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Namiko Abe

"Christmas Eve" by Tatsuro Yamashita

By December 1, 2010

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In Japan, English Christmas songs are popular and you will hear them everywhere during the holiday season. As for Japanese Christmas songs, "Christmas Eve" by Tatsuro Yamashita is considered one of the standards. The song is about a man thinking of a girl on Christmas Eve, which in Japanese tradition, is a time for a couple to spend a romantic evening together. The song was released in 1983, but it became a huge hit when it was used in a commercial for the Shinkansen "Christmas Express" bullet train in 1988. New versions of the commercial were made and broadcast every year during the Christmas season until 1992. Here is the song, "Christmas Eve" in Japanese, with a romaji translation. The song is also in English, though the lyric are not literally translated from the Japanese version.

Japanese translation


December 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm
(1) Philip says:

Thank you very much for this post! The story is very interesting. I really like the song as well. Thank you for all your posts!

December 1, 2010 at 8:35 pm
(2) Nyu-chan says:

The song is great!

December 3, 2010 at 6:13 am
(3) Somkid Mex-Gike says:

I like dog cartoon so much.

December 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm
(4) rachid filali says:

Thanks for this useful information

December 6, 2010 at 1:40 am
(5) jeremy says:

I live in Tokyo and this is my first Christmas here. I love the Christmas music and it is playing everywhere. The songs are somewhat dated and reminds of when I was a child. But the innocence of it all is so very charming. I love it here. Now if I can only find the the perfect girl…. Merry Christmas.

December 9, 2010 at 11:35 pm
(6) Philip says:

I can’t stop listening to this song! Would you mind posting a translation of the original Japanese lyrics into English? I tried to do that myself, but I think quite a bit of it is incorrect. Using the vocabulary that you wrote, this is what I thought the lyrics said:

It seems the rain that falls so late at night has changed into snow.
Silent night, Holy night

Iím sure you wonít come. An ‘all alone’ Christmas Eve.
Silent night, Holy night

It seems that my heartís hidden prayer wonít be answered.
Because itís tonight, I really felt like Iíd be able to say it.
Silent night, Holy night

Still unmelted, my feelings for you remain. As the night goes on, it continues to snow.
On the street corner lies a Christmas tree, with a soft, silver-colored twinkle.
Silent night, Holy night

December 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm
(7) anonXX says:

I’m aware of Tatsuro’s works all over the years but didn’t get to seriously pay attention to them, until a year or two ago when I started salvaging old memories from old commercials from Youtube. His songs were always featured in car CMs (esp. Honda, Nissan) as well as others, which I was also able to rediscover in Youtube. His old-school stuff is definitely MUCH MUCH better than the current J-Pop crap!! Used to be hearing just Wham’s Last Christmas during such festive season, but good thing one more song now goes to the Xmas playlist.

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