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Doyo: Children’s Songs

In 1872, soon after the start of the Meiji era, the new government adopted a national system to educate the entire population. Music classes featuring shoka(songs authorized by the Ministry of Education) started as a part of the elementary school curriculum. Shogaku shokashu [Collected songs for elementary schools], the nation’s first collection of shoka edited by Shuji Isawa, came out in 1881. Shoka were designed to instill in children the will of the nation and aesthetic ideas as advocated by the nation. Doyo(children’s songs) that began being published in children’s magazines and elsewhere in the Taisho era were by contrast much freer and more artistic in style.

Today, the leading writers of doyo and lyrics for children are Michio Mado, Hiroo Sakata, Shuntaro Tanikawa, and Naoko Kudo.

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D-1Shogaku shokashu, shohen [Collected songs for elementary schools, the first part]
Compiled by Institute for Musical Inspection (later Tokyo Music School), Ministry of Education
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1971
(Nihon jido bungakukan: Meicho fukkoku, furoku [Japanese children's literature, republished edition of masterpieces, supplement])
Call No. KH6-23(First ed. 767.7-M753s)
Reprint of the book published by the Ministry of Education in 1881. Shoka became songs to be sung at school and music became an official subject for schools the same year. This was Japan's first educational material for shoka and was compiled in three parts.

Thumbnail of Hanasaka jiisan [The old man who made the dead trees blossom]

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D-2Hanasaka jiisan [The old man who made the dead trees blossom]
Written by Hakushu Kitahara/Illustrated by Takeo Takei and others
ARS 1923
(Hakushu doyo [Children's songs by Hakushu] 5)
Call No. 児乙部23-K-14
The original doyo was created during the height of Hakushu.

Thumbnail of Akai tori doyoshu [Children’s song  collection of Red bird]

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D-3Akai tori doyoshu [Children’s song collection of Red bird]
Edited by Hakushu Kitahara
Ozorasha 1997
(Sosho Nihon no doyo [Series of Japanese children's songs])
Call No. Y8-M98-121(First ed. 603-236)
Reprint of the book published by Rogosu Shoin in 1930. A selection of doyo (children's songs) submitted to Akai tori [Red bird], during the first number to the March 1929 issue. The image is the book's outer box.

Thumbnail of Aoi me no ningyo: Noguchi Ujo doyoshu [Blue-eyed doll: The collection of children's songs by Ujo Noguchi]

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D-4Aoi me no ningyo: Noguchi Ujo doyoshu [Blue-eyed doll: The collection of children's songs by Ujo Noguchi]
Written by Ujo Noguchi
Ozorasha 1996
(Sosho Nihon no doyo [Series of Japanese children's songs])
Call No. Y9-3068(First ed. 522-246)
Reprint of the book published by Kin no Hoshi Sha in 1924. Second anthology of doyo (children's songs), written by Ujo. Consists of 77 pieces. The image is the book's outer box and the cover.

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D-5Shojo junjo shishu [The collection of pure poems for girls]
Written by Yaso Saijo
Ozorasha 1996
(Sosho Nihon no doyo [Series of Japanese children's songs])
Call No. Y9-3057
Reprint of the book published by Dainihon Yubenkai Kodansha in 1936. First edition was published in 1932. Depicts the heart of a pure girl. The image is the book's outer box.

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D-6Shinjushima: Doyoshu [Pearl island: The collection of children's songs]
Written by Rofu Miki
HOLP SHUPPAN, Publishing 1974
(Nihon jido bungakukan: Meicho fukkoku, dainishu [Japanese children's literature: Republished edition of masterpieces, part.2] 15)
Call No. KH6-23(First ed. 501-256)
Reprint of the book published by ARS in 1921. First anthology of doyo (children's songs) written by Rofu, which he dedicated to Hakushu Kitahara. Works made in three years, during 1918 to 1921. The image is the book's outer box and the cover.

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D-7Ohisama: Doyoshu [Sun: The collection of children's songs]
Written by Rofu Miki
Ozorasha 1996
(Sosho Nihon no doyo [Series of Japanese children's songs])
Call No. Y9-3067(First ed. 児乙部26-M-5)
Reprint of the book published by ARS in 1926. Rofu's second anthology of doyo (children's songs). There are many songs praising natures. The image is the book's outer box and the cover.

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D-8Nihon doyoshu [The collection of Japanese children's songs]
Edited by Jun’ichi Yoda
Iwanami Shoten 1958
(Iwanami bunko [Iwanami library])
Call No. 911.58-Y677n
An outstanding selection of Japanese doyo (children's songs). Includes over 300 pieces. The image is "Nanatsu no ko [Seven children]" and others.

Thumbnail of Noyuki yamayuki: Shonen shojo shikyokushu [To fields, to mountains: The collection of boys and girls poems]

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D-9Noyuki yamayuki: Shonen shojo shikyokushu [To fields, to mountains: The collection of boys and girls poems]
Written by Jun’ichi Yoda
Dainippon tosho 1973
(Kodomo toshokan [Children's library])
Call No. Y7-3600
Yoda further refined doyo (children's songs), which were pioneered by Hakushu Kitahara, Yaso Saijo, Ujo Noguchi and others. He strived to appreciate those qualities to poems that could be read as children's poems, and put them in the shape of this anthology and others.

