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Sukiyaki By Kyu Sakamoto

Updated on August 7, 2016

Kyu Sakamoto

Kyu Sakamoto (left)
Kyu Sakamoto (left) | Source

A Song From Japan By Kyu Sakamoto

Kyu Sakamoto has the distinction of being the only Japanese artist to have a Number 1 song on the US music charts with the track, Sukiyaki.

A worldwide hit in 1963, the original Japanese title is Ue O Muite Aruko, meaning I Shall Walk Looking Up (So My Tears Won't Fall), a tale of isolation, sadness and a missing love. In the wake of the recent earthquake disaster in Japan, this title translation resounds profoundly for those families currently suffering loss and anguish.

The song was re-recorded with English lyrics by female duo A Taste of Honey in 1981 and this too was a highly successful Top 10 hit in America.

Always a favourite foreign language track of mine, let's celebrate this popular song, while remembering the sadness of what has occurred in Japan.

Sukiyaki | The Original Version

This is a 1960s television recording of Kyu Sakamoto singing Sukiyaki. The title was chosen for release in English-speaking countries for its ease of pronunciation and because the word is a familiar reminder of Japanese culture.

Japan: Greatest Songs

Greatest Songs Ever: Japan
Greatest Songs Ever: Japan

This album, featuring some of Japan's finest songs, includes Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto. Reviewers have given it five stars. This collection is described as beautiful, sad, bluesy and powerful. A must CD to add to your international music collection.


Sukiyaki: The Version By A Taste of Honey

This 1981 version of the song was recorded by A Taste of Honey, with English lyrics by vocalist Janice Marie Johnson.

Eighteen years later, the song had maintained its popularity and reached Number 3 on the American music charts.

Sukiyaki: The Version By 4 P.M.

Another version of Sukiyaki also reached the Top 10 of the US music charts.

This one is by RnB male group 4 P.M., who take A Taste of Honey's English lyrics and turn them into a soul/doo-wop combo. This track was also very successful in Australia and New Zealand.

The Sukiyaki Poll - Please Leave Your Vote!

Which version of Sukiyaki do you prefer?

See results

About Your Author

With each article, Richard invites you to step into his world of music, television and entertainment. He will introduce you to British Glam Rock, share The 20 Scariest Film Scores Ever? and even give you an up close look at some classic actors such as Christopher Lee as Dracula.

For a complete list of Richard's articles, please visit Richard's profile.

Do You Remember Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto?

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    • Aladdins Cave profile image

      Aladdins Cave 3 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Thank you for making a Lens on this song. It is beautiful, but I only like the original.

      I remember it when it came out in the 60's. I think the song also inspired me to visit Japan

      some 20 years later.

      Also thank you for liking my Roadtrip Australia lens. Cheers from DOWNUNDER

    • Addy Bell profile image

      Addy Bell 5 years ago

      I'd never heard this song before now.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 5 years ago

      I did not know the original translation of the song. It now sounds so appropriate for what happened in Japan.

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 6 years ago

      very interesting!!!

    • profile image

      oznews 6 years ago

      I love this song. Please also check out this site ......

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