The Story Behind a Popular Song which Given Teachers to Students


Today, let me share the wonderful story behind one of the popular graduation songs in Japan.

As you can see in the article JAPAN Style posted yesterday, “10 Top Japanese Graduation Songs”, this song titled “Tabidachi no hi ni (The Day of Departure)” ranked as the 6th popular graduation song and most of Japanese schools sing or play it at their graduation ceremonies.

Also, this beautiful piece covered by Japanese idol group SMAP and a popular opera singer Masafumi Akikawa.


Now it’s a popular song but originally, it was made as a one time gift form teachers to their students.

In 1991, the song was made by a music teacher and the principal of Kagemori Junior High School in Chichibu, [W:Saitama Prefecture].

Before 1991, the school had been chaos. To reform the school into “the school that sounds singing voice”, Principal Kojima made more opportunities for students to sing.

At first, the students resisted singing but as the result of persistent efforts with the music teacher, Miss Sakamoto, they learned the joy of singing and the school got brightly.

In the February of the third year since the teachers started “the school that sounds singing voice” project, Miss Sakamoto thought that “to the students who will graduate next month, I want to give a memorable gift that is only in the world.”

For the “the school that sounds singing voice”, singing would be a perfect and special gift, so she decided to compose a song and requested Principal Kojima to write for the song.

The completed song was supposed to be sung only one time by the teachers at the “farewell reception” for the third year students as a surprise, but from the next year, students sing the song.

For several years after the piece made, it was only sung at Kagemori Junior High School, but other neighbot schools started singing the song, and by 1998, it spread through the country and now, it’s the most sung graduation song in Japan.


-Put courage in your wings and ride on the wind of hope
In this broad sky, leave your dream…

“Tabidachi no hi ni”


The word and the melody really convey the teachers’ sincere feeling toward the students.

To listen to the song, click the play.




This is JAPAN Style!


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