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Itsuki no Komoriuta

五木の子守唄

This is a piece of genre Min'yo from the Min'yo School.

History (Takahashi Yujiro):

Many variants of this lullaby existed around Itsuki village in Kyushu, in a loose duple or free rhythm. At some unknown point early in the 20th century, this version arose, with its Western-influenced triple meter.

I'll only be here 'til Bon; if Bon comes early, I'll go home early.
I'm just a beggar; these are goodly folk, with nice obi waist-sashes and nice kimono.
If I should die, bury me by the roadside; offerings or water will come from the heavens.
(If I should die, who would cry for me? Only the locusts in those pine mountains.)

Itsuki no Komoriuta appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen

Bamboo Spirit Peter Ross

Distant Cry of Deer, The Koga Masayuki

Endless Sea - Impressions of Japan John Singer

Flower Dance - Japanese Folk Melodies


    This sad lullaby reflects nostalgic thoughts of young girls employed as baby-sitters. Itsuki is a small town in Kumamoto, Kyushu, where many prisoners from Korea were held after the war during the last half of the 16th century. The words say "I'm a beggar. You are rich, with obi and rich kimono. Who will weep if I'm beaten to death but the cicadas on the pines. No, not the cicadas, but my young sister who would cry for me."

Flute and Koto of Japan Yamaguchi Goro
Yonekawa Toshiko
Koga Masayuki Shakuhachi Solo Music Koga Masayuki

    A Japanese folk song from Itsugi Village sung by servant maidens to sleeping children.

Koto Melodies of Japan - Hogaku Yonin no Kai (The Four Players Group)


    This, too, is a song of the composer's hometown. It is a lullaby of poor people living in the heart of the mountains. The melody of the first half is played by a low-pitched shakuhachi and the latter half with the instrument pitched an octave higher.


Marco Lienhard - Shakuhachi Marco Lienhard

Melody of Japan - Pathos of Autumn


Memories of My Home Riley Kelly Lee

Min'yo - Folk Song from Japan - Takahashi Yujiro and friends None

    Many variants of this lullaby existed around Itsuki village in Kyushu, in a loose duple or free rhythm. At some unknown point early in the 20th century, this version arose, with its Western-influenced triple meter.

    I'll only be here 'til Bon; if Bon comes early, I'll go home early.
    I'm just a beggar; these are goodly folk, with nice obi waist-sashes and nice kimono.
    If I should die, bury me by the roadside; offerings or water will come from the heavens.
    (If I should die, who would cry for me? Only the locusts in those pine mountains.)

    Copyright 1999 - Dr David W. Hughes
    e-mail dh6@soas.ac.uk


Moonlit Castle John Singer

Music from the Earth Hayashi Shinzan

Musique Traditionnelle du Japon Kikusui Kofu Yes
    ITSUKI NO KOMORI UTA. Le disque s'achève par une berceuse, dont le thème, très simple, exposé par le koto, est repris successivement par le shakuhachi, par le kokyu puis par les trois instruments ensemble.

Shakuhachi - Fue no Shirabe


Shakuhachi with Piano in Concert Koga Masayuki

    Itsugi Village where this song was born is situated in the mountains far up the River Kawabegawa. It requires one and a half hours to reach there by bus from Hitoyoshi in Kumamoto Prefecture. It is said that refugees of the Heike Clan came to hide in this village after they were defeated at Danno-Ura Bay. In the poor mountain village, a baby's nurse was always ill-treated by her employer. So, she wove her sorrows in the song to sing to the world.

Shakuhachi, Shamisen no Shirabe; Nihon no Minyo - 2


Tokusen Shakuhachi Minyo


World of Shakuhachi Yes

World of Shakuhachi, The Yashita Isamu


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017