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Amefuri kumanoko – あめふりくまのこ

A little girl is looking through a puddle. Summer

Amefuri kumanoko

Oyamani ame ga furimashita
Atokara atokara futtekite
Chorochoro ogawa ga dekimashita

Itazura kuma no ko kakete kite
Sotto nozoite mitemashita
Sakana wa iru ka to mitemashita

Nanimo inai to kuma no ko wa
Omizu o hitokuchi nomimashita
Otede de sukutte nomimashita

Soredemo dokoka ni iru you de
Mouichido nozoite mitemashita
Sakana o machimachi mitemashita

Nakanaka yamanai ame deshita
Kasa demo kabutte imashou to
Atama ni happa o nosemashita

in 1962

Little Bear Cub in the rain

In the mountains, rain fell
One after another, it kept pouring
Little streams were formed by the river

A mischievous bear cub came running
Silently peeking and observing
Wondering if there were any fish

The bear cub, feeling nothing around
Took a sip of water
Scooping it up with its little hands

Nevertheless, it felt like something was there
Looking again, it kept searching
Examining various fish

The rain just wouldn’t stop
So let’s wear a hat or something
Placing leaves on its head



It is a song that conveys the cuteness of a playful young bear, which was introduced in the predecessor program of NHK’s “Okaasan to Issho” called “Uta no Ehon” in 1962.

Shochiku Central Theater 1960.jpg

By Project KeiOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Despite being a song from 60 years ago, it surprisingly does not feel old. Perhaps the reason for this is that the melody, while simple, is engaging. It seems like you could accompany it with just one finger on the piano or organ. In other words, because it is a song that can be enjoyed together, it has been passed down without losing its charm.


The worldview of the lyrics does not shift through various scenes. It simply aligns with the image of a young bear that is so adorable you can’t help but be charmed, like a child who pays no mind to anything else when it’s raining incessantly. It’s a song filled with kindness, like a small light glowing in one’s heart. Many Japanese people love this song, saying “It’s not a sad song, but for some reason, it brings tears to my eyes.”


The lyricist TSURUMI Masao is said to have written these lyrics after recalling a scene from his childhood when he watched his young child staring at the flowing water in the family garden in the rain while he observed from the second floor. This nostalgic landscape may reflect the post-war period, with the rapid economic growth and the upcoming first-ever Olympics in Asia just a few years later. However, there is limited information available about TSURUMI, with only details stating that he was born in Niigata Prefecture and graduated from Waseda University. From this, it can be inferred that the “family garden” he mentioned might have been located somewhere in Tokyo. At that time, even just a little away from the city center, there were many unpaved roads and puddles. Tokyo was evolving rapidly in preparation for the Olympics.

Even now, the rural mountains that were just a short distance from the city at that time are being carefully preserved and enjoyed by many people. Wouldn’t you like to visit the enchanting “Totoro Forest” where you can have a magical adventure?