Daisui Sugitani — Hoshinoyo

Daisui Sugitani, 1874-1915

Writer of the popular Japanese children's folk song, Hoshi no Yo.

Like the English hymn What A Friend We Have In Jesus, the children's song Hoshi no Yo is usually sung to the melody Erie, written by Charles Crozat Converse.

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Other languages

Other hymns

Daisui Sugitani:

  • poet, translator, and editor
  • born 21 August 1874, in Tottori Prefecture, Japan
  • entered Tokyo Technical College (now known as Waseda University), but stopped due to ill health
  • worked at a publishing company and did influential editorial work on Japanese text books for elementary schools
  • wrote about 60 songs, the most well-known being Hoshi no Yo
  • translated many books including Arabian Nights and children's books
  • died 21 April 1915

The children's folk song Hoshi no Yo is about the sky at night. No moon, yet there are countless stars brightening up the sky. These stars are like our dreams, which can be as wide as the universe (and that's pretty wide!) So let's gaze at the stars and look for the truth about our dreams.

Here are the words in Japanese:

Suki naki misora ni, kirameku hikari,
Aa sono hoshikage, kibou no sugata.
Jinchi wa hate nashi, mukyu no ochi ni,
Iza sono hoshikage, kiwamemo ikan.

Kumo naki misora ni, yokotou hikari,
Aa youyoutaru, ginga no nagare.
Aogite nagamuru, banri no anata,
Iza saosase yoya, kyuri no fune ni.

Kanji version (Japanese font required)

...and around 100 years later, the following English composition to the same music:

Stars in Heaven: by James Warren (2005)

Moonless night is now upon us, yet the sky is full of light.
How enticing are the stars now, like a dream that sets us right.
Wisdom permeates the night sky, riding every beam of light.
Let us use our clearest minds then, with our noblest goals in sight.

Cloudless sky of evening's darkness, showing off our Milky Way.
Glory Glory Hallelujah, home's more grand than we can say.
Awe struck now we stare and wonder, are they truly far away.
In a star light so eternal; find the truth to light our way.

Grateful thanks to James Warren, who used our rough translation of Daisui Sugitani's Japanese ballad and composed the above lyrics. Actually, James's talents extend far beyond poetry; he also kindly sent us an mp3 file he made using Harmony Assistant from Myriad Software - well worth checking out. Japanese speakers with an interest in history and music would be particularly welcomed at Myriad Software user's community forum.

If you have further information about Daisui Sugitani, please email us and we'll add it to this page.


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