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 Title||Title in Japanese||English title translation||Composer||Lyricist||Artist||Song Type||English Language Performance made?|
|Boku wa chotto||僕は一寸||Haruomi Hosono||Y|
|Gurenge||紅蓮華||LiSA||Anime 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 Matsuyama||The Folk Crusaders|
|Kimi Wo Nosete||君をのせて||Ride With Me||Joe 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||Halo||Takashi Ueno植野隆司||Takashi Ueno植野隆司||Tenniscoatsテニスコーツ||Indie||Y|
|Mayonaka No Doa (Stay With Me)||真夜中のドア (Stay With Me)||Miki Matsubara||City Pop||Y|
|Omoide||思ひ出||Tsunekichi Suzuki||Acoustic Folk|
Soundtrack (Midnight Diner)
|Pon Pon Pon||ぽんぽんぽん||Kyary Pamyu Pamyu||Pop||Y|
|Slow Ballad||スローバラッド||Kiyoshiro Imawano||Rock||Y|
|Suki Suki Daisuki||好き好き大好き||Jun Togawa||80s Alt-Pop||Y|
Follow Japanoscope on Social Media:
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: