Tokyo Damage Report

gunka, gunka, gunka!

Gunka is a style of propaganda music from the "Let's conquer the world!" days: '35 ~'45 (ish). It comes from the characters 軍 (army) and 歌 (song).

The songs were not FOR soldiers, they were for the folks back home, to whip up enthusiasm for war.

That's why a lot of gunka sounds like childrens' music.

You can still buy lots of gunka at mainstream places like Tower Records.

 

Sit back and enjoy some memories of how tough  Japan was before Anime and AKB48.

 

 


 

大八洲 (Ooyashima = an archaic word for Japan)

作詞:不詳
作曲:下総皖一

一.
神生みませるこの国は
山川清き大八洲
海原遠く行くかぎり
御稜威あまねし大東亜

The country that  the Gods gave birth to

Ooyashima, with its pure mountains and rivers

Far and wide to the ocean's limit

Our authority and might extends throughout Greater East Asia

二.
神治しめすこの国は
豊蘆原の中つ国
瑞穂のそよぎ豊かなる
恵み仰がん大東亜

The country established by the Gods

With its rich bountiful fields of reeds

Swelling with abundance and life

Respected and venerated by all Greater East Asia

三.
神護りますこの国は
きはみもあらず浦安の
大船しげきゆきかひも
とわに安けき大東亜

 

The country that protects God,

The mighty port of Urayasu

With its constant traffic of huge vessels

Forever protecting the peace of Greater East Asia

 

(Greater East Asia was the PC term for "parts of Asia that we control, or will control soon." )

 


出征兵士を送る歌 (a Song for the Departing Soldiers)

 

一、わが大君(おおきみ)に召されたる
  生命光栄(はえ)ある朝ぼらけ
  讃えて送る一億の歓呼は高く天を衝く
  いざ征(ゆ)けつわもの日本男児

You who honorably do it  for our Emperor

On a morning full of life and glory

We extol you! Let forth a hundred million jubilations to strike the sky!

Well now, we send you forth, you sons of Japan!

二、華(はな)と咲く身の感激を
  戎衣(じゅうい)の胸に引き緊(し)めて
  正義の軍(いくさ)行くところ
  たれか阻まんその歩武(ほぶ)を
  いざ征けつわもの日本男児

Deep emotions bloom in your bodies like gorgeous flowers

Your battle clothing fastened securely to your chests

To the place where the Campaign for Righteousness is waged

Let no one stop you, it's just a short distance away

Well now, we send you forth, you sons of Japan!

三、かがやく御旗(みはた)先立てて
  越ゆる勝利の幾山河
  無敵日本の武勲(いさおし)を
  世界に示す時ぞ今
  いざ征けつわもの日本男児

Following after our radiant and honorable flag

Crossing many rivers and mountains until achieving victory

The unrivaled military might and heroic deeds of Japan

Will be shown to the world, the time is now!

Well now, we send you forth, you sons of Japan!

四、 守る銃後に憂いなし
  大和魂ゆるぎなき
  国のかために人の和に
  大磐石のこの備え
  いざ征けつわもの日本男児

Protecting the homefront, without gloom

Displaying Japanese spirit, without trembling

Defending the country in the name of peace and harmony

Guarding us with rock-solid fortifications

Well now, we send you forth, you sons of Japan!

五、 ああ万世の大君に
  水漬き草むす忠烈の
  誓致さん秋(とき)至る
  勇ましいかなこの首途(かどで)
  いざ征けつわもの日本男児

AAAAAHHH!!! The Emperor for all eternity

The grass is wet all over with  unswerving loyalty ????

You who have taken the sacred vow, now is the time to depart

Displaying courage as you leave your homes

Well now, we send you forth, you sons of Japan!

六、 父祖の血汐に色映ゆる
  国の誉の日の丸を
  世紀の空に燦然(さんぜん)と
  揚げて築けや新亜細亜
  いざ征けつわもの日本男児

You have the blood of your ancestors coursing through you brightly

The glory of our "rising sun" flag,

Raise its brilliance over all the sky of Asia for a hundred years!

Well now, we send you forth, you sons of Japan!


