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Kisha – 汽車

A steam locomotive traveling through the countryside. Across the Seasons


Ima wa yamanaka, ima wa hama,
Ima wa tekkyo wataruzo to
Omou mamonaku tunnel no
Yami wo tootte hironohara

Tooku ni mieru mura no yane
Chikaku ni mieru machi no noki
Mori ya hayashi ya ta ya hatake
Ato e ato e to tonde yuku

Mawari dourou no e noyouni
Kawaru keshiki no omoshirosa
Mitorete soreto shiranuma ni
Hayaku mo sugiru ikusenri

Lyricist : Unkown ( There is another theory )
Composer : OOWADA,Aira ( There is another theory )

Steam train

Now in the mountains, now on the beach,
Now I’m trying to cross the railway bridge
A tunnel appears shortly after I thought
It was a wide field after passing through the darkness

A village roof seen in the distance
Nearby town eaves
Forests, woods, rice fields and cultivated land
To the back, To the back, it flies like a fly.

Like a picture of a rotating lantern
The fun of changing scenery
I saw landscape that captured my eye
About million of miles have passed



“Kisha” is a song about the joys of train travel.


Today, “kisha” generally refers to steam locomotives and is distinguished from “densha.”

Buying train at Nippori Station.jpg
By 影山 光洋(1907-1981,KAGEYAMA Kouyou) – 『日本国有鉄道百年写真史』P308, Public Domain, Link

The song is about the joy of changing scenery from the train window, but today’s children are so engrossed in games that they do not enjoy the scenery.


By the way, there are many railroad fans in Japan, called “Tetsu Ota,” who enjoy riding the trains, taking pictures, recording them, and so on.


Railroad fans are probably found all over the world, but in the case of Japan, I have the impression that the concentration is very strong. Perhaps it is because, as sung in this song, the scenery changes at a glance. Nearly 70% of the country is mountain forest, which means that only 30% of the land can be traveled by rail. The scenery of the train window changes quickly. Even if you are not a railroad fan, you will feel excited.

Tetsudo fan (Tetsu-Ota) shooting a train
ディック投稿者自身による著作物, CC 表示-継承 4.0, リンクによる

In this sense, the town of Hirono in Fukushima Prefecture is introduced as the setting of the lyrics because of the “Hironohara” part of the lyrics, but the popular theory seems to be that it is just a large field to sing about.


The 100 Best Japanese Songs.


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