Hamanan English Club

A blog by the students in the English club at Hamamatsu Minami High School in Hamamatsu, Japan

Thursday, May 24, 2007

National Anthems

In the last club meeting(5/11 Fri.), we studied national anthems.

First of all, we read Japanese national anthem "Kimi Ga Yo".
I hadn't been able to understand the meaning of it at all, because it is written in classical Japanese.
When I was an elementary school student, my music teacher told me that the lylics were beautiful, but I didn't understand why.
I used to think "Kimi Ga Yo" was a beautiful song, mainly sung at ceremonies and it is a tradition. That was all my ideas about it.
However, when I read the Japanese national anthem in English for the first time, I could understand what it is saying!
Reading it in English was easier than reading in Japanese!
I was surprised and I wondered why it is difficult to understand in my native language.
Isn't it strange?

Next, we read national anthems of other countries.
I read India's. There were a lot of words showing the names of places and the song was about a Got.
I could see that gods are everything for Indian people and gods are absolute.
I am Japanese and I don't believe in god, so I thought it is different that people are so serious about their gods.

National anthems are one of a country's symbols. We can see the character of the country from it.
The Japanese national anthem is a traditional song written in the Heian period, composed in the Meiji period and sung all around Japan up to now.
So I think it is a kind of national treasure. It is hard to understand the meaning, but I think we should study about our own culture and history from "Kimi Ga Yo".
It would be a nice point to study about our country, Japan.


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