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Amefuri otsukisan – 雨降りお月さん

The moon shining through a rainy night. Summer

Amefuri otsukisan

Amefuri otsukisan kumo no kage
Oyome ni yuku tokya dare to yuku
Hitori de karakasa sashite yuku
Karakasa nai tokya dare to yuku
Shara shara shan shan suzu tsuketa
Ouma ni yurarete yurete yuku

Isoganya oumayo yoga akeyo
Tazuna no shitakara choi to mitarya
Osode de okao o kakushi teru
Osode wa nurete mo hosha kawaku
Amefuri otsukisan kumo no kage
Ouma ni yurarete yurete yuku

Lyricist:NOGUCHI Ujyou
Composer:NAKAYAMA Shimpei
in 1925

Moon on a rainy day

It’s raining and the moon is hiding in the shadow of the cloud
Who do you go with when you are married?
I will hold an umbrella by myself alone
Who do you go with when there is no umbrella?
A bell ringing with sharashala shanshan
I am swayed by such a horse

Horse, dawn, the night is over
I looked a little under the reins
Then She is hiding her face with her sleeves
Even if the sleeve gets wet, it will dry if it is held up to the sun
It rains and the moon is still a shadow of clouds
I am swayed by such a horse



Amefuri Otsukisan” is a song that evokes the rainy “Tsuyu” season, from June to early July, which is unique to Japan’s climate.

tsuyu or baiu

tsuyu? baiu?

Tsuyu is the wettest season of the year. This is where the hot and humid Japanese summer begins.


The song speaks of a woman who is going to marry a bride alone on a night when the moon is hidden behind the clouds. Why does she go alone to get married? The mystery is not told, but the beautiful melody depicts it as a lonely but not tragic story.


In old Japan, it was common for a woman to marry into the family of a man she had never met before. Moreover, about 70% of the country is said to be forested. Because the agricultural land was not large, it was not uncommon for a bride to go over the mountains to a neighboring village to marry.


※ (CC BY 4.0)

The kanji for “bride” is a combination of the two characters for “woman” and “house. And marriage is a house-to-house event, and in the days when most Japanese were farmers, the emphasis was on how to secure the most manpower…in other words, how to have children.


This is something that would raise eyebrows from today’s values, but in a time when this was the norm, family love must have been nurtured from marriage. That is why neither the lyrics nor the melody are tragic. You can even feel the strength of a woman who has quietly left her fate to her own devices.

woman and house,bride

By the way, it seems that this song was originally composed of two separate songs, No. 1 and No. 2, but they were combined into one. Since the first song, “Ame no Yureru Otsukisan” was well received, the second song was released as a sequel, “Kumo no Kage” (“Shadow of the Clouds”).


It is said that when it was later proposed to be made into a record, the composer NAKAYAMA Shimpei suggested combining the two songs.


The song is still very popular today and has been selected as one of the “100 Best Japanese Songs.


▼OOTA Hiromi, one of Japan’s leading female singers, created this “douyo-shouka” album as a gift for her children.