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Cha tsumi – 茶摘み

People picking tea leaves in a field. Spring

Cha tsumi

Natsu mo chikazuku hachijyu hachiya
No nimo yama nimo wakaba ga shigeru
“Areni mieru wa chatsumi jya naika
Akane dasuki ni suge no kasa”

Hiyori tsuzuki no kyou konogoro wo
Kokoro nodoka ni tsumitsutsu utau
“Tsumeyo tsume tsume tsumaneba naranu
Tsumanya nihon no cha ni naranu”

Lyricist & Composer:Unkown

Tea leaf picking

88days when summer approaches from the day of spring
Young leaves grow in the fields and mountains
It may not be the tea leaf picking landscape that you see there
A scarlet string that makes the sleeves and a sedge hat

Good weather continues today these days
Sing along while feeling calmly
Let’s pick more and more, We have to pick it up
It will not be Japanese tea unless it is picked



“Cha tsumi” is a famous Japanese song that spans from late spring to early summer.

The “tea” refers to Japanese tea. Representative Japanese teas such as “green tea” are unfermented teas that do not undergo fermentation, while “Oolong tea” is semi-fermented, and “black tea” is fully fermented, all made from the leaves of the same “Tea plant.”

Camellia sinensis Japan.JPG
Qwert1234 – Qwert1234’s file, パブリック・ドメイン, リンクによる


The “Hachijyu hachiya (Eighty-Eighth Night)” sung in this song is one of the solar terms, referring to the day when the weather stabilizes on the 88th day after the beginning of spring and becomes easier for tea picking. This usually falls around May 2nd every year. During this period, there is a risk of late frost called “Osojimo” occurring from the chilly nights to dawn, potentially damaging crops. It is said that this solar term was created to particularly alert farmers to this phenomenon. After Hachijyu hachiya, the early summer (rikka) arrives in a few days (around May 6th). According to the calendar, summer is about to begin.

The culture of enjoying tea has a long history, dating back to the reign of Emperor Shōmu in 729 AD, as recorded in ancient texts. It spread widely among the warrior class and became a material for feasts. However, the concept of “Wabi-cha,” which sought simplicity and the spirit of Zen, emerged, leading to the spread of “Cha-no-yu” by figures like Sen no Rikyu. It has been passed down to modern times as “Sa-do.”In Sa-do, Matcha, which is now popularly used in chocolates and ice cream, is served ground tea leaves. On the other hand, Sencha, which uses whole leaves without grinding, is commonly sold even in PET bottles. Of course, the price varies greatly depending on the quality of the leaves and processing methods.

Cha tsumi musume (Meiji Era)

不明 – “Letters from Japan” by Mrs. Hugh Fraser, New York, The Macmillan company; London, Macmillan & co., ltd.. 1904, パブリック・ドメイン, リンクによる

According to one theory, this song is said to have roots in Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture, and the parts enclosed in “” are considered quotations from tea-picking songs sung there since ancient times. However, there is still no evidence to support this claim, even after local historians have researched it. Since tea harvesting requires intensive labor, there have always been migrant workers known as “Chatsumi musume.” As the timing of harvesting varies from region to region, it’s also speculated that the song spread gradually as workers moved from early harvesting areas to later ones.


This song is also known for its rhythmic nature, often accompanied by hand movements, and enjoyed in places like kindergartens and elderly care facilities.

While Shizuoka Prefecture is famous as a tea-producing region, places like Yame in Fukuoka Prefecture, Chiran in Kagoshima Prefecture, and Sayama near Tokyo in Saitama Prefecture are also well-known.

Cha tsumi & Mt.Fuji

100 Best Japanese Songs.




This is the third most famous tea plantation in Japan, closest to Tokyo.