A scene from the Hijiribashi Bridge

Japanese song|Beautiful Japanese culture !| “Lemon” and “Muenzaka”


Do you know about Japanese songs? “Lemon” and “Muenzaka” are songs by Masashi Sada, a musician who represents the era from the Showa era to the present day. At 4T-AMKY, Teachers and Students write about Japanese culture, food, history, many spots to visit, and other stuff. Enjoy reading and knowing about deeper Japanese culture!

“Lemon” and “Muenzaka”

The scene that triggered my memory of the song

After a long time, I took a walk around Ochanomizu and approached the Hijiribashi Bridge. And the moment I saw this scene from the bridge, a melody ran through my mind. It is “Lemon” by Masashi Sada, a song that became a big hit when it was released in 1978.

In the song, there is a lyric that says, “The red color of the passing rapid train crosses the half-eaten lemon that she threw from the Hijiribashi bridge.” Because of my urge to actually view the scene and experience the world of Masashi Sada’s poetry, I visited this place with my friends when I was a student. I did not actually throw a lemon, but every time trains came by, I tried to imagine the lemon and train passing each other, as if I had thrown it. Such are my memories from more than 40 years ago.

The rapid train in this location was the Chuo Line, whose entire body was vermilion (orange) at that time. Now, train bodies are silver in color and marked with vermilion lines. Even with just this difference alone, I deeply felt the passage of time.

Then, four or five years ago, I took a walk from Shinobazu Pond in Ueno toward Yushima and approached a slope. The moment I saw the scene of the slope with the sign “Muenzaka,” a melody ran through my mind. It is “Muenzaka” by the Grape, a song from 1975, sung by Masashi Sada.

Mukenzaka, a slope leading to Yushima, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo
Mukenzaka, a slope leading to Yushima, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo

As I climbed the slope looking at the sign, lyrics about a son’s feelings for his elderly mother kept running through my mind, and I was filled with a sense of deep emotion.

On both occasions, the song played over and over in my mind for the next few days, bringing back various memories of when the song was popular and then disappearing. I spent a while indulging in the memories. I am sure that some of you may empathize with the scenes I have described.

I think everyone has one or two such memorable songs in their hearts. The power of music is great. This is a very subjective story, but the scenes of the city of Tokyo triggered songs that came back to mind. I introduced them along with the scenes as a part of Japanese culture of the Showa era.




曲の中に「食べかけの檸檬聖橋から放る 快速電車の赤い色がそれとすれ違う」という歌詞があります。その光景を実際に眺めて、さだまさしさんの詩の世界を味わってみたいという衝動に駆られて、学生時代に友人と一緒にこの場所を訪れたものです。実際に檸檬を放ることはしませんでしたが、電車が来るたびに、檸檬を放ったつもりで、すれ違う様子をイメージしてみた、という40年以上も前の思い出です。