Jen Scappetone mentioned this tonight at the Bay Poetics Reading at the Zinc Bar:
a subversive homophonic translation of Kimi Ga Yo (the Japanese National Anthem) into English!How could I not have know about this?
Japanese protesting their national anthem are satirizing the song by secretly turning its lyrics into English words, according to a Japanese newspaper.
The Sankei Shimbun reported on Monday that the satirical song has been spread as a new sabotage weapon of protest among groups that object to hanging the national flag or singing the national anthem, the Kimigayo.
The English parody of the anthem, titled “Kiss Me,” takes the syllables of each word of the Japanese original and turns them into phonetically similar English words.
Due to the phonetic similarity, it is hard to detect whether a person is singing the original Kimigayo or the parody. Many teachers and students, who think the anthem arouses nationalism and militarism, sing the latter one at school entrance or graduation ceremonies, the newspaper said.
For example, the first verse of the national anthem “Kimigayo wa” becomes “Kiss me girl, your old one,” in reference to “comfort women” _ women who were forced into sexual slavery during World War II.
The original anthem wishes Japanese Emperor a thousand years’ of happy reign. But the satirized version implies that a girl who met a former comfort woman sympathizes with the woman and wants the truth revealed.
The lyrics are “Kiss me girl, your old one. Till you’re near, it is years till you’re near. Sounds of the dead will she know? She wants all told, now retained, for cold caves know the moon’s seeing the mad and dead.”
except, try as I might, I can’t get the lyrics to fit the melody. They must be truncating the words to fit the song?