June 15, 2011

History Lesson: Sukiyaki

On June 15th, 1963 a song named after a Japanese noodle dish became a #1 hit on the American pop charts.  Lots of songs with food titles have made it big over the years like "American Pie", "Blueberry Hill", and "Lady Marmalade" to name a few .  What is more significant about Sukiyaki was that it is the first and only song sung entirely in Japanese to do this.  It was sung by Kyu Sakamoto and originally titled "Ue o Muite Arukō".  This translates to "I Look Up When I Walk" and the song has nothing to do with the beef and noodle soup the English title was taken from. 

When it became a hit in the U.S.
Newsweek magazine observed that its renaming was like releasing "Moon River" in Japan under the title "Beef Stew."

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