Languages › Japanese "Ue o Muite Arukou" by Kyuu Sakamoto – "Sukiyaki" Song Share Flipboard Email Print Photo by Joseph Okpako / Getty Images Languages History & Culture Essential Japanese Vocabulary Japanese Grammar By Namiko Abe Japanese Language Expert B.A., Kwansei Gakuin University Namiko Abe is a Japanese language teacher and translator, as well as a Japanese calligraphy expert. She has been a freelance writer for nearly 20 years. our editorial process Namiko Abe Updated May 06, 2019 Listening or singing a song is a great way to learn a language. With a melody, it is easier to mimic words and sing along even you don't understand the meaning. Here is a great song called, "Ue o Muite Arukou" by Kyuu Sakamoto released in 1961. The title, "Ue o Muite Arukou" translates into, "I look up when I walk". However, it is known as "Sukiyaki" in the United States. The title "Sukiyaki" was chosen because it is easier to pronounce for Americans, and it is a word that they associate with Japan. Sukiyaki is a kind of Japanese stew and has nothing to do with the song. The song topped the pop charts for three weeks in 1963. It is the only Japanese language song to hit #1 in the US. It sold over 13 million copies internationally. According to recent news, the British singer, Susan Boyle, will be covering the song as a bonus track for the Japanese version of her third album. Tragically, Sakamoto was killed when Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashed in 1985. He was 43 years old. All 15 crew and 505 out of 509 passengers died, for a total of 520 deaths and only 4 survivors. It remains the worst single airline disaster in history. Japanese Lyrics Ue o muite arukou 上を向いて歩こうNamida ga koborenai youni 涙がこぼれないようにOmoidasu haru no hi 思い出す 春の日Hitoribocchi no yoru 一人ぼっちの夜 Ue o mute aurkou 上を向いて歩こうNijinda hoshi o kazoete にじんだ星を数えてOmoidasu natsu no hi 思い出す 夏の日Hitoribocchi no yoru 一人ぼっちの夜 Shiawase wa kumo no ue ni 幸せは 雲の上にShiawase wa sora no ue ni 幸せは 空の上に Ue o muite arukou 上を向いて歩こうNamida ga koborenai youni 涙がこぼれないようにNakinagara aruku 泣きながら 歩くHitoribocchi no yoru 一人ぼっちの夜(Whistling) Omoidasu aki no hi 思い出す 秋の日Hitoribocchi no yoru 一人ぼっちの夜 Kanashimi wa hoshi no kage ni 悲しみは星の影にKanashimi wa tsuki no kage ni 悲しみは月の影に Ue o muite arukou 上を向いて歩こうNamida ga koborenai youni 涙がこぼれないようにNakinagara aruku 泣きながら 歩くHitoribocchi no yoru 一人ぼっちの夜(Whistling) Here is the translation of the Japanese lyrics. The English version of "Sukiyaki" recorded by A Taste of Honey doesn't have a literal translation. English Version I look up when I walkSo that the tears won't fallRemembering those spring daysBut I am all alone tonight I look up when I walkCounting the stars with tearful eyesRemembering those summer daysBut I am all alone tonight Happiness lies beyond the cloudsHappiness lies above the sky I look up when I walkSo that the tears won't fallThough the tears well up as I walkFor tonight I am all alone(Whistling) Remembering those autumn daysBut I am all alone tonight Sadness lies in the shadow of the starsSadness lurks in the shadow of the moon I look up as I walkSo that the tears won't fallThough the tears well up as I walkFor tonight I am all alone(Whistling) Grammar Notes "Muite" is "te-form" of the verb "muku (to face)". The "te-form" is used to connect two or more verbs. In this sentence, the verbs "muku" and "aruku" are connected."Arukou" is volitional form of the verb, "aruku (to walk)"."Koborenai" is the negative form of the verb, "koboreru (to fall, to drop)" + "~ youni". "~ youni" means, "in order that ~". "Nai youni" means, "in order not to ~". Here are some examples.Gakkou ni okurenai youni hayaku okiru. 学校に遅れないように早く起きる。--- I get up early so that I'm not late for school.Kaze o hikanai youni ki o tsuketeiru. かぜをひかないように気をつけている。--- I'm taking care of myself so that I don't catch a cold."Nijinda" is informal perfective ending for the verb, "nijimu (to blot, to blur)". It modifies the noun, "hoshi (star)". It means with teary eyes the stars looked blurry."~ nagara" of "nakinagara" indicates that two actions are taking place simultaneously. Here are some examples.Terebi o minagara, asagohan o taberu. テレビを見ながら、朝ごはんを食べる。--- I watch television while I eat breakfast.Ongaku o kikinagara, benkyou suru. 音楽を聞きながら、勉強する。--- I listen to music while I study.