the possibility and regret one has when love falls apart, became a huge hit in Japan, selling over 900,000 copies in one week and made it’s first appearance on the Oricon charts at number one, holding that spot for six weeks.
4. Tsunami – Southern All Stars
Southern All Stars was an extremely popular and prolific rock group in Japan, and in 2000 released “Tsunami”, their 44th single. “Tsunami” was written by Keisuke Kuwata. Total copies sold rang up to 2.9 million, and spent 5 weeks at the number one position on the Japanese Oricon Singles Chart, making it Japans fourth biggest selling single.
3. Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana – SMAP
SMAP is a popular boy band sensation in Japan. They not only release records, but are also involved in television, film, radio and theater. “Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana”, translates to “The One and Only Flower in the World” and was recorded and released by SMAP in 2003. The track quickly climbed up the charts, becoming one of the top selling singles in the countries history, peaking at the first position for the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart in 2003; number 90 on Billboard Japan Hot 100 in 2011, and Billboard Japan Hot 100 charts in 2016 it peaked at number 2. Becoming one of the best loved songs in all Japan, and can be found in Japanese school texts, where the students are taught the song.
2. Onna no Michi – Shiro Miya
“Onna no Michi” means “The Way of a Woman”, and was the first single for the Shiro Miya and Pinkara Trio in 1972. Shiro Miya, an enka singer, composed the track, which quickly rose to the charts. “Onna no Michi” tells the story of a woman who was dependent on a man, and when he deserted her, she became broken and devastated. “Onna no Michi” became the second best selling single in Japan popular music history, and according to Japans Oricon Singles Chart, sold 3.3 million copies, and spent 16 weeks at number one.
1. Oyoge! Taiyaki-kun – Masato Shimon
Masato Shimon was a talented vocalist who developed a career revolving around anime theme songs. However, it was his recording of “Oyoge! Taiyaki-kun” in 1975 that made him a top selling musical sensation. Having only 50,000 yen, Masato decided to record this song, never really thinking it would become the top selling single in the history of Japan. According to Japans Oricon Weekly Singles Chart, “Oyog! Taiyaki-kun” Spent 11 weeks at the number one spot, and sold 4.6 million copies.
The Japanese culture is always exciting, inventive, creative and never stops pushing envelopes or broadening horizons, whether it’s science, robotics, art and of course, music. Japan carries a deep love for its years old traditional songs, as well as welcoming the influx of pop and rock.