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
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
This song conveys the cuteness of a bear cub who wants to play.
It was first published in 1962 in “Uta no Ehon,” the predecessor program of NHK’s “Okaasan to issho” (Be with Mom). Although the song is already 60 years old, one wonders why it does not seem old at all.
The melody is monotonous. The melody is monotonous, and even if you were to sing it on the piano or organ, you might be able to accompany it with just one finger. In other words, it is a song that can be “enjoyed together,” which is probably why it has been sung over and over without fading away.
And the worldview of the lyrics does not shift from one scene to another. However, this probably overlaps with the image of “the rain that doesn’t seem to stop” and the child bear who, when concentrating, stops caring about other things…in other words, the Itaike-na (heart-wrenchingly adorable) image of a young child. It is a song filled with such tenderness that it seems to light a small light in the depths of one’s heart. Many Japanese people seem to love this song, saying, “It is not a sad song, but somehow it brings tears to my eyes.
It is said that TSURUMI_Masao, who wrote the lyrics, wrote the song after recalling a scene from upstairs when he saw his young child staring at a stream of water in the garden of his house in the rain. After the war, amidst rapid economic growth, the first Olympic Games in Asia would come the following year. The song probably reflects the upbeat mood of the times. However, there is not much information about TSURUMI, and all we know is that he was born in Niigata Prefecture and graduated from Waseda University. From this, we can infer that “in the garden of his home” was somewhere in Tokyo. At that time, there were still many unpaved roads and puddles even within the 23 wards of Tokyo, if you went a little further away from the city center. Tokyo was changing rapidly in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.
And the satoyama that was just a few steps away from the city back then is still carefully preserved and enjoyed by many people. Why not visit “Totoro no Mori” where you can have a wonderful adventure?