加藤隼戦闘隊 -Kato Hayabusa Fighter Wing-


同期の桜 (Brothers of the Sakura)

 

 

 

作詞:西條 八十

一、
 貴様と俺とは同期の桜
 同じ兵学校の庭に咲く
 咲いた花なら散るのは覚悟
見事散りましょ国のため

You and I, we are Brothers of the Sakura

Blooming in the garden of the  same Naval Academy

We are resigned to have our petals fall after we bloom

For the sake of our country, we will make it a splendid fall, scattering petals beautifully

二、
貴様と俺とは同期の桜
同じ兵学校の庭に咲く
血肉分けたる仲ではないが
なぜか気が合うて別れられぬ

You and I, we are Brothers of the Sakura

Blooming in the garden of the  same Naval Academy

Our bond is stronger than flesh and blood

A mysterious bond which can never be broken

三、
貴様と俺とは同期の桜
同じ航空隊の庭に咲く
仰いだ夕焼け南の空に
今だ還らぬ一番機

You and I, we are Brothers of the Sakura

Blooming in the garden of the  same Flying Corps squad

The majestic setting sun of the southern sky

Now is the time to go forth and never return

四、
貴様と俺とは同期の桜
同じ航空隊の庭に咲く
あれほど誓ったその日も待たず
なぜに散ったか死んだのか

You and I, we are Brothers of the Sakura

Blooming in the garden of the  same Flying Corps squad

We can't wait for the day to fulfill our vows

Because when we scatter our petals is the day we die

五、
貴様と俺とは同期の桜
離れ離れに散ろうとも
花の都の靖国神社
春の梢(こずえ)に咲いて会おう

You and I, we are Brothers of the Sakura

Although we may drop our petals far apart,

We will be reunited at the Capital of Fallen Flowers, Yasukuni Shrine

We will meet again in spring, at the tip of the same branch

 


麦 と 兵 隊 (Wheat and Soldiers)

 

作詩 藤田まさと  作曲 大村能章
昭和13年
1 徐州徐州と 人馬は進む
  徐州居よいか 住みよいか
  洒落た文句に 振り返りゃ
  お国訛りの おけさ節
  ひげがほほえむ 麦畠


To Xuzhou, to Xuzhou, the men and horses advance

"Xuzhou, is this an easy place to stay? Is this place a good place to live?"

We grumble as we look back over our shoulders

We hear their dialect, see their native dances

Their abundant fields of wheat blowing to and fro.

2 友を背にして 道なき道を
  行けば戦野は 夜の雨
  「すまぬすまぬ」を背中に聞けば
  「馬鹿を云うな」とまた進む
  兵の歩みの 頼もしさ

Along the trackless path, being carried upon my comrade's back

When we reach the battlefield,   it's night and raining.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," we say to his backside.

"Don't talk foolishly!" he replies, and keeps on carrying me.

The soldier's march is reliable

3 腕をたたいて 遥かな空を
  仰ぐ眸に 雲が飛ぶ
  遠く祖国を はなれ釆て
  しみじみ知った 祖国愛
  友よ釆て見よ あの雲を

Fighting with skill under a distant sky

Clouds honorably float through

We've come so far from our fatherland

And so realized the true meaning of patriotism

My comrade, come and gaze upon these clouds


4 行けど進めど 麦また麦の
  波の探さよ 夜の寒さ
  声を殺して 黙々と
  影を落して 粛々と
  兵は徐州へ 前線へ

Advancing through wheat and more wheat

Feeling the waves of wheat in the dark and cold of night

Advancing silently, killing the voice

Advancing silently, not showing our sillhouettes

Soldiers on the front line of  Xuzhou


(this song is about the battle of Xuzhou, wikipedia here.)


月月火水木金金 (No Saturday or Sunday, just Two Mondays and Two Fridays)

 

 

作詞 高橋俊策
作曲 江口夜詩

一、
朝だ夜明けだ潮の息吹
ぐんと吸い込む銅色の
胸に若さの漲る誇り
海の男の艦隊勤務
月月火水木金金

At the first crack of dawn, breathing in the tides,

Absorbing the bronze color in our chests

We boast of the vigor of our youth

The men of the Navy Armada are always on duty

No Saturday or Sunday, just two Mondays and two Fridays!

二、
赤い太陽に流れる汗を
拭いてにっこり大砲手入れ
太平洋の波波波に
海の男だ艦隊勤務
月月火水木金金

Sweating in the reddening sun

Smiling as we prepare the cannons, wiping sweat from our brows

The Pacific has waves, waves, waves

The men of the Navy Armada are always on duty

No Saturday or Sunday, just two Mondays and two Fridays!

三、
度胸一つに火のような練磨
旗は鳴る鳴るラッパは響く
行くぞ日の丸日本の艦だ
海の男の艦隊勤務
月月火水木金金

Our training gives us courage like a flame

The flag calls to us, the trumpet echos

Our warship of the Rising Sun, let's go!

The men of the Navy Armada are always on duty

No Saturday or Sunday, just two Mondays and two Fridays!

