Japanese Song Lyrics

All My Favourite Japanese Songs Translated Into English

Over my years of playing music and touring through Japan, I’ve come across many Japanese songs, lyrics and artists that I’ve come to love. Since around 2019 I’ve been actively making English language translations of some of these. I’ve also been recording English versions of the translations. So I mostly concentrate on making “singable” translations. This means that often the translations are not “literal” as some people might make them. 

What I am trying to do is to create a fairly accurate impression, or one possible interpretation, of what I believe the original song is trying to achieve. Ultimately, I believe there is always an element of interpretation in any good translation. Doing a so-called “word for word” translation often doesn’t reveal a true and meaningful rendition.

My musical philosophy is also based on interpretation. Even in a standard, non-translating cover version, I prefer versions that take the original to an entirely different place. Why recreate the wheel?

A-Z List of Japanese Song Lyrics

With that in mind here’s a list of some of the lyrics I’ve translated. I’ve also presented research on the background to a lot of these songs.

Songs range from the very old, to very new, from popular to underground. They are all either songs that I personally like or find interesting, or songs that there has been a large amount of demand from others to have translations done of.

Romanised  TitleTitle in JapaneseEnglish title translationComposerLyricistArtistSong TypeEnglish Language Performance made?
Boku wa chotto僕は一寸Haruomi HosonoY
Gurenge紅蓮華LiSAAnime Song (Demon Slayer)Y
Ii Yu Danaいい湯だなThe Drifters
Imjin-gawaイムジン河Imjin River高宗漢Kazuhiko Kato朴世永Pak Se-yong松山猛Takeshi MatsuyamaThe Folk Crusaders
ザ・フォーク・クルセダーズ
60s FolkY
Kimi Wo Nosete君をのせてRide With MeJoe Hisaishi久石 譲 Miyazaki Hayao宮崎 駿Azumi Inoue 井上杏美Anime Song (Laputa Castle In The Sky)Y
Korin光輪HaloTakashi Ueno植野隆司Takashi Ueno植野隆司TenniscoatsテニスコーツIndieY
Mayonaka No Doa (Stay With Me)真夜中のドア (Stay With Me)Miki MatsubaraCity PopY
Onibi鬼火Koji ShibuyaYumboN
Omoide思ひ出Tsunekichi SuzukiAcoustic Folk
Soundtrack (Midnight Diner)
Y
Pon Pon PonぽんぽんぽんKyary Pamyu PamyuPopY
Shukujitsu祝日Kaneko AyanoAlt-folkY
Slow BalladスローバラッドKiyoshiro ImawanoRockY
Suki Suki Daisuki好き好き大好きJun Togawa80s Alt-PopY

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Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts doing a Masters Degree, have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1). I’ve written songs in Japanese and have released several albums through Tokyo label Majikick Records. You can hear my music at my bandcamp page:

ピータージョセフヘッドです。4年間京都市立芸大の大学院として日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

僕の音楽はBandcampで聞けます。

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