Japanese songs | 川の流れのように

Today I’d like to share a famous song called “川の流れのように (Like the flow of the river)” by Misora Hibari.

Misora Hibari (美空ひばり) is one of the greatest artists of all time in Japan. She started to sing professionally at 9 years old right after WWII and became the source of encouragement and inspiration for the Japanese people at that time. Since then she had always been the most popular singer/actress during the Showa Period.

And the song “川の流れのように (Like the flow of the river)” became her last recorded single out of 1500 songs that have ever been released under her name before she passed away in 1989 at the age of 52.

川の流れのように (Like the flow of the river)

知らず知らず 歩いて来た

(しらずしらず あるいてきた)

Unknowingly, I’ve walked down


(ほそくながい このみち)

This long and narrow road

振り返れば 遥か遠く

(ふりかえれば はるかとおく)

If I look back, far away


(ふるさとが みえる)

I can see my hometown

でこぼこ道や 曲がりくねった道

(でこぼこみちや まがりくねったみち)

A bumpy road and a winding road

地図さえない それもまた人生

(ちずさえない それもまた じんせい)

There isn’t even a map, but that’s life


(ああ かわのながれのように)

Ah, like the flow of the river

ゆるやかに いくつも 時代は過ぎて

(ゆるやかに いくつも じだいはすぎて)

Slowly, many generations have passed


(ああ かわのながれのように)

Ah, like the flow of the river

とめどなく 空が黄昏に 染まるだけ

(とめどなく そらが たそがれに そまるだけ)

Endlessly, the sky gets coloured by the setting sun

生きることは 旅すること

(いきることは たびすること)

To live is to go on a journey

終わりのない この道

(おわりのない このみち)

On this endless road

愛する人 そばに連れて

(あいするひと そばにつれて)

With our loved ones by our side


(ゆめ さがしながら)

We chase our dreams

雨に降られて ぬかるんだ道でも

(あめに ふられて ぬかるんだみちでも)

Even if it rains, and the road gets muddy

いつかはまた 晴れる日が来るから

(いつかはまた はれるひが くるから)

There will come a time when the sun will shine again


(ああ かわのながれのように)

Ah, like the flow of the river

おだやかに この身をまかせていたい

(おだやかに このみを まかせていたい)

Calmly, I want to give up this body of mine


(ああ かわのながれのように)

Ah, like the flow of the river

いつまでも 青いせせらぎを 聞きながら

(いつまでも あおいせせらぎを ききながら)

While I listen to the green sound of the river

2 thoughts on “Japanese songs | 川の流れのように”

  1. What a sensational voice she had! Great lesson! I had so much fun knowing a bit about her. It is definitely a totally different experience learning Japanese through art.

    Thank you for a great lesson choice!

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