Thumbnail of Akarui ho e: Kaneko Misuzu doyoshu [To the bright side: The collection of children's songs by Misuzu Kaneko]

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D-10Akarui ho e: Kaneko Misuzu doyoshu [To the bright side: The collection of children's songs by Misuzu Kaneko]
Written by Misuzu Kaneko/Selected by Setsuo Yazaki
JULA Publishing Bureau 1995
Call No. Y9-1426
A second book of selected doyo(children's songs), chosen from Misuzu Kaneko's complete works.

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D-11Utsukushii machi, ge [The beautiful town, vol. 2]
Written by Misuzu Kaneko/Supervised by Setsuo Yazaki
JULA Publishing Bureau 2003
(Kaneko Misuzu doyo zenshu: Gendai kanazukai ban [Complete works of children's songs by Misuzu Kaneko: Modern kana orthography version] 2)
Call No. KH248-H85
Kaneko Misuzu zenshu [Complete works of children’s songs by Misuzu Kaneko], edited by Jun’ichi Yoda and others, published by JULA Publishing Bureau in 1984 is the first complete works by the author.

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D-12Tenpura piripiri [Tempura piri piri (Sizzling)]
Written by Michio Mado/Illustrated by Yutaka Sugita
Dainippon tosho 1968
(Kodomo toshokan [Children's library])
Call No. Y7-1117
First anthology of poems that became a turning point for the author at age 58. Includes some old pieces but mostly consists of new pieces of work.

Thumbnail of Mado Michio zenshishu shinteiban [Complete works of poems by Michio Mado, the revised edition]

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D-13Mado Michio zenshishu shinteiban [Complete works of poems by Michio Mado, the revised edition]
Written by Michio Mado/Edited by Eiji Ito
Riron-Sha 2001
Call No. KH335-G661
First edition published in 1992. Throughout his works, he featured the universe and the children’s point of view.

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D-14Yuki to roba: Doyoshu [Snow and a donkey: The collection of children's songs]
Written by Seika Tatsumi
Ozorasha 1997
(Sosho Nihon no doyo [Series of Japanese children's songs])
Call No. Y8-M98-119(First ed. 児乙部31-T-1, 623-43)
Reprint of a book published by ARS in 1931. First anthology of doyo (children's songs) by Tatsumi. Tatsumi was an employee of ARS and worked as an editor. The image is the book’s outer box.

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D-15Sacchan [Satchan]
Written by Hiroo Sakata/Illustrated by Makoto Wada
Kokudosha 2002
(Gendai Nihon doyoshi zenshu; daihachikan [The complete collection of contemporary Japanese children's songs and poems; vol. 8])
Call No. Y8-N03-H43
First appeared as the thirteenth volume of Kokudosha no shi no hon [Kokudosha's poem book]. The titled poem was Sakata's first doyo (children's songs). Eventually, music was added to the poem, which was aired on radio and made into a record.

Thumbnail of Yuhi ga senaka wo oshitekuru [The sunset pushes my back]

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D-16Yuhi ga senaka wo oshitekuru [The sunset pushes my back]
Written by Hiroo Sakata/Illustrated by Jun Takabatake
Kokudosha 1983
(Shi no ehon [Picture book of poems])
Call No. Y17-9485
Music was composed for the title poem and was aired on NHK [Japan Broadcasting Corporation]'s music program ‘Minna no uta [Songs for everyone]’ in 1968. The poem was also adopted in Japanese textbooks.

Thumbnail of Okasan: Sato Hachiro/Iwasaki Chihiro shigashu [Mother: The collection of poems and illustrations by Hachiro Sato and Chihiro Iwasaki]

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D-17Okasan: Sato Hachiro/Iwasaki Chihiro shigashu [Mother: The collection of poems and illustrations by Hachiro Sato and Chihiro Iwasaki]
Poems written by Hachiro Sato/Illustrated by Chihiro Iwasaki
Kodansha 1989
Call No. Y8-6471
The poem "Okasan [Mother]" was read in a television drama aired from 1959. Hachiro is the first son of the author Koroku Sato.

Thumbnail of Daremo shiranai [Nobody knows]

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D-18Dare mo shiranai [Nobody knows]
Written by Shuntaro Tanikawa/Illustrated by Hanmo Sugiura
Kokudosha 2002
(Gendai Nihon doyoshi zenshu; daisankan [Complete works of contemporary Japanese children's song and poems; vol. 3])
Call No. Y8-N03-H42
First appeared as the eighteenth volume of Kokudosha no shi no hon [Kokudosha's poem book] in 1976. Music was composed for the title poem and was aired on NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)'s 'Minna no uta [Songs for everyone].'

Thumbnail of Nohara uta [A field sing-a-long] 1

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D-19Noharauta [A field sing-a-long] 1
Written by Naoko Kudo
Dowa-ya 1984
Call No. KH297-911
A story with animals, plants and trees as the main characters. This series consists of five volumes.