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Mikan no hana saku oka – みかんの花咲く丘

A hill covered with blooming mandarin orange flowers. Summer

Mikan no hana saku oka

Mikan no hana ga saite iru
Omoide no michi oka no michi
Haruka ni mieru aoi umi
Ofune ga tooku kasunderu

Kuroi kemuri wo hakinagara
Ofune wa doko e yuku no deshou
Nami ni yurare te shima no kage
Kiteki ga bou to narimashita

Itsuka kita oka kaasan to
Issyo ni nagameta ano shima yo
Kyou mo hitori de mite iru to
Yasashii kaasan omowareru

Lyricist:KATOU Shougo
Composer:KAINUMA Minoru

Tangerine blooming hill

Tangerine flowers are in bloom.
Memories road, hill road.
The blue sea that can be seen far away.
A foreign ship looks faint in the distance.

Where does the foreign ship go,
spitting black smoke?
When the waves sway and you can’t see the shadow of the island,
The whistle sounded “bow”.

A long time ago, I was a mother on this hill.
I looked at that island together.
When I watch it alone today,
I remember a gentle mother.



Even if you have never actually seen such a scene, somehow it still resonates with you. That is the power of music, isn’t it?


This piece first appeared in 1946, shortly after the war. It is said to have been composed for a one-time radio broadcast between Tokyo and Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture, as part of an extremely rare radio relay program that was planned at the time. The song was completed the day before the broadcast.


The story goes that KATOU Shougo, a native of a fishing port town in Shizuoka Prefecture, was asked to write the lyrics on short notice and wrote the lyrics in 30 minutes, which were then received by composer KAINUMA Minoru, who was inspired by the tangerine fields he saw from the train window on the way to Ito station.

The gentle melody and lyrics will bring tears to your eyes.

It has been selected as one of “100 Best Japanese Songs”.