If there’s one thing ever-present in our life, it's music. Curated to every single mood and emotion an individual experiences, there’s music to be listened to when one is celebrating a joyous occasion, or when one wants to isolate themselves from the world. Of course, listening to happy tunes is nice but sometimes it also feels cathartic to explore the melancholic side of our emotions and acknowledge our feelings. Keeping this in mind, here are 10 Japanese songs which will help you to get in your feelings.
1. Tears – X Japan
Released in 1992, this song peaked at number 2 on the Oricon charts where it also charted for 16 weeks. The song is composed entirely by Yoshiki and it is a heartfelt ballad written in dedication to his dad who committed suicide when Yoshiki was only 10. This is one of those songs which transcends every emotion and perfectly captures the sadness.
2. First Love – Hikaru Utada
One of Hikaru’s most popular singles, First Love was certified double platinum as over 8,00,000 copies were shipped all across stores in Japan and was even used as the theme song for a Japanese drama later on. The song revolves around a girl who can’t help but reminisce about her first love; comparing him to her new relationships she regrets letting him go.
3. Eternal Snow - Changin’ My Life
A band whose major part of the discography revolves around sad songs, this song comes as no exception. Making references to the cold weather, this wintry ballad is about a painful love Myco, the songwriter, can’t cope with. She believes this song will reach her childhood friend, who on hearing this will feel her love.
4. One More Time, One More Chance – Masayoshi Yamazaki
Released in 1997, this song was used as the ending theme song for the popular Japanese movie 5 Centimetres Per Second. Considered by many as being one of the most genuinely emotional songs out there, it is a perfect portrayal of the yearning to be with someone again. The song is raw, without any affectations and does poetic justice to the lyrics.
5. Story – Ai
One of the biggest singles of Japan in the 2000s, Story went on to peak at 8 on the Oricon chart, and was the 6th single in Japanese history to receive a triple million digital certification. An R&B ballad, this touching song is about a relationship with a close friend. Its English translation was used for Disney’s animated film Big Hero 6!
6. Please Stay With Me – Yui
A beautiful song perfectly capturing the heartfelt emotions one feels for their lost lover, it is brilliantly written and composed. It was used in the Japanese drama Natsu no Koi wa Nijiro ni Kagayuku where the melody and lyrics blended seamlessly with the storyline.
7. Ai No Uta – Koda Kumi
Released in 2007, this song charted at 2 on the Oricon chart where it stayed for 22 weeks. Ai no Uta is a wintry love ballad about a woman who is left heartbroken by her lover. It is expressive of how fragile love is and the sadness which embodies people who are anguished by fleeting love.
8. Daisuki Deshita – Erica
A love ballad released in the year 2016, Daisuki Deshita is a love letter to her significant other. Her soft vocals blend perfectly with the the guitar and piano instrumental in a way the listener can feel the emotions coming from the bottom of her heart. She talks about how her partner makes her a better person and promises him, endless love, encompassing their entire lifetime.
9. Eki – Mariya Takeyuchi
Although initially released in 1986 by Akina Nakamori, the original song-writer, Mariya, later covered the song and put it out in 1987. Overall the song conveys emotions about not being able to forget the bitter-sweet memories of her past love from 2 years ago. It is up to the listener to figure out whether these feelings arise from nostalgia, regret or prevailing feelings of love.
10. Youkoso Hitori Bocchi – Pearl Brothers
Used as the OST for the anime Welcome to the NHK, this is one of the saddest songs out there. It is a perfect poetical description of living with depression, and the feelings of loneliness and isolation that come with it. It is a beautifully sad song and fans of the anime have had a great impact from both the song and the anime- with most finding it relatable and wanting to better themselves.