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Haru yo koi – 春よ来い

Spring flowers beginning to bloom. Winter

Haru yo koi

Haru yo koi, hayaku koi
Aruki hajimeta Mii-chan ga
Akai hanao no jyojyo haite
Onmo ni detai to matte iru

Haru yo koi, hayaku koi
Ouchi no mae no momonoki no
Tsubomi mo minna fukurande
Hayo sakitai to matte iru


Come spring

Come, spring, come quickly,
Little Mii-chan has started walking,
Wearing straw sandals with red thongs,
Eagerly waiting to go outside.

Come, spring, come quickly,
In front of the house, the buds
On the peach tree have all swollen,
Yearning to bloom soon.



“Haru yo koi” is a children’s song that depicts a little girl named Mii-chan eagerly awaiting the end of the snowbound winter and longing to play outside. Mii-chan is believed to be the model for this song, the daughter of the lyricist SOUMA_Gyofuu, who was just two years old when the song was released in 1923. Gyofuu, the father, never spoke about it, but according to the mother, he once showed them the “tiny, tiny red straw sandals that were the first gift Mii-chan ever received.”

After attending Waseda University in Tokyo and working as a university lecturer while engaging in literary activities, Gyofuu returned to his hometown of Itoigawa City in Niigata Prefecture in his mid-thirties. From then on, alongside his creative pursuits, he also delved into the study of Ryoukan, a local monk and poet. Ryoukan was known for his love for children, and his famous anecdote of playing with them until sunset. “Haru yo koi” reflects Gyofuu’s unique perspective and empathy towards Ryoukan.

良寛和尚 像 玉島 円通寺 - panoramio.jpg
By Yoshio Kohara, CC BY 3.0, Link

Although Itoigawa City, situated along the Sea of Japan, rarely experiences an average temperature below freezing in February, Niigata Prefecture is renowned as one of the world’s leading snowfall areas. The song beautifully captures the emotions of children eagerly anticipating the arrival of spring, even in this snowy region.



This song has a similar title but is also a pop classic. It is relatively new, yet somehow nostalgic. “Haru yo, koi” by MATSUTOUYA Yumi, one of Japan’s most famous songstresses.