Ichinensei Ni Nattara, A Catchy Elementary School Song

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Ichinensei Ni Nattara! Ichinensei Ni Nattara!

Yes, school is in session! Being at a Japanese shogakko means a new year of being  kanchoed (the finger enema game), meeting some awesome kids, and experiencing more of the Japanese culture. Songs are a big part of a country’s culture, and a can think of few places that sing more than a Japanese elementary school. Well I guess if you’re in a church choir, or if you’re a recording artist, or you’re in a band…OKAY, OKAY! There are better examples of places where people sing songs. However, they do sing quite a bit at my elementary school. For example, they sing their school song every morning at the school. Did my elementary school even have a school song? If so, I for darn sure don’t remember it. The only image I’m getting in my head for American school songs is “Fair East Side” from the “Lean On Me” movie that starred Morgan Freeman.

There is this Japanese elementary school song that is hopelessly stuck in my head, though. I remember hearing this song last year and I think it’s pretty catchy. I even heard this song at my local grocery store right around the time school was startingThis year, I heard it a BUNCH of times, and now it won’t go a way. I figure maybe if I pass on the song to you guys either a) it’ll leave my brain or b) you’ll get to enjoy being stuck on the song with me. If option b) is what happens, I look forward to being choked by my readers. But before you choke me out, please keep in mind that this is a Japanese elementary school classic :) .

ICHINENSEI NI NATTARA

(“IF I BECOME A FIRST GRADER” OR “WHEN I BECOME A FIRST GRADER”)

(VERSE ONE)
Ichinensei ni nattara
いちねんせいになったら
一年生に成ったら
If I become a first grader

Ichinensei ni nattara
いちねんせいになったら
一年生に成ったら
If I become a first grader

Tomodachi hyakunin dekiru kana
ともだちひゃくにんできるかな
友達百人でくるかな
I wonder if I can make 100 friends

Hyakunin de tabatai na
ひゃくにんでたべたいな
百人で食べたいな
I want to eat with a hundred people

Fuji san no ue de onigiri wo
ふじさんのうえでおにぎりを
富士山の上でお握りを
Eat onigiri on top Mt. Fuji

Pakkun, Pakkun, Pakkun to
ぱっくんぱっくんぱっくんと
Chew, Chew, and Chew
==========================

(VERSE TWO)
Ichinensei ni nattara
いちねんせいになったら
一年生に成ったら
If I become a first grader

Ichinensei ni nattara
いちねんせいになったら
一年生に成ったら
If I become a first grader

Tomodachi hyakunin dekiru kana
ともだちひゃくにんできるかな
友達百人でくるかな
I wonder if I can make 100 friends

Hyakunin de kaketai na
ひゃくにんでかけたいな
I want to run with 100 people

Nipponjuu wo hitomawari
にっぽんじゅうをひとまわり
Go around all throughout Japan

Dosshin Doshhin Dosshin to
ドッシンドッシンドッシンと
Stomp, Stomp, and Stomp
==================================

(VERSE THREE)
Ichinensei ni nattara
いちねんせいになったら
一年生に成ったら
If I become a first grader

Ichinensei ni nattara
いちねんせいになったら
一年生に成ったら
If I become a first grader

Tomodachi Hyakunin dekiru kana
ともだちひゃくにんできるかな
友達百人でくるかな
I wonder if I can make one-hundred friends

Hyakunin de waraitai
ひゃくにんでわらいたい
百人で笑いたい
I want to laugh with 100 people

Sekaijuu wo furuwasete
せかいじゅうをふるわせて
世界中を震わせて
Let it resonate all throughout the world

Wahaha Wahaha Wa ha ha
ワッハハワッハハワッハハ

*My translations may be slightly loose because I wanted the English to match the rhythm of the song more closely. But the meanings should be about right.

I hope you have fun singing this.

See you tomorrow!

Donald Ash

 

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Comments

  1. Kawaii!

  2. Annalivia says:

    I Have been studying Japanese since kindergarden. Every year, we used to change the first verse, and I needed the lyrics for the end of the year, because we only knew the first verse. It really helped!
    So, ありがとう!

    ….That sounded way less cheesy in my head. >.<

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