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Tsugaru Yamauta

津軽山唄

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

History (Takahashi Yujiro):

The "Tsugaru Mountain Song" was sung by woodcutters in the mountains, but in the late 1800s its beauty and dignity led to its use at banquets and celebrations.

In Tsugaru, in winter pure white, in spring green, in summer black,
in autumn brocade - how vivid and splendid is the seasonal changing of kimono.
(At age fifteen, climbing deep into the mountains to cut trees, hungry,
and night closes in - I'd like my parents to see what I'm going through.
If you pray three times at the pine tree of the Temple of the 500 Bodhisattvas in Hyakuzawa,
your grow young again. I'd like to pray at that pine tree.)

Tsugaru ja / fuyu wa ma-shiroku, haru aoku / natsu wa sumizome, aki nishiki / koromogae suru azayakasa.

Tsugaru Yamauta appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Folk Songs with Shakuhachi


Memories of My Home Riley Kelly Lee

Min'yo - Folk Song from Japan - Takahashi Yujiro and friends Takahashi Yujiro

    The "Tsugaru Mountain Song" was sung by woodcutters in the mountains, but in the late 1800s its beauty and dignity led to its use at banquets and celebrations.

    In Tsugaru, in winter pure white, in spring green, in summer black,
    in autumn brocade - how vivid and splendid is the seasonal changing of kimono.
    (At age fifteen, climbing deep into the mountains to cut trees, hungry,
    and night closes in - I'd like my parents to see what I'm going through.
    If you pray three times at the pine tree of the Temple of the 500 Bodhisattvas in Hyakuzawa,
    your grow young again. I'd like to pray at that pine tree.)

    Tsugaru ja / fuyu wa ma-shiroku, haru aoku / natsu wa sumizome, aki nishiki / koromogae suru azayakasa.

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

Minyo Meijin Series Kikuchi Tansui


Minyo Meijin Series Watanabe Kizo


Minyo no Sekai


Minyo no Shirabe Takahashi Kosui

Music of Japan, The - Vol II Yashita Isamu

Musical Atlas - Japan


    In the mountaineer’s song (Yamauta) from Tsugaru District in Aomori Prefecture, the text says: "a boy goes to the mountain to work when he reaches the age of fifteen: he climbs the mountain and plays an the flute a melody which blends with the sound of the wind blowing through the pine trees". This song used to be sung by mountaineers walking in the mountains, and it brought them comfort when they spent long days alone an the mountain far their work. Later it came to be sung in Sake (wine) parties at home, and as a result, the style of the song and the singing technique became gradually mare sophisticated as is shown by the example given an this record. A Shakuhachi accompaniment has been added to the song.

    The main characteristics of this song lie in its distinctive rhythm, a free rhythm which is found in the music of other parts of Asia, for instance, in the folk songs of Mongolia.

Nihon Minyo - Shakuhachi Tokusen Shu - 1


Shakuhachi - Hamabe No Uta Mitsuhashi Kifu

Shakuhachi Min'yo - 1991


Shakuhachi Minyo Yes

Shakuhachi Minyo no Shirabe


Shakuhachi no sekai - 1


Special Selection of Folk Songs for the Shakuhachi - 1


Tokusen Shakuhachi Minyo


World of Shakuhachi Yes

World of Shakuhachi, The Yashita Isamu

Yagishita - 1


Yashita Isamu no Sekai



The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018