四、
どんとぶつかる怒涛の唄に
ゆれる釣床今宵の夢は
明日の戦のこの腕試し
海の男だ艦隊勤務
月月火水木金金

The raging waves strike us with their song

As we lie in our swaying hammocks we dream

of testing our ability in tomorrow's battle

The men of the Navy Armada are always on duty

No Saturday or Sunday, just two Mondays and two Fridays!

 


元寇 (Mongol Invasion!!!)

(Wikipedia: The Mongol invasions of Japan (元寇 Genkō?) of 1274 and 1281 were major military efforts undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese islands after the submission of Goryeo (Korea) to vassaldom. Despite their ultimate failure, the invasion attempts are of macrohistorical importance, because they set a limit on Mongol expansion, and rank as nation-defining events in Japanese history. The Japanese were successful, in part because the Mongols lost up to 75% of their troops and supplies both times on the ocean as a result of major storms. The invasions are referred to in many works of fiction, and are the earliest events for which the word kamikaze, or "divine wind", is widely used. With the exception of the occupation of Japan at the end of World War II, these failed invasion attempts are the closest Japan has come to being conquered by foreign power in the last 1500 years.)

一、(鎌倉男児)
四百余州(しひゃくよしゅう)を挙(こぞ)る
十万余騎の敵
国難ここに見る
弘安四年夏の頃
なんぞ怖れんわれに
鎌倉男子あり
正義武断の名
一喝して世に示す

All of China rose up

Over a hundred thousand enemies

Cause crisis for our nation

In the fourth year of the Kouan era

WIthout showing any fear

The young men of Kamakura

In the name of righteousness and militarism

Showed the world what Japan can do!

二、(多々良浜)
多々良浜辺の戎夷(えみし)
そは何 蒙古勢
傲慢無礼もの
倶(とも)に天を戴かず
いでや進みて忠義に
鍛えし我が腕(かいな)
ここぞ国のため
日本刀を試しみん

There's many barbarians on the beaches

It's the mighty Mongolians!

Arrogant and insolent

They want to conquer heaven and earth!

Our  loyal boys set forth from their homes

Strong from diligent training

For this country of ours

The swords of Japan will be put to the test!

三、(筑紫の海)
こころ筑紫の海に
浪おしわけてゆく
ますら猛夫(たけお)の身
仇(あだ)を討ち帰らずば
死して護国の鬼と
誓いし箱崎の
神ぞ知ろし召す
大和いさぎよし

Through the seas of Kyuushuu,

forcing apart the waves they go

Led by Takeo

They went to attack our enemies, caring not if they would make it back home

Fighting and dying like demons, for the sake of their country.

Warriors of (the city of) Hakozaki, they took the vow

To serve the Gods which reign over us.

They had the spirit of  true Yamato! (Yamato = the Japanese majority ethnic group)

四、(玄海灘)
天は怒りて海は
逆巻く大浪に
国に仇をなす
十余万の蒙古勢は
底の藻屑と消えて
残るは唯三人(ただみたり)
いつしか雲はれて
玄界灘 月清し

Heaven was filled with wrath at the invaders!

The seas raged, the huge waves came

The enemies of our country were no more!

Over 100,000  of the Mongolian soldiers

Sank to the bottom of the seas like so much seaweed

Only three Mongolians survived

Unnoticed, the clouds parted,

It was the will of the Gods. ???

 

3 comments Tags: , ,

3 Comments so far

  1. Steve August 27th, 2011 10:13 pm

    So what explains why they used gunka-style songs for all the 70s cartoons and monster shows?

  2. admin August 28th, 2011 8:22 am

    @steve: those sound rad! can you give me 7 examples of gunka-esque cartoons and monster show themes? i don’t know anything about that! Please?

  3. Steve August 28th, 2011 10:28 am

    Off the top of my head: Ultra Sevens, Kidou Senshi Gundam, Uchuu Senkan Yamato, Ultraman (the cartoon)…
    And then you have monster/cartoon themes that replace naturalistic/militaristic terms with the names of super moves: Like, "Rising into the daybreak, we all salute to SUPER PUNCH!!" That's stuff like Casshern and Mazinger Z. In that case it may just be me confusing gunka with something else, because they all use the same mix of deep-voiced military crooner + small-children vocals.
     
    Gundam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSRhajnCRc0
    Warship Yamato: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKe0wARmks4
    Ultra Sevens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR-jq3jbUB8
    Ultraman (live): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrI2fLwc8w4
    I might be totally off base just because the style is so similar, but at the same time I think there might be this, "Well because it's set in space and for kids, we can absolve ourselves of the imperialistic/ww2 undertones" mentality.

Leave a reply

Mexico