A cheerful melody of Oedo nihonbashi-the bridge built in Nihonbashi Edo (the old name of Tokyo}-is one of the children's songs, widely known along with Sakura Sakura. The music praises the beauty and the grandeur of the wooden bridge.
This is an arrangement for koto, shamisen and a small orchestra of Western instruments from a popular song under the same title.
The original song of this piece was a popular song named Hakone- bushi which prevailed about at the middle of the 18th century. It was so popular that many different words was put to its melody. "O-Edo Nihonbashi" is the most popular today among them, but not a few different poems are still sung today to the same or slightly changed melody.
"Edo" is the old name for Tokyo. Nihonbashi is a famous bridge in the centre of Edo and is the starting-point all the roads radiating for countries.
The picture, painted by Hiroshige, a famous ukiyoe painter, shows the concourse at the Nihonbashi in the morning.
It was a custom in Edo Period (1600c-1870c) that travellers leaving Edo started from this bridge just after the sun- rise.