Chinese Songs in Japanese

A post for the Chinese people here. This is totally unrelated to anything Gundam but something that was rather shockingly suprising to me as a Chinese (music listener). So just earlier this week while I was hanging out with my Japanese friends, one of them played a really familiar song on Youtube and though I recognized the tune immediately, I was shocked that it was in Japanese! and furthermore, it originated from Japan also! We are talking about one of the most popular “feel good” Cantopop song of its time (and to this day I’d assume) and it was actually originally a Japanese song! xD

Here is the original (Japanese) version. Maybe I am behind the times and everyone was already aware of it but I find it quite amusing as this is one of my favorite songs. You must know this song if you are Chinese. Or SE Asian for that matter.

The Chinese version that I grew up with.

Oh and here’s another super popular Chinese song (“originally” sung by Faye Wong) that was originally Japanese also. I had no idea!

Might not be interesting to those who doesn’t know these songs but it was an interesting discovery for me and my friends who are fond of these songs as well ^^. Are there any more covers like this out there that I’m not aware of?

40 thoughts on “Chinese Songs in Japanese

  1. i found out this song was japanese when i heard saji’s(gundam 00) VA Irino Miyu’s cover on the ookami-san character song album.

    i’ve been told that i apparently knew all the lyrics to it since i was 2… and i actually have memories it…weird

      1. havent sang it a lot since i was 2, i only remember the chorus now XD, but it was my fav song and the only song I knew back then lol
        ah the good times…batman and sesame street =)

    1. I used to really like Cantopop then I realized almost every song I really liked was actually just Cantonese lyrics put onto a copied Japanese melody. It was a real turn off and I found myself listening to the Japanese music instead. There were some original Cantonese songs that were really good though, and I don’t notice that much copying anymore.

    1. Of all things that China offensively copies, there are a few things that I think we take good pride in and that is actually original (for the most part). Food, music and tea comes to mind just to name a few…

      In the case of music, just about everyone covers everyone so guess it shouldn’t be too much of a shocker (US is no different… though slightly worse in some instances where they ruin the original song).

    2. gotta make this clear, this is an official cover by an HK singer, and back in the 80’s/90’s or even earlier, it was popular to cover japanse songs. these were all official covers and not china rips. in fact this stuff happened in HK when it was still a British colony with a British government, so china ripping was not even possible in any sense lol.

  2. Back in the days, China and Japan had two music markets that were really similar and artists from both countries tend to cover each others so that the song would make more sense in their own language. And OMG that song was like, the 5#!7 when I was a kid.

    This song was so good too..

        1. i wasn’t expecting mine to embed, i actually just put the plain old link and it auto embeded XD

  3. I don’t recognize any of these songs…truth to be told, even though I’m pretty much full Chinese, I actually dislike the culture and language quite a lot…I suppose it’s because I’ve spent my entire life in America.

    A common steryotype amoung a lot people at my school (and the world) is that the Japanese are original, whereas the Chinese copy pretty much everything…and that’s not entirely false either.

    1. its common for chinese people to look down upon china and everything related to it because the chinese know best about the horrid atrocities happening there XD. but you gotta remember that everyone is poor and trying make a meal, so what better way than to copy something that already sells than to spend the time and money that they dont have coming with something original and then having to promote it before taking the risk that it doesnt sell… it’s pretty sad actually…thats why everyone is trying to make a quick buck in any way they can and then getting out of there asap

    2. I don’t see how anyone who is Chinese can escape knowledge of the above songs o_0.

      Embrace with pride what’s good about the Chinese culture and throw away what stinks. There is atrocity in every culture and country… no exceptions. Live to become a “Man of Determination”

    1. which one? xD

      First Japanese song- Sore ga Daiji by Daiji Man Brothers’ Band
      Chinese version- Red Sun by Hacken Lee (dude in the pic)
      Second Japanese song- Rouge by Nakijima Miyuki

        1. Yes, there’s a reason why it was one of the most popular “Feel Good” song in China… well, in Japan too I guess.

  4. there are a few others that came to mind such as X-Japan’s Longing – chinese Feng Yun (opening for Fung Wan/Stormriders TV series) and SMAP (if i’m not mistaken).

  5. Most of these songs came in what people call the “Golden Era of Canton-pop”, which was back in the 70s-80s. This was back when Hong Kong was a British colony. Basically, what happened was that a whole bunch of talented singers joined the fray but there weren’t nearly enough songwriters in the city of several million. The audience was pretty exposed to Japanese style pop-music to start because of all the Japanese TV shows, so artists decided to buy the rights to many of the melodies of Japanese pop songs and fill them in with Chinese lyrics.

    There are so many of these, that many Japanese song compilations have been sold in Hong Kong advertised as “the originals to many of the oldies”.

    Gotta dispel some of those rumors when people claim “Chinese are all nothing but pirates.” >_> Yes, they do offensively copy a lot, but jumping to conclusions doesn’t work.

  6. Remind of a song sung by a Chinese, forget his name, the title of the song is, translated from mandarin, “I am Chinese”, although the singer is from Hong Kong.
    The videoclip show parts of the Great Wall and some traditional dancing, I don’t quite remember.
    However, the biggest problem here is that the freaking, stupid song is blatant rip-off of Queen’s classic “We will rock you”. It was very common before for musicians to make covers, even renown bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin covered other musicians before/whilst creating their own style, but to a song about Chinese pride to be a rip-off from an English band, without any credits to it, saddens me as both my parents are Chinese.

    1. hmm… the only song I can think of with such a title is Andy Lau’s “Zhong Guo Ren” but it doesn’t sound like Queen’s song though.

      1. Well, perhaps from another viewpoint (or audition) it may not sound as a rip-off. Not sure if it is the same song you are referring to, but probably it is the same as I have no idea on how to write Cantonese in any possible form.
        I don’t know if you have any knowledge about music, but the drum beat, the tempo and the key of the song only leads me to believe even more it is an unauthorised usage of the song, although I concluded it to be one long before I had music lessons. If we read the score (partitura) of the song it would have a more precise analysis but then it is a great waste of time and we would rather spent it building gunpla. =P

  7. The 80s and 90s sure were a great time of Cantopop back then; a time that I quite miss I’d say, even though a lot of songs are indeed liscensed from Japanese songs. It was apparently also a time when many Japanese artists come over to Hong Kong to sing with the ones who sung their localised versions as well. A time that I am not sure when we get to see ever again.

    There are a few more examples I remember too:

    李香蘭 by Jacky Cheung

    行かないで by Tamaki Koji

    風繼續吹 by Leslie Cheung

    さよならの向う側 by Momoe Yamaguchi

    藍月亮 by Hacken Lee

    月に濡れたふたり by Anzen Chitai (sung by Koji Tamaki)

    1. Oh wow… Leslie Cheung’s “Wind Continues to Blow” was originally a Japanese song too?! Never knew ^^.

      Thanks for pointing out a few more, Q. And I agree, the late 80’s to the mid-90’s were pretty much the height of the cantopop era. Huge fan of the Four Heavenly Kings ^^;. All my favorite Cantonese songs are from that time. Now I turn to Jay Chou and Wang Leehom for Chinese music…

    1. Oh that reminds me of a cantopop singer singing one of Jennifer Lopez’s older pop songs… I forgot the title but I was baffled when I first heard it since I actually know the song first in English and not the other way around. Oh yea, and “My Heart Goes On” from Titanic also in Cantonese but those songs are exceptions I guess since they’ve been translated into just about every other popular language for their local audience and everyone knows where it originated anyway.

  8. Ito Yuna – ENDLESS LOVE from the series “Nana”, there is one chinese song similar to this, forgot the name of the artist

    1. Really?! That’s Skull? That’s so…hard to grasp. Haha. That’s amazing actually. Thanks for sharing ^^.

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