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Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto

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Kyu Sakamoto

A Song From Japan By Kyu Sakamoto

Kyu Sakamoto has the distinction of being the only Japanese artist to have a Number 1 song on the US music charts with the track, Sukiyaki.

A worldwide hit in 1963, the original Japanese title is Ue O Muite Aruko, meaning I Shall Walk Looking Up (So My Tears Won't Fall), a tale of isolation, sadness and a missing love. In the wake of the recent earthquake disaster in Japan, this title translation resounds profoundly for those families currently suffering loss and anguish.

The song was re-recorded with English lyrics by female duo A Taste of Honey in 1981 and this too was a highly successful Top 10 hit in America.

Always a favourite foreign language track of mine, let's celebrate this popular song, while remembering the sadness of what has occurred in Japan.


Sukiyaki | The Original Version

This is a 1960s television recording of Kyu Sakamoto singing Sukiyaki. The title was chosen for release in English-speaking countries for its ease of pronunciation and because the word is a familiar reminder of Japanese culture.

Sukiyaki: The Version By A Taste of Honey

This 1981 version of the song was recorded by A Taste of Honey, with English lyrics by vocalist Janice Marie Johnson.

Eighteen years later, the song had maintained its popularity and reached Number 3 on the American music charts.

Sukiyaki: The Version By 4 P.M.

Another version of Sukiyaki also reached the Top 10 of the US music charts.

This one is by RnB male group 4 P.M., who take A Taste of Honey's English lyrics and turn them into a soul/doo-wop combo. This track was also very successful in Australia and New Zealand.

The Sukiyaki Poll - Please Leave Your Vote!

Japan Earthquake Relief: How to Help

  • Japan earthquake relief: How to help - Mar. 11, 2011
    After the fifth largest earthquake in history struck Japan Friday, many Americans have been eager to help -- but donations can be tricky, particularly in the earliest phase of the recovery effort. Here's where to donate, what to give and what to watc

About Your Author

With each article, Richard invites you to step into his world of music, television and entertainment. He will introduce you to British Glam Rock, share The 20 Scariest Film Scores Ever? and even give you an up close look at some classic actors such as Christopher Lee as Dracula.

For a complete list of Richard's articles, please visit Richard's profile.

© 2011 Richard

Do You Remember Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto?

Aladdins Cave from Melbourne, Australia on May 18, 2014:

Thank you for making a Lens on this song. It is beautiful, but I only like the original.

I remember it when it came out in the 60's. I think the song also inspired me to visit Japan

some 20 years later. http://www.squidoo.com/extraordinary-road-trip-jap...

Also thank you for liking my Roadtrip Australia lens. Cheers from DOWNUNDER

Addy Bell on July 18, 2011:

I'd never heard this song before now.

Dianne Loomos on July 18, 2011:

I did not know the original translation of the song. It now sounds so appropriate for what happened in Japan.

DuaneJ on June 23, 2011:

very interesting!!!

oznews on April 12, 2011:

I love this song. Please also check out this site ...... http://www.squidoo.com/latest-earthquake

Malu Couttolenc on March 18, 2011:

Wonderful memories with this song. very nice lens to help Raise funds for the Save the Children in Japan. Congrats for your purple star! :)

Indigo Janson from UK on March 17, 2011:

I hadn't heard of him before but enjoyed discovering more here and it's a wonderful way to contribute to the Save the Children Japan relief work.

Ellen Brundige from California on March 16, 2011:

Oh goodness, I had no idea that was Japanese! I don't think I've heard it in recent years, now that I've picked up enough from watching Miyazaki films with subtitles that i think I'd recognize it.

ronpass lm on March 15, 2011:

Kyu Sakamoto's Sukiyaki song brings back lots of memories and emotions - I love his original version, though I enjoyed the other two as well. The song which I recall very well is a constant reminder of the years that my father spent away in Japan as an Australian soldier as part of the occupation forces. Sukiyaki brings back some of the sadness I experienced in his absence when I was very young. An Angel's Blessing, Rich, for the research, presentation and thoughtfulness behind the lens. For this, does Squidoo exist!

nestboxes on March 14, 2011:

Wow no I don't. But it's cool. Great depth of knowledge and worthy cause.

GrowWear on March 14, 2011:

Beautiful. Great work, as usual, Rich.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on March 14, 2011:

I remember Sukiyaki very well, the original version. Very nice presentation of all three versions, and a very nice tribute to the people of Japan today.

Paula Atwell from Cleveland, OH on March 14, 2011:

Leave it to you, Rich to find an appropriate song for this purpose. Love the idea and the lens. Wonderful.

anonymous on March 14, 2011:

Beautiful song Richa and a poignant lens.

justholidays on March 14, 2011:

I've never heard about Sukiyaki song nor about Kyu Sakamoto, so it's an entirely new find to me. Facebooked and blessed, of course.

Carol Fisher from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK on March 14, 2011:

What memories this brings back of my early teens. It's good that you are using it in aid of the relief fund for Japan. Blessed.

KimGiancaterino on March 13, 2011:

It's a great song and I'm glad you're helping earthquake victims.

Kirsti A. Dyer from Northern California on March 13, 2011:

I remember hearing it on something - perhaps MASH.

MisTikkal on March 13, 2011:

Wonderful Rich and so timely. We're sitting and watching in Australia, esp the nuclear stuff. Japan is a close neighbour so we're hoping and praying that they will stay safe from that particular disaster for both our sakes.

Kathy McGraw from California on March 13, 2011:

The minute I clicked the video I literally said "awwww" as this was one of my favorite songs, just didn't know the name :) Wow, thanks Rich, and on a more serious note, I am very happy to see you made this lens and any proceeds form it to go to Save the Children. Blessed...

nightbear lm on March 13, 2011:

What a wonderful memory stirred up by this page. thank you. Wasn't this song also used on several "Mash" shows. Anyway, I loved it. thank you.

clouda9 lm on March 13, 2011:

Oh yes I do remember this song. Brings back memories of the lazy kid days in sunny Cal. Amazing what a song can do recall memories, still a rattled mind, give hope and inspiration...thank you for this Rich, very touching indeed!