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Chiran no haha (Chiran mother)
Performed by Akiko Kuroiwa
Written by Michinosuke Iwata
Music composed by Hiroshi Yamanaka
Arranged by Hideaki Suzuki
King Record Co., 2004, CD

This CD has two songs performed by Akiko Kuroiwa and written by Michinosuke Iwata: "Chiran no haha" (Chiran mother) and "Haha wa oite mo" (Even if mother grows old). The mother in the first song lost her son who sortied on a kamikaze attack during the Battle of Okinawa, and the mother in the second song lost her daughter during the firebombing of Tokyo on March 10, 1945, as she was working as a telephone operator. Both of these enka songs have a similar style with a mix of spoken words and singing. The CD also includes karaoke versions of the two songs.

Below is an English translation of "Chiran no haha" (Chiran mother):


(spoken) March 1945 - American forces landed at Kerama Retto. Japan faced the war's worst situation. Chiran Airfield, nearest to Okinawa, became a kamikaze base. Young men gathered there from around the country. They sortied with smiles to save the country in its time of crisis. 

With fuel for only one way
They flew carrying bombs
Still baby-faced young cherry blossoms
White mufflers fluttering
Boys smiling, waving
Well done, with love for our country 

(spoken) I read over and over the letters and diaries you wrote until already I know them by heart. Even now you are just like you were then. Both your fathers and mothers have reached an age when they very soon will be able to meet you. 

Rattling white wooden boxes
Make sounds of happy laughter
A bridal doll quietly
Side by side with a photo
How silly, mother talking to herself
Today also I'm talking with you 

Our mothers live long
We give to you even our years
Gentle words left behind in writing
Our mothers could weep happily
Young cherry blossoms bravely fell
In eternity are blooming

(spoken) The peace in today's Japan is due to all the young men of the Shinbu Corps scattered on the sea of Okinawa. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Translated by Bill Gordon
June 2006