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Japanese Heritage Songbook

Children and parents alike have been learning a bit of Japanese culture and heritage through our new Montessori Musiclab songbooks these months, we have compiled some information regarding the history of some of these culturally enriching songs.

Sakura Sakura

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Sakura Sakura is a traditional Japanese folk song that depicts one of the most significant events in the country; the week long blooming of the cherry blossom that symbolizes the ephemeral beauty of living. Dating bake to the Edo period (early 16th century), the pentatonic song was first adopted for children in 1888. It was the Tokyo Academy of Music Collection of Japanese Koto Music that had children first learn it. The lyrics of the song, were in fact added in the Meiji period (late 18th century) when it became more popular. It was originally song without using any instruments. The instruments were later added. Outside of Japan, Sakura Sakura is a very representative song of the country. It is now a popular nursery rhyme in Japan. In 1912 in fact, Japan gave the US 3,000 Sakura (cherry trees) as a gift, in order to cultivate a new friendship between both countries. Every year now, there is a street festival called Sakura Matsuri in downtown DC where Japanese and Japanese-Americans come and celebrate spring away from home.

Donkuri Koro Koro

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This a song about an acorn that rolls and rolls into a pond and is met by a type of freshwater fish called loaches.

Yuki Ya Konko

portrait of a girl walking in the winter outdoors. playing with snow. children outdoor

portrait of a girl walking in the winter outdoors. playing with snow. children outdoor

Yuki Ya Konko is a Japanese children’s song commonly sung when it’s snowing and kids want to play outside. Yuki means snow in Japanese. Yuki Ya Konko means the snow falls densely.

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