This site contains affiliate ads (including Amazon Associates).

Tombo no megane – とんぼのめがね

A dragonfly wearing glasses. Autumn

Tombo no megane

Tombo no megane wa mizuiro megane
Aoi osora wo tonda kara tonda kara

Tombo no megane wa pikapika megane
Otento sama wo miteta kara miteta kara

Tombo no megane wa akairo megane
Yuuyake gumo wo tonda kara tonda kara

Lyricist:NUKAGA Seishi
Composer:HIRAI Kouzaburou
in 1948


Glasses of Dragonfly

The glasses worn by the dragonflies are light blue glasses
Because it flies in the blue sky. Because it flies

The glasses worn by the dragonflies are shiny glasses
Because it was watching the glittering sun. Because it was watching

The glasses worn by the dragonflies are autumn colored glasses
Because it flies through the clouds in the sunset. Because it flies




There is a saying in Japan, “Autumn days are like the falling of a tsurube”. The autumn sun sets and sets as early as the falling of a well bucket. It is a metaphor for the early dusk of autumn.

tsurube ido

tsurube ido

Children are chasing dragonflies in the clear blue autumn sky and shining sunlight, losing track of time. Then, in no time at all, it is sunset time. Such was the scene that poet and physician NUKAGA_Seishi saw on his way home from a house call four years after World War II. The passage of time, which had finally come and gone in a leisurely and tranquil way, is expressed by comparing it to the sun reflected in the large eyes of a dragonfly.

Otento sama in the story is an ancient Japanese term for the sun, another meaning of which is “god,” who watches over humans to prevent them from doing bad things. A typical example is the phrase “Otento sama ni kaomuke ga dekinai,” which is used when one has done something bad or embarrassing